When I was a teenager in the late 70s and early 80s, the hardest thing for me to deal with was being constantly compared to others. As a young woman, I was far from being popular, athletic or confident, and people around me made sure to let me know about it. Not my parents, mind you, but “others”, whose identity I will keep to myself.
My older sister, for example, was always very athletic, so when I ended up with her gym teacher, she treated me lower than low because she expected more from me and I simply could not deliver. She would single me out and blame me for things I didn’t do. It was horrible. I hated her class. I didn’t want to be there.
Because I chewed my nails ravenously, a couple of “relatives” constantly told me I needed to do my nails like “such and such”. They told me this so many times I started hating this person way back then and my hatred only grew over the years because I was compared to her in every which way one can imagine. I needed to dress like her, do my hair like her, I needed to be her carbon copy apparently. She was older, more sophisticated, and obviously not the kind of person I was at the time. I needed to grow in my own way. I needed to be ME. Of course being compared to her only killed my confidence even more because they made me feel inferior… I was never “good enough”, I could not “measure up” to their expectations.
I have several more examples I could give you, but I really don’t want to remember this stuff, so, why am I telling you this today? Because you have to understand something about me. I don’t like when others compare me or my children. A quote I love by Theodore Roosevelt is “Comparison is the thief of joy”. It truly is. Each person is unique, each journey is unique. Don’t compare.
Nicky has been compared to other children with EB or any other condition as far as he’s been alive. I don’t know why people feel the need to make sure I know how “lucky” I am that Nicky outlived so-and-so or tell me they know how Nicky must feel like because they also had ___(insert procedure here), or “know” how I feel because they had a relative with some condition. I am sorry to disappoint.
I don’t feel “lucky” at all. To see your child suffer unimaginably every day is not a “lucky” feeling whatsoever.
Ok, so you might have had the same “procedure” Nicky had, but since his situation and condition is vastly different than yours, you cannot remotely compare the two, even if you have the same diagnosys. No two patients are alike. When I tell you how Nicky felt about it, don’t tell me he’s lying to me to make me feel “better”. Allow the premise that I know my own flesh and blood more than you, who never met him.
Ok, so you had a “relative” with some brutal condition. I am very sorry about that. Please accept my condolences and sympathies. But the comparison is just uncalled for. Suffering, like any intense human experience is not quantifiable. You want to tell me your relative suffered MORE than my son? Ok, Fine. I am very sorry for that. You win. That’s a competition I don’t want to win anyways.
It’s my quest in life to get “over” being compared, and I have ways to go. However, this I feel is a lesson that everyone needs to hear. Please don’t compare. Don’t. Never. Ever.
Love & Light,