Talking to Loved Ones

Discussion in 'Support' started by awbw8, Aug 27, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. awbw8
      Balanced

      awbw8 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2013
      This was going to go in another thread where the topic was brought up, but I felt it might be a little 0ff-topic, so I'm giving it a new home :)

      I think one thing I've learned from having T is that helping people who are suffering a trauma or recovering from one is not necessarily a natural thing for most people.

      In my non-online life, I volunteer with other populations who have gone through trauma, kinds of trauma I cannot begin to understand. Sometimes people tell me their stories, and I'm just sitting there. I can't say I know how they feel, or that I think they'll get better. I can try to be sensitive, but that's a big wall, and sometimes it's too big for people to know how to cross.

      I share this so that we, as individuals going through something unbearable to us and incomprehensible to our loved ones, can understand that they may feel they're losing us and can't really help us and that's traumatic, in it's way, for them as well. Not everyone is equipped to deal with that, and while there are certainly those around us who just abandon people in times of difficulty, there are those who also don't know what to do or how to do it. I think that's something to think about and perhaps it will make understanding our loved ones a little easier.

      About two years after I got T, I was talking to my father, who was with me at the concert where I got it. He didn't have much useful to say to me when I was at the worst with my T, even though he has T, we just didn't talk that much. More recently, I told him I noticed he hadn't visited me since I got T. He got a little upset (sad) and said that he was wary of doing things with me now. I didn't realize until then how much my T had affected and kind of traumatized him. He felt so much guilt for taking me to this concert, for not knowing one concert could do that etc. etc. It wasn't his fault, of course, but there it is.

      Trauma touches and affects everyone, especially those who love us, and while we are all "strangers on the internet" here, we also all share this experience to some degree and only know one another in this context, which makes providing support to one another easier.

      To those who feel like they have done it successfully, how did you communicate with your family members, friends or loved ones? What did you say and what was helpful to your not helpful? Can you remember a moment when someone (without T) said or did something that was extremely helpful to you?
       
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    2. marqualler
      Nerdy

      marqualler Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Minneapolis, MN
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection / Mild Noise Induced Hearing Loss
      Wow, this is a great insight. I realized recently when my wife went through a bout of Benign Positional Vertigo, it terrified me to see her suffering from something that has some of the same place of origin as tinnitus, and it put me in a spot that likely your father felt--I didn't want her to feel that feeling that I felt. The same feeling I'm sure I will feel about my own children.
      I saw a therapist after my onset of tinnitus who said one of the most helpful things I had heard. I mentioned to her that I felt like I was grieving my loss in "perfect" hearing and she said that, yes, it's OK to grieve and probably healthy to grieve, because it allows you to "let go" that pain after a while. I think back to that and think that was a major tipping point in my "habituation" if you will. It doesn't mean that I won't wake up with tinnitus every day and come here and look at research progress toward a cure and do what I can to get us to that point, but it is an important step in allowing me to "learn to live with it." That's also why I think CBT counseling at the point of tinnitus onset is so important, because it can essentially work as a more artfully described way of "learning to live with it."

      As far as communicating with family members and friends, I think it is difficult for anybody without tinnitus to fully understand what it is like, but I think having ways to talk about it with others is important. (Another reason why having this support board is so great--because everyone here is on the same boat.)
       
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    3. dboy
      Jaded

      dboy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2007 & 8/2013
      This is a really important post full of insight and humanity - thanks enormously for it.

      My mother has tinnitus also, but when I told her I had it and asked about her experience she was dismissive to the point of being aggressive, as though it was nothing at all. Despite this, I know it bothered her because more recently she admitted that it troubles her less now that she has a hearing aid. But I've had not a word of understanding or interest about my own issues with it, which is odd as she was quite supportive with a more 'traditional' physical ailment I have. I wonder if there is something in the nature of the problems tinnitus causes us - the psychological nature of them - that makes many older folks struggle to talk about it. Many people of my parents age and background (British working class) just don't seem to "do" psychology or the more complex sides of experience... they perhaps don't have the vocabulary or habits of thought to relate in that way and seem instinctively afraid of going there ('Here be dragons').
       
    4. click
      Busy

      click Member Benefactor

      Location:
      West Cornwall, England, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/04/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure

      That's really sad dboy. I think it's so important to talk about it. I've shared any useful information with all three of my sons. T obviously can 'run in families' & I want mine to have sufficient knowledge of acoustic trauma, salicylate/drug induced T etc. to be able to take sensible precautions. They still go to concerts & festivals but they're aware - they know the risks of standing beside a speaker. I also bought all of them proper earplugs. I can't control whether they use them but that's the same with everything - we give them as much as we can & hope that it helps :) I don't want the 'fear' of T to ruin any part of their lives - I just want them to know what may possibly cause it.
       
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    5. dboy
      Jaded

      dboy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2007 & 8/2013
      Thanks @click. It just occurred to me that my post might inadvertently offend some members of the forum so requested to get it deleted. Apologies to anyone if it did offend - it was a little clumsy.

      You are right of course, it is important to talk about this stuff. Your sons are very lucky you take that approach.
       
    6. derpytia
      Pooptoast

      derpytia Member

      Location:
      Rescue, California
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hearing loss / ETD
      I know my mother grew up in a generation that lived very much by the "pull yourself up by the bootstraps and deal with it" motto. She has a hard time dealing with being around me (and I have the same problem too) since I got T over a year ago. She cannot even begin to imagine what it's like to hear sounds in your head and ears 24/7 and I often think to myself how lucky she is to have hearing loss and no T and that she can go to bed and get up early with no repercussions or how she can watch TV as much as she wants or drive with the windows down, without earplugs, and listen to the radio. She's the closest family I have and yet because of T I feel estranged from her and it's hard because if I try to talk about it with her or try to give her words to describe what I'm going through she doesn't want to hear them and just tells me to stop suffering. It's very very hard.
       
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    7. Inge
      Cool

      Inge Member

      Location:
      california
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      benzodiazepine withdrawal
      I was lucky, because I found that many people around me have (had) mild T. They werent bothered by it much, but when I explained mine was super loud and 24/7 they understood how awful that must be. The onset of my T was so severe I was complaining about all the time, freaking out, suicidal, and crying all the time. This is how the people in my environment knew it was serious, because normally I dont complain much about my health or lack thereof. I am doing a lot better now thanks to TRT.
       
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    8. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      I don't even bother anymore, its not something that they want to understand. They can't/won't believe that T and H could ruin a life. I get the same thing over and over "go see a doctor and get better" or "drink more water and eat better".

      This is a lonely and humiliating journey for me. For some reason I would like someone to understand, I'm not sure why this is.
       
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    9. uae96
      Thinking

      uae96 Member

      Location:
      Dubai, UAE
      Tinnitus Since:
      6/14/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      I live with a strict family , they don't care what the problem is if it doesn't kill you or make you puke they won't listen , they often tell me it will go away and to give it time , nothing more than that but at least I have this forum full of people that understand and can give me advises
       
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