Apathy, the Unforgiveable Sin

From time to time we like to acknowledge the many helpful comments and questions which come to the site. Here we list some of the comments about the difficulty of living with Central Pain, regarding apathy.

“My family thinks I am a poor parent. They expect me to interact and to inter-relate as if I were not ill. If I had my legs cut off instead of merely weakened and in pain, I do not think they would feel this way.”

“This week, I had a visit with the pastor. It got around to whether I was living a good life. I assured him that with respect to morality I was doing okay, but could not in any sense of the word profess to be religious. He was shocked and asked what mortal sins I struggled with. I told him “apathy”, because of the pain. I don’t care about things I am supposed to care about. He never expressed support or sympathy but tried to admonish me to avoid sins of omission. He doesn’t know anything about central pain. Like everyone else, he makes me feel less than human because I am ill. When I could work, I gave as much as forty thousand donation per year. Now, of course, I have fallen into disfavor. I expect I was the only one to receive any real reprimand on this round of visits, with the adulterers, thieves, oppressive personalities and those congregational members being generally nasty to other human beings getting a free pass. I must not be ‘lukewarm’ as he put it, or God would “spew me out of His mouth”. I felt like replying I was definitely burning so he didn’t have to worry that I was lukewarm. My family needs to be well received when they attend church so I said nothing. It would have been nice if he had been inclined to pray for me, for God to give me the strength to endure. It would also have been good if he had not kept saying, “But you look good, you look good.” I would have preferred he accepted that I was not good. I have been guilty of the same kind of indifference toward other people’s suffering in my life, so I must forgive him and allow him to be human like everyone else.”

“Severe pain is really, really exhausting. Pain is supposed to be something we endure and overcome in order to strike a victory. However, with continual, severe Central Pain, I am just exhausted from fighting off the psychological depression and can hardly find motivation to blow my nose. I have significant motor impairments as well, but it is the exhaustion and depletion of will which keeps me from getting things done.”

“Pain is not something I can ignore. Mine is just too severe and over too much of my body. I can’t get excited about anything much that other humans care about. If I ever actually do anything, I get angry comments from those around me who say, ‘if you can go for a drive, why can’t you do the shopping.’ I don’t think they have ever been depressed like this, not over pain anyway.”

“Before my injury I was the most goal oriented, active person I knew. I could hold two jobs and still wear people out when I went for a vacation or picnic. Now, over the years. ALL my energy has been taken away by pain, and I am talking about mental energy too. I have become that slob who doesn’t do anything to help themselves. Here is the problem, when I have tried to do something, I have injured myself, and gotten depressed because I realized how many other things needed to be done. If I let myself get into the seeing mode, where I see the needs of those around me, I really feel worthless, but my pain has already told my muscles not to move or I will break down. There is no answer to this for me.”

“I read in the Bible about the ‘widow’s mite’, whose tiny contribution was considered greater by God than all the wealth of the wealthy, because it was all she had. My tiny contribution to the lives of those around me is pathetic at times, and it is viewed as pathetic. Pain is not an acceptable reason it would seem for anyone to think I am too depleted of energy to carry out activities or even to form a plan of activity, sometimes. This is apathy from really severe pain pain of course. My little bit of caring is just not enough for others. I wish it were. It took me three months to get up enough drive to write this note to you. Thank you for what you are doing though. It is really helpful for me to be able to get information. The other CP sites like painonline.org and centralpain.org are appreciated also.”