I’ve had migraines since 2009, which have only gotten worse over the years. I have had great luck with my treatment meds but not so much with preventative meds or anything else I’ve tried. I try to power through and not burden anyone with my condition, and I certainly do not seek pity or special treatment; just understanding and a bit of compassion. I do not get that from my immediate family at all. They have never said it so bluntly but I am quite sure from the way they react when I mention a migraine that they either don’t believe me or think I’m exaggerating. They have never tried to accommodate me in even the simplest ways, like not leaving blinds open so the sunlight doesn’t hurt my eyes, or at least trying to be quiet and not slamming or stomping about as if I’m not even in the house. I have tried to talk to them and explain what my migraines are and how they affect me, but my family reacts with indifference or they even seem annoyed. I have heard that dreadful line, “Ugh, you have a headache AGAIN?” too many times. They still call my attacks “headaches” even though I’ve tried to explain that migraines and headaches are not the same thing, and I have a rough time with postdrome which they sympathize with even less. Since I moved out they seem even less interested and less compassionate. They never ask me how I am or offer support or kind words – but they seem to care about everyone else’s pain and problems except mine. I feel so alone and honestly like my own flesh and blood couldn’t care less about my pain or even believe it’s REAL pain, and that hurts just as much as the migraines.
Does anyone have any advice on how to cope when your own (otherwise loving) family stigmatizes you to the point where you feel you can’t even talk to them about one of the things that impacts your life the most?