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Words Matter, But What Words?
Gene9999
Posted: Saturday, August 19, 2017 10:12 PM
Joined: 8/18/2017
Posts: 31


Recently, I got into several discussions on a LinkedIn Alzheimers group and was "corrected" for using the phrase "Alzheimers sufferer" instead of "person with Alzheimers."  In subsequent discussions, my use of "sufferer" and explaining why I believe those with Alzheimers, at least in latter stages, clearing suffer, I was criticized for being hurtful and disrespectful to people with Alzheimers. 

I ended up leaving the group since I had no intent to hurt or be disrespectful, and simply could not understand their reasoning.  My internet research does, indeed, turn up "Dementia Language Guidelines" that do, indeed, discourage the use of sufferer and other words and phrases. 

Here are two places:

https://daanow.org/living-fully-with-dementia-words-matter/

dementiavoices.org.uk  

Especially as regards "sufferer," such guidelines entirely baffle me.  Clearly, those with Alzheimers suffer.  It seems disrespectful to me NOT to acknowledge this, as though they've got a hangnail or something.  Moreover, by refraining from saying they suffer, I believe it potentially reduces the political urgency to find a cure for this horrific disease - "If they aren't suffering, then what's the urgency?" I can just hear some politico or bureaucrat saying!


I don't think I'm an unreasonable person, but having relatives with several forms of dementia, to include Alzheimers and vascular dementia, and undoubtedly seeing the suffering they go through despite our best efforts, I simply can't understand the rationale or purpose behind such language guidance.  Can someone show me otherwise?


Angel_Wolf
Posted: Sunday, August 20, 2017 12:13 AM
Joined: 7/8/2017
Posts: 143


The language here takes getting used to: why is "sufferer" shunned but people frequently claim the "person is gone" (patently false and utterly demeaning) and it goes unquestioned.

Once you become accustomed, however, there is comfort to be had from DH, DW, LO and a distancing to be had from PWD that really does facilitate getting to your point.

My observation is that while PWD do feel some distress earlier on, it is the family members who suffer.  I'm wondering if you go back to those groups and describe YOURSELF as the sufferer, if you wouldn't find the support you need.

Eh, it seems, Gene9999, that you value "reason" and probably logic so I would pretty much bet my life's savings that this whole situation is (one of) your greatest nightmares.  You seem to have abundant intellectual resources at this point in time so I am going to make the daring suggestion that you take a multi-pronged approach: use some energy to deal with your PWD and the current situations; use some energy to find renewal for yourself as caregiver; and use most of your energy to PREPARE for your future (since, apparently, it is right in front of you now).

Calling bullshit on 'how will they be motivated to look for a cure if no one is suffering'  strongly suggest you look behind your own mask to see what is up with THAT.

These Boards are an excellent source of support and information, Gene9999, and we welcome you.  I have confidence in you and wish you every success with this challenge.

 


BlueSkies
Posted: Sunday, August 20, 2017 3:39 AM
Joined: 2/24/2016
Posts: 1096


I am a person with dementia and I suffer.  It's BS to say PWD don't suffer.  I actually came across this on the EO board here not to long ago.  I used the word suffer in a post and was told by others on the board that that word was looked down on when talking about dementia.  I thought that was crap then and I think it's even more crap now.  People with dementia suffer and so do all those taking care of them.  I don't care if it's politically correct or not to say that.  To me, speaking the truth is more important and correct.
MPSunshine
Posted: Sunday, August 20, 2017 6:00 AM
Joined: 5/21/2016
Posts: 1993


Beyond reasoning and the particular words used, there is relationship. When you enter an online public forum and speak your sense, then learning about what is acceptable is like joining any community. It is trial and error. If you stick with it and get to know people you will find a lot of useful information and individual tolerance levels for the use of particular words to describe an experience or the problems the individual is overcoming at that moment. Within that, I have never understood the concept of person within a living person being gone by any means. And I have seen suffering. It is very difficult to witness ... But the angel dancing on the head of this pin is the reference to persons with dementia as "sufferers." This is what some people have the objection to: they do not want to be labeled as victims who are doomed to suffer. Within the disease process there is a lot to live for and frequently if the person is healthy, a lot of time to live it. 
BillBRNC
Posted: Sunday, August 20, 2017 1:43 PM
Joined: 12/2/2015
Posts: 1018


I have Dementia with Lewy Bodies. Let me tell you that suffering is the correct word to use. BlueSkies is total right. We suffer from start to finish. While true early stages have much time when suffering isn't as great as it is in later times, but suffering is always there. It is crazy as hell to suggest that we don't suffer from day one. Heck, by the time we get diagnosis, many of us are almost dead because the politically correct thing is for doctors to not even diagnosis Alz or DLB or other types of dementia. This comes from crazy people who have an agenda that has nothing to do with us suffers. To say that caregivers suffer but not the people who have it is a truly huge load of crap. We suffer first, then others at some point down the road figure it out. The real problem is that so much of Alz groups are trying to help the caregivers, which is perfectly fine with me and everyone else who has these diseases, but please god when are people going to accept that fact that those of us losing our minds, bodies, and lives might actually suffer a little too.
Angel_Wolf
Posted: Sunday, August 20, 2017 3:15 PM
Joined: 7/8/2017
Posts: 143


Dear Blue skies!  I am so sorry for how ignorant and callous I sound about suffering (can't even describe how ironic THAT is!)  and I apologize all over the place in every form possible for that blunder.

Yes, I see the pain in my LO's eyes as we navigate this new territory.  Perhaps I said what I did because I'm hoping I won't see that look in the future...  

So, I guess, its the family that suffers loudly? 

 I guess I really would have said "the family suffers more" when (re-examination) I would mean "the suffering of the family is more obvious".

Thank you, Blue & Bill, some times it takes friends to push us to a clear understanding.  I think this is very important and helpful since, as Sunshine points out, I hope to stand in relationship with you all.

 

 


Gene9999
Posted: Sunday, August 20, 2017 9:59 PM
Joined: 8/18/2017
Posts: 31


Angel_Wolf, first, I certainly thank you for the welcome you’ve extended.  Please understand, in what follows, its not my intent to hurt or embarrass, but simply to speak plainly – I guess it’s the Marine in me not to pull punches.

 Regarding suffering, I suppose there are people in early stages Alz who are “coping” with the disease and therefore are not sufferers, but I would suggest that even coping is a form of suffering.  Regardless, until there are better treatments, there will inevitably come a time when all with Alz will, indeed, suffer.  I don’t know when that threshold is crossed.  For my mother, who lived by herself, she went from coping to full fledged suffering somewhere in stage 4, which is where she was when she was finally diagnosed with Alz – her defenses, her ability to hide what was happening to her, simply broke down at that point.   Had we been more Alz aware, had we been more willing to see what was happening to her, perhaps we would have caught on earlier.  But we didn’t – its as simple as that.

Anyway, as regards suffering, she was definitely suffering by then.  I have to admit to taking great offense to your comment about my being the sufferer vice my mother.  This is patently not true.  The wails and cries for help that we heard in person and over the phone were her’s, not our’s.  The anguish in her voice as the cried “what is happening to me!!!??” were her’s, not ours.  Even this very day, deep in stage 6, I held her tightly when, apparently no longer able to verbalize what was troubling her, she wept.  She has suffered and continues to do so.  I’ll simply not hear otherwise.

As regards my dealing with things, thank you, I’m dealing just fine.  Life – and my mother - has taught me well how to do so.  I’m blessed to have 3 younger siblings to share our mother’s care with, and to share our own concerns, fears, weaknesses, and strengths.  Our mother is well cared for, frequently content and reasonably healthy.  Her anxieties and fears are less frequent now, and we can devote our time in ensuring she’s frequently reminded of our love and her care is the best we can provide.  We watch with trepidation, but acceptance, the coming of stage 7, which her indomitable will and innate stubbornness currently keeps at bay.

As for your “bullshit” comment regarding “how will they be motivated to look for a cure if no one is suffering, “ well, Angel-Wolf, let me raise the BS flag on your comment.  If its not our united willingness to call Alzheimers what it truly is and that it causes immense suffering, then just what is causing Alz to be such a low priority with regards to researching a cure?  Alz and Alz related causes put Alz as the #3 killer disease in this country, almost tied with cancer and heart disease.  Moreover, it’s the ONLY leading cause of death that is still on the rise, already afflicting more than 5 million Americans (and 15 million caregivers) and expected to top 15 million by 2050.  Some research states this disease, all by itself, could overwhelm our healthcare system before then.  Yet.  Yet, it only receives 1/7th the funding of cancer research, and only about 1/3 the funding AIDS/HIV research gets (AIDS/HIV related deaths this year are expected to be about 12,000 – 1/40th of Alz related deaths).  So, Angel-Wolf, you tell me, what’s NOT motivating our government and people?  I’m willing to bet at least part of the problem is that we minimize the incredible hideousness of what this disease does.

 


Gene9999
Posted: Sunday, August 20, 2017 10:14 PM
Joined: 8/18/2017
Posts: 31


MP Sunshine, I appreciate your post, but must remind you that Alzheimers victims ARE doomed to suffer, and that's precisely the point that we should be raising at every opportunity. 

Yes, early stage sufferers may well be able to cope with the disease for quite some time, but, inevitably, irreversibly, the disease WILL progress.  Unlike cancer, there is no remission, no cure.  Unlike heart disease, there is no operation or really effective treatment.

Instead of trying to help victims seem less like victims, we should be working on helping them deal with the fact that they are victims.  Instead of, even today, dealing with a social reluctance to seek identification and treatment early on, when the few treatments we do have as somewhat effective, instead of a social inclination to hide the disease behind platitudes and smokescreens, we should be declaring war on it - much like we did with AIDS and Cancer - we should be making it our battle cry in which the victims, willing or not, are the heroes for which we fight.


Gene9999
Posted: Sunday, August 20, 2017 10:15 PM
Joined: 8/18/2017
Posts: 31


Blue Skies, Amen!
chrisp1653
Posted: Monday, August 21, 2017 12:12 AM
Joined: 1/23/2017
Posts: 1219


I'm really not sure if I am reading this correctly. It sounds to me like I should be reminding Barbara that she was victimized by her mom, who ruled with the belt buckle,  and victimized by her first and second husbands, who ruled by fist and ridicule respectively, and then victimized by her own body, with RA, and various spinal issues, and now finally, victimized by dementia,which is robbing her of her memory. Of course, when I explain that she's a hero because of all this, she'll certainly feel better. Oh, I almost forgot. Husband number one was a marine too, and he sure didn't pull his punches either.

 

Chris


MPSunshine
Posted: Monday, August 21, 2017 4:56 AM
Joined: 5/21/2016
Posts: 1993


So, Gene, are you saying that the cuts to the National Institute of Health of $5.8 billion, and $314 million cut from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should be reversed, and perhaps divert a trickle of the increased defense spending of $54 billion towards relief of the real life, currently happening suffering of persons affected by alzheimer's and related dementias?

Good to hear from you Blue Skies and Bill, as well as Angel_Wolf, Chrisp.

Me, I have to run off to work. I just got denied a $400 grant to fund respite care so that my husband and I can take some time just with each other. The reason I was given is that the funds have "dried up."

I will kiss my mom goodbye as she has a caregiver coming to take care of her 24/7 and she requires that 365 days a year. I would argue that the exhausted, depleted and strung out team of caregivers and persons with alzheimer's and related dementias are just not a strong enough political force to get that task in the first paragraph done right now.

Especially if we are going to have arguments about what words we use to label the experience of persons with alzheimer's and related dementias rather than addressing the travesty of priorities that is evidenced by the current administration.

My siblings were working in arms of the military and they do absolutely nothing towards the care of my mom and they did nothing to help my dad with care when he was alive. I'm done beating my head against that wall.

Good bye.


Gene9999
Posted: Monday, August 21, 2017 5:03 AM
Joined: 8/18/2017
Posts: 31


Chrisp1653, and your point is?  First, what do any of your examples have to do with Alz (except, of course, the dementia one and that she suffers in all those cases).  Second, I'm not talking about reminding Alz sufferers of anything.  Early on, they know something's wrong.  In the moderate to late stages, it makes no sense.

Besides, how does it help repeatedly reminding her, to follow your logic, that she did not suffer under any of those things, and isn't suffering now?   Also, are you saying we should, relatively speaking, do as little to work against abusive parents, husbands, RA, and various spinal issues as we do against Alz and other dementias?


BlueSkies
Posted: Monday, August 21, 2017 5:05 AM
Joined: 2/24/2016
Posts: 1096


I was not offended by anyone and especially don't need an apology from anyone.  I was just stating a fact.  There is suffering with this disease by all.  The PWD and CG's.  I don't think we should wallow in our suffering and never said or insinuated that we should.  Staying positive and enjoying life as much as possible is what needs to be done and can be done to a point.  I just think it's wrong to say PWD don't suffer.  Being a PWD, it just seems kinda silly to me for anyone to say such a thing.  That's all I was saying.

Love to you all...


MPSunshine
Posted: Monday, August 21, 2017 5:25 AM
Joined: 5/21/2016
Posts: 1993


Love to you too Blue Skies. I hope we all can have a good day. Watch out for that eclipse! -- but use your special glasses or pinhole camera!
BlueSkies
Posted: Monday, August 21, 2017 5:32 AM
Joined: 2/24/2016
Posts: 1096


Thank you Nadine.  

Happy eclipse day everyone!  It is exciting, isn't it.


llee08032
Posted: Monday, August 21, 2017 7:11 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4405


Gene,

First you must understand that the language and words being used is not just about being politically correct. This what is known as person first  or people first language. It's roots sprung across the mental health and intellectual disabilities fields first. Person first language is not meant to diminish or disregard the suffering of any person with a disability, illness or dx. The intent of all those who advocate for Person first language is to put the person first before the disability. To connect a human being and a face or faces to the disability or illness. To not label a person or persons as being their disability or illness.

I've devoted my career to working in the non-profit sector of community mental health. I can tell you firsthand that it is not pretty to see a person referred to as a schizophrenic, a manic depressive, demented or retarded. Needless to say is the impact on a persons identity, self worth and self esteem to be referred to by their diagnosis and not viewed as a person or called by their name. It happens all the time and each time I cringe when I hear it. I feel a personal and professional responsibility to a pull person up about it whether it be another professional, colleague or family member. Like me or not I am an advocate of person first language. Like it or not this what persons with disabilities, their loved ones, humanists and grass roots organizations who represent them have tirelessly advocated for. 

Furthermore, as far as politics go it is much more meaningful and personal to connect first a person, a human being and to put a face to any illness, disability or diagnosis. A person will identify first with another person before they will identify with a cluster of symptoms or diagnosis. 




llee08032
Posted: Monday, August 21, 2017 7:24 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4405


Here you go again... bringing up the word victim when the appropriate and respectful term is survivor. I have survived many things in life that for personal reasons I'll omit from this post. But I am no ones victim.
llee08032
Posted: Monday, August 21, 2017 7:54 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4405


More on the politics of dementia: I think John Q public may view dementia as an older persons only disease and perhaps as a natural part of ageing. Ignorance is bliss as they say. Unfortunately, our society doesn't not value it's older Americans or hold them in esteem like other societies around the world. It's a horrid dereliction of duty to those who are the backbone of our lives, world and society! I believe it is part of the reason why dementia takes a backseat to other diseases.
Jim Broede
Posted: Monday, August 21, 2017 10:29 AM
Joined: 12/22/2011
Posts: 5462


Don’t know if I have ever truly suffered. When taken as a whole, my life has been dedicated mostly to the pursuit of happiness. I have chosen not to suffer. Even in the worst of times. Seems to me that suffering is a waste of time. Of course, I see people suffering. Every day. Over small things. Over big things. Depends on what they want to make of their so-called suffering. Sometimes, it’s nice to pretend that I’m suffering. To see what it feels like. But then I get on with life. In my usual  non-suffering manner. I’d rather practice loving. Sure beats suffering. But some lovers seem to suffer all the time. They make love into suffering.  By grieving forever. That’s not me. I have a higher purpose.  To embrace and savor life. To find reasons to not suffer my way through life. Suffer if you must. But I will continue to find ways not to suffer. To the best of my ability. --Jim

 


Jim Broede
Posted: Monday, August 21, 2017 10:34 AM
Joined: 12/22/2011
Posts: 5462


When the Chicago Cubs lose a baseball game, I suffer. Only because I freely choose to suffer. I don't have to. It's an  example. Of suffering for nonsensical reasons. Over relatively small things. That's probably the nature of most suffering. --Jim
Gene9999
Posted: Monday, August 21, 2017 11:33 AM
Joined: 8/18/2017
Posts: 31


MP Sunshine, regarding restoring cuts, lets first look at where the funds are going within NIH.    Anything going towards alternative medicine could and should be reallocated, planned/underway studies need to be reprioritized, etc..  Then we can turn to foreign aid, which largely lines the pockets of corrupt foreign officials, reduce UN funding (no explanation necessary), and reduce/eliminate a host of wasteful programs and Congressional pork.

With regards to the military, they actually need more – after many years of war and Congressional neglect (sequestration being the most recent culprit), the military is stressed out, undertrained, and its equipment is in great need of overhaul.  I agree that some of its priorities may need tweaking, but Congress (Dem and Rep) has a lot to say about priorities because of jobs in their voting districts.

As regards your siblings, I can’t speak for them, except to say that sometimes the military can be very demanding – its not a job but a life, 24/7/365.

 


Gene9999
Posted: Monday, August 21, 2017 11:40 AM
Joined: 8/18/2017
Posts: 31


llee08032, conceptually I’ve no problem with a “person first” approach.  I certainly would never refer to a person as a schizophrenic, a manic depressive, demented or retarded.  What I do have a problem with is what I see as the concept being taken too far.  Referring to a person suffering with dementia, instead, as a person with dementia, belittles the suffering and minimizes the severity of the disease as well.

Regarding the use of victim as opposed to survivor, “survivor” means someone has survived something – it says nothing about the future.  “Victim,” however, is not time delimited.  It also indicates that the person is being afflicted with something bad, whereas “survivor” could just as easily mean they endured a trying experience.  Again, as with avoiding the word “suffering,” it belittles what the Alzheimers victim is going through, as well as minimizing the disease.

Finally, I happen to agree with you as regards what John Q thinks about dementia – I know I seldom thought about it before it hit so close to home.  But that won’t change by dancing around the suffering and horror of the disease.  We need to educate Johnny Q about the reality of this terrible disease – that this is not something natural, but, at least at present, it is something that most of us will be impacted by, either directly or indirectly, and that the impact will be life-changing in a very negative way.  We need to get in their faces – “You see this?  You see what this disease does?  This is going to happen to YOU if we don’t go after this thing NOW!”  Our current approach is far too circumspect, too easy to ignore or dismiss, and that needs to change.  


chrisp1653
Posted: Monday, August 21, 2017 11:50 AM
Joined: 1/23/2017
Posts: 1219


My point, Gene9999, was that she's a victim. You said, " Instead of trying to help victims seem less like victims, we should be working on helping them deal with the fact that they are victims." The fact that all the other things I mentioned are not related to dementia really shouldn't matter, because the important thing is that I remind her that she's a victim, so she can deal with it. And speaking of points, what's really the point of this entire thread ?

 

 Chris


Gene9999
Posted: Monday, August 21, 2017 12:05 PM
Joined: 8/18/2017
Posts: 31


Jim, I couldn't agree more, at least in that people can cope with enormous suffering, mentally put it aside, and continue to enjoy life.  Indeed, I think ten years ago my mother would have agreed with you.  With Alz, the loss of memory and mental capacity is still there, but some people deal with it and move on - as best they can for as long as they can.  The difficulty is that, with Alz, that ability to choose to cope doesn't last.  At some point, that mental capacity departs also.   Its not something to worry about since we can't change it . . . it just is - until we start finding answers!
Gene9999
Posted: Monday, August 21, 2017 2:01 PM
Joined: 8/18/2017
Posts: 31


chrisp1653, the purpose is as I stated in my first post.  I'm trying to understand the purpose behind this language guidance.  While I readily agree that referring to people suffering from dementia as demented is wrong - I never thought otherwise, I still fail to understand what's to be gained from not using words like victim and sufferer.   The replacement words suggested seem to belittle the person suffering, and might even harm our getting more much needed attention in our need for effective treatments or a cure.

If the reasons presented thus far supporting the language guidelines is all there is, then there is,  indeed, no point in continuing the discussion.   


jfkoc
Posted: Monday, August 21, 2017 4:19 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 18984


So musing on the word "suffer", Thesaurus.com lists 30 synonyms for the word suffer and Matthew 19:14  uses the word in a totally different way. So lots of interpretation.

Interpretation of a word has led us near WW lll on these boards more than once.


Angel_Wolf
Posted: Monday, August 21, 2017 11:58 PM
Joined: 7/8/2017
Posts: 143


 

Dear Language Matters Folks!  What a whirlwind of a discussion!  It takes me back many years to my first visit to Southern California -- & me from NYC!  Reportedly they were speaking English and so was I – but we could hardly makes sense to each other.

Recently, after my sister had a catastrophic stroke, I visited her at the rehab in San Fran.  I bought her a sweatshirt (she didn’t have any of her own clothing) and while I was meeting with her social worker I got a marker to write her name across the back.  I wish I had a photo of the look on his face, and then the look on my face as I realized he was appalled.  He stopped me and, to the best of my recollection, indicated (as gently as possible) that I was not conscious of Sis’s “dignity”.   (He did use that word specifically)

People first is a lovely concept and it is part of the culture in many places and many countries.  I just had never been in any of them before! 

Gene9999, I hope you find your way over to fund-raising – I’m pretty sutre they lookin’ for U!

 


Iris L.
Posted: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 12:07 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16616


Welcome, Gene.  

Regarding interpretation:  I read a saying years ago that impressed me greatly.  


"Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional."


To me, this means that people have pain, and we have the option to do something about it.


  That does not mean that the pain will be resolved.  But it means that we are not passively sitting and taking it.  That is my intention.  I don't want to be passive.  When I think, in my own mind, "I'm suffering," then I know it's time for me to do something.  To take a stand.  I refuse to suffer.  I refuse to be passive.  That doesn't mean that I don't have pain, or that I don't believe that PWDs and their families are in pain.  

I don't call myself a victim.  Victim is another passive word.  


This is an open forum where members have all ranges of opinions and expressions.  Some expressions are disheartening to me.  "Take what you like and leave the rest."  This is a favorite saying of mine.  Those who choose to use the terms victim and sufferer, it's up to them.  I won't refer to myself or my fellow patients by those terms.  It's vital to me to maintain a positive mental attitude.  


I would not like to come to these boards and read "You are a dementia victim and sufferer. There's no hope for you.  Give up!"  I would feel demoralized.  Feeling demoralized is not what I want for myself.  I want to feel empowered and independent. 


Iris L.


Jim Broede
Posted: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 5:05 AM
Joined: 12/22/2011
Posts: 5462


I’m assuming. That we all live in our own little worlds. Havens. Cocoons. Safe harbors. Often by choice. Perhaps by uncontrolled circumstances, too. Yes, stuff happens. That push us in one direction or another. Sometimes, we are at a loss for words. In attempts to describe how we feel. We use the same words. But we define them differently. With different nuances. We frequently misconstrue and misunderstand each other. Reason for me to retreat. To my own little world. For a little while. For respite. For relief. For rejuvenation. Makes sense. Because that is where I am most comfortable. I have nothing against other worlds. Imagined. And real. I visit them. From time to time. As an explorer. That’s how I get a feel. For life. That’s what I am doing. Here in this thread. I’m trying to understand. Everyone. And I’m doing it delightfully. I’m having fun. Not taking offense. Over anything. Agreeing. Disagreeing. In the spirit of camaraderie. Ah, the wonderful world of musings. --Jim

 


Jim Broede
Posted: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 11:41 AM
Joined: 12/22/2011
Posts: 5462


It’s easier, it seems to me. Coping with life. When one flits back and forth. Between safe worlds. And unsafe worlds.  I imagine. That those with dementia. Especially in the early stages. Straddle two worlds. At the same time. That must be confusing. Not knowing in which world they reside. At any particular moment. Makes me wonder. If confusion. Triggers anguish, aka mental suffering. --Jim

 


BlueSkies
Posted: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 9:55 PM
Joined: 2/24/2016
Posts: 1096


"Suffer"

It's just a word people.  As far as I know, it's not been banned and is still in the dictionary.

 

Iris, 

you and I have gotten into this before.  Just because someone suffers, doesn't mean they give up, as you put it.  You can be a very positive person who chooses to fight, but still suffer.  I don't know where you get the idea that if one suffers, then they must be depressed and have given up.  Not so.  If you like to use different words to describe your experience that's fine, but it's not fine to judge others for using the word suffer.  I am a fighter.  I try to stay positive and I have not given up, but I still suffer.


chrisp1653
Posted: Wednesday, August 23, 2017 12:54 AM
Joined: 1/23/2017
Posts: 1219


All words are just words. The problem is that we all weigh them differently. For some people, a particular word carries a stronger connotation that it does for others. My friends, my upbringing, my job, ( or lack thereof, ) my economic position - all these, and others, are factors that combine to tell me whether a word has any force in my life, or whether it's only something used to fill space in a conversation.

I've already let myself get sucked into this thread when I ought to have kept my keyboard shut. For me, this will be my final post on this subject. Time for cooling down. Time to find a way to encourage. I've never done all that well in shouting matches, anyway.

In an area where our most vulnerable and our strongest advocates meet, if that meeting is for a war of words, then all suffer.


BlueSkies
Posted: Wednesday, August 23, 2017 5:17 AM
Joined: 2/24/2016
Posts: 1096


Yes, all words are just words.  That's my point.  We can't possibly know everyone's "personal connotation" they attach to a word.  All we have are our words to describe our experiences.  We should all be less judging of the words a person uses when they are trying to describe their experience, especially in a forum like this where support is needed, not judgement.

This judgement of the words I use to describe my experiences is one of the main reasons I quit posting on the EO board, but apparently this judgement seems to have followed me here now.  It's sad that some on here feel so compelled to push their "rules" of language that they end up chasing people like me who came here for support off the boards completely.


MPSunshine
Posted: Wednesday, August 23, 2017 6:42 AM
Joined: 5/21/2016
Posts: 1993


Hi, Blue Skies, I am posting this just for you. (I've gotta run to work but I wanted you to know.) There is always someone who is not judging and who knows you are perfect in every way, what you do and what you say, and I know you know who that is, walking by your side, lending you his strength, giving you his guidance, and lifting you up. Me, I'm here too but I'm only human, with flaws and troubles and getting caught up in the meaning of things and getting caught up sometimes in the distress around me and even words, individual words. Please try to remain calm knowing that there is a purpose larger than any of us individually. Much love, Nadine
llee08032
Posted: Wednesday, August 23, 2017 6:55 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4405


jfkoc wrote:

So musing on the word "suffer", Thesaurus.com lists 30 synonyms for the word suffer and Matthew 19:14  uses the word in a totally different way. So lots of interpretation.

Interpretation of a word has led us near WW lll on these boards more than once.

Ditto jfkoc,

I surrender