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Thursday, December 31, 2015

On "Being Spoiled" (And Lupus)

I thought now, in the lull between Christmas and the New Year, might be a good time to reflect on this issue that occasionally pops up in my life. This post is a bit personal, but why not?

To give this a frame, things in our house have been pretty dramatic as of late. All of us in the house have had a pretty big issue with one of our fellow housemates, which makes a pretty unpleasant situation. I hate that at my age, I'm still living with others, but because I've chosen to be a student for so long, that's something I've had to accept. All of this craziness has motivated Luke and myself to begin looking for a new home for myself, Luke and Eugene (the dog) in the New Year. Even if it is a financial stretch, at least all of the craziness from the last month will be behind us.

The issue with our housemate is one for the books and one I'd love to make one of those "My Crazy Housemate" videos about, but I do question the ethics of those videos. Regardless, this situation might actually hilarious if you weren't living it because it is so petty...however it has, in my opinion, contributed pretty greatly to the stress that has made it more difficult to heal from my surgery this time around.

But one thing that keeps coming up from this particular person is the accusation that everyone else but this individual is spoiled. I know living with other people, especially as an adult, is difficult in general...but this is one accusation that people tend to throw around a lot. People say with pride, "I work for everything I have so I deserve xyz."

Here's the thing. I did grow up spoiled. I 100% admit it. I grew up in a bubble of wealth and privilege and at the time, saw myself as lower middle class because I didn't have a private jet to take me to Vegas on a whim the way some of our family friends did.

But when I got out of that bubble, I really started to understand and appreciate the things my parents have been able to do for me that not everyone's parents have. I recognize the leg up they've been able to give me that's allowed me to pursue my dreams despite having lupus. In all honesty, if I hadn't had them, I think times in my life would have been a lot rougher financially than they were.

I'm totally aware of the fact that my parents were overprotective and did a lot for me. But I'm also conversely grateful and have worked hard to be independent, despite having a disability that can really knock you on your ass at times. I've lived abroad for over four years, finding ways to pay for it all myself that may not have been traditional 9-5 jobs or working 40 hour work weeks in an office.

Yes, some days I do sleep in or sleep most of the day sometimes because I have to. But I have learned to pour myself into my work in a way that suits my needs, works for me and those I work for and also allows me to earn a living wage. If that makes me spoiled, then so be it.

However, I don't understand why this is often thrown around as an insult to people. People's circumstances are all different and people can't help their upbringing. And in some ways, growing up spoiled can actually be a handicap in the workplace, living with others, in relationships, etc. I remember my grandmother telling me growing up she always had someone clean up after her. When she got married in the 1930s and was required to keep house (although this is a bit of an antiquated example), she was horrible at it and had a pretty steep learning curve.

Granted, at times, you should take people's opinions with a grain of salt. But for me it hits home hard, especially because people with lupus are often branded "lazy" or "spoiled" for not being able to do everything their healthier counterparts can. And I guess it touches a big nerve for me because I have worked very hard in many, many ways to be as independent from others as possible. Yet sometimes, it just feels like whatever I do, because I have lupus, it's not enough for everyone.

Yet, in some ways I feel like shaming people for having grown up privileged is almost the same as shaming someone for anything else they can't help. As long as you realize how lucky you are and have been, why must people brag/complain/humblebrag about how hard they work or elevate themselves because they didn't grow up privileged? It always leaves me feeling horrible and guilty about something I can't even control...especially because I'd love to be able to, without question.

What do you guys think?

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  1. I couldn't imagine living with others especially when you're dealing with an illness. I hope you're able to find a new place soon. And, if someone takes the time to tell you you're spoiled, it:s often more about them than it is about you. They obviously have a need to make you feel less than you are. (Even of I thought it about someone, I'd be hard-pressed to say it, as an adult). As for guilt, that's on you, no one can make you feel guilty, you aren't responsible for things out of your control or other's expectations. I'm not saying you're doing anything wrong, we all fall in to that trap, so the more that we notice it, the more that we can stop it!

    1. Yeah definitely. I just feel badly, like I'm doing something wrong all of the time. :(

  • I personally think that it doesn't matter how rich/poor you are, but as long as you appreciate working hard, in whatever way that may be? Then it shouldn't matter what walk of life you come from.

    And I'm so with you on the health front. I have Fibromyalgia, got diagnosed a couple of years back and it's hard to work as hard as I want to, when my body physically won't let me, yet I feel useless when I can't do more!

    Meg | A Little Twist Of…

    1. Definitely agree Meg. It is so annoying and disheartening. :(

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