meme13

Anger toward smokers

14 posts in this topic

Does anyone else out there ever feel really upset or angry when you see someone smoking? Many of my coworkers go outside for smoke breaks. Some know all about my mother's cancer, others do not. I cannot help feeling so frustrated, sad, and angry towards them.

 

My thinking is that yes, they realize they may someday develop cancer, but what I am guessing they don't realize is how difficult it is for the survivors to deal with their grief when they are also very angry at their lost loved one.

 

Am I the only one who feels this way? This is the part of my grief that seems most difficult at times. I know that the anger is a negative emotion, and on some levels I feel I have forgiven my mom. I realize that she didn't know the dangers back in the 50's when she started. And is it right to be angry with somone for living their life their way? No. So logically I get it, but emotionally, not so much.

beverleyqu18 likes this

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Please, someone, if you are reading this and you share these feelings, leave a reply. I am here hoping to hear from someone in the same situation. Coming here makes me feel even more alone in my grief because nobody replies.

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Anger can be one way of dealing with grief.  Some people are angry with God because

he let this happen.  Like you say back in the 50's and even later, smoking was sold as

a way to relax, socialize , take a break.  The cigarette companies I believe knew that there

were many consequences of smoking but they wanted to make a fortune selling them.

 

Today I believe there are many things people don't realize can cause cancer and illness but

again people are not going to tell you if they can make a lot of money.

 

Be patient the grief may not go away completely but it does change . 

Perhaps later you can use your journey to love and educate these addicted people to truth

 

Donna G

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Hi Donna, thank you for responding.

The last several days have been far worse than the ones I was most dreading (like Christmas day, or family gatherings for Christmas with my mother's family and such).

My brother is creating a lot of family strife with my Dad and my siblings, I think that the current situation as it relates to the loss of my mother has been so much in the front of mind, that my still fresh grief, which I thought I was managing alright, has been given new life by my brother's behavior.

 

I guess what I don't understand is that how trough my internet searches for others like myself, who have lost someone to lung cancer, and for whom the anger sometimes overshadows the grief I have found nobody. Someone else here suggested I seek counsel with a clergy member. That doesn't work for me for many reasons. I hoped that I could find someone online who was maybe like me, and found some awesome ways to channel the negative emotions.

 

I know that anger is a part of grieving, but I'm not sure if mine is the same, or different. I am not mad at God. I am mad a Mom which sucks because she is gone. She repeatedly told me she was sorry during her final weeks (although I never told her or displayed anger). I told her she had nothing to be sorry about. Of course I told her that I love her. Soon after her diagnosis, we talked about the 'lung cancer stigma' (I was already doing web searches then for people who are angry with a loved one who has lung cancer (maybe this was anticipatory grief?)). I didn't want my mom to feel ashamed or guilty, and I told her that back then. Yet while wanting to spare her those negative feelings, I"M PISSED.

 

I see above in your small bio that you are a LC survivor and that you lost your husband 2+ years ago. I'm very sorry that you have gone through so much. I hope you don't think I'm awful for the things I said. I know that for many it is every bit as addictive as heroin, and when you started (as you said) you just didn't know. My mom was 74 this year. So she was in the same boat. And she was one of the unlucky ones too who was not able to quit once she did know the dangers.

 

Some of my anger is justly directed towards the tobacco companies (and let's not forget the lobbyists!!). And that anger is easy for me to understand and deal with.

But being angry with your deceased loved one, that just really stinks.

Again thank you, and if you know of a more lively grief forum, please let me know, this one is a very lonely place and I think when you are reaching out and nobody responds, it just makes you feel more isolated in your emotions (you know?)

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I'm so sorry about the loss of your Mother and the pain you are dealing with.  Anger is a natural feeling following the death of a loved one.  We all understand your feelings as we too have "been there".  Your Mom was addicted to smoking it seems.  Many people start in their teens because they think it looks "cool".  Then, before you know it you're hooked on the habit.  It's very difficult to quit and many don't succeed.  Not all lung cancers are caused from smoking either.  Anyone who has lungs can get lung cancer.  

 

Please let us know how you're doing and I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive your Mom.  ((hugs))

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dealing with negative energy can be done like this.. I had LOTS of anger when my wife passed away.. did a lot of talking under the stars with her and god... also threw lots of eggs into the trees... release negative energy not good for you... you have to get it out of your life.. Yeah I have Friends who smoke and work for tobacco industry as well... they know when they wanna know some cold hard facts who to turn to. til then I just try toi educate them on the signs.... I jsut tell em when your ready come talk to me over a beer and some supper and will tell ya the facts...

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I have trouble seeing smokers and not having a reaction. I wouldn't say I get angry...maybe more so a bit jealous. What I do get angry about is people still asking if Jason smoked after they find out he had lung cancer. For the record, NO he did not and I hate that it's then perceived like those who do smoke and get lung cancer some how deserve it....which is totally not true. I have been told I'm sometimes too passionate about my response when people ask if Jason smoked.

bjacksontex likes this

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Nothing wrong being passionate about these things. Perhaps those folks need to see your passion and your feelings. Hold up a mirror to their faces. Too many folks can get behind pink ribbons, but not behind "this" kind of cancer. Wrong attitude if anyone asks me. A lung cancer survivor of 4 whole months and counting.

Barb

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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I get the anger.  My mother died from non-small cell lung cancer.  I get especially angry with people smoking, but also when I see the smoke stacks from a local factory.  When my cousin's little boy was diagnosed with lung cancer, her husband and sister never stopped smoking.  At best they took it outside - with the smoke blowing back inside the door or with the little guy sitting with them.  That made it okay in their minds.  Their son got pneumonia before he died, so they like to tell people it had nothing to do with lung cancer - it was pneumonia.  

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I'm sorry that I did not see your post earlier...  My mother died of small cell lung cancer last March after 65 years of smoking.  I was SO ANGRY with my mother when she was diagnosedbecause 6 years earlier she also had a small tumor in her lung, which was operated on and removed.  She had a big scare, she had her WARNING and we, as her daughters went through a lot with driving to/from the hospital, seeing her through her surgery (at 80) and watching her difficult recovery.  We were afraid of losing her, but she pulled through.  She stopped smoking.....Then 9 months later she started smoking again.  I was PISSED.  But more than that all my life I begged my mother to stop smoking because I was so afraid for her, I was afraid that something terrible would happen to her.  I was my mother's first born of 4 girls and I loved my mother and I cared about her but my greatest fear  was that something terrible could happen to her because of her smoking.  I didn't want to see her get sick, I didn't want to lose her! But she would not listen to me. Fast forward 6 years later, routine CT scan revealed a large tumor in the same lung.  I lost it.  My sister who is one year younger than me who is a very compassionate caring health care practitioner took it in stride.  I said, NOW WHAT?????  The surgery 6 years ago almost killed her!  My sister said, well....surgery isn't the only option, we can look at chemotherapy, radiation, etc. etc. etc.  I was SO ANGRY.  And I said you know what?  I am NOT on board with this.  I refuse to turn my life upside down this time, driving to and from chemotherapy treatments, and on and on and during the next year and half of her treatments, she lived with my sister and I stopped by occasionally, but it upset me too much to see my mother dragging around an oxygen tank, wearing turbans because she lost her hair.  Her greatest fear was dying from not being able to breathe.  so after a year and half of chemo, during which the tumor shrank 85% followed by chemo, she reacted well, but the cancer had its own ideas.  Eventually they found a tumor in her brain, it interfered with her ability to speak, more radiation to her brain, then she got her speech back, then the doctor finally told us that while she had reacted well to the chemo and had good results, that he would not recommend more treatments.  Exactly one year ago, the resulting metasteses to her liver, bones, etc. etc. took her to a very slow and painful death.  And we had to watch it.  Which almost killed ME.  The suffering I endured watching my mother die was on a scale of horror that I really wondered if I could ever mentally recover from.   I was so traumatized by watching my mother die I thought I was going to have to go into a psychiatric hospital because I was consumed with grief, complicated by ANGER.  ANGER that she did this to herself, anger that she did this to us, and anger that we had to watch her die like she did.  So, when you ask in your post "Is there anyone else out there who feels like I do?" I have to say YES.  My grief has been crippling and my mother-in-law has said that my grief is worse because I held so much anger towards my mother.  So, guess what?  I get to suffer AGAIN and more than a usual grieving person would.  So this is my story and my response to your posting.  Yes, I get the ANGER. 

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Hi, I am a lung cancer patient but from the age of 16 to age 30 I got to watch my father die from heart disease from smoking. His first heart attack was at age 39 ( yes genetics plays a part) he had open heart surgery and went from 2 ppd to quitting. Quitting lasted 3 years then he was up to 3ppd. Another open heart surgery and he was able to cut back to 1ppd but gradually went back to the 3 ppd.

before 7 years passed again it was time for his 3rd open heart surgery. He was so embarrassed about his smoking he would hide and smoke, least that way it adveraged about 1.5ppd. By the age of 53 ( 13 years later) he was dead.

his quality of life decreased with every year and every surgery and in the end he suffered. His only option was a transplant and he couldn't give up the cigarettes to get the transplant.

so I can understand your anger.

I was lucky, my anger passed because all I can remember is how hard he tried to quit but was never able to. And believe me , he tried.

all I can feel now is a deep deep sadness for all the wonderful things in life he missed, grandkids he never knew, great grands he never met, and all that life holds , I just hope he gets to watch from heaven.

so what I wanted to say is I think your anger is normal and I hope in time it leave so that you can enjoy your earlier memories of your mom and get some mental peace regarding how things occurred.

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Pamela,

I understand, completely and agree absolutely.  I am a nicotine addict, a long term smoker who quit cold turkey just one month before my diagnosis with late stage NSLC. My four years of near continuous treatment put my family through a meat grinder emotionally.  The treatment almost killed me.  After 13-years of non smoking, when I smell cigarette smoke I feel the tug of my addiction.  I've not given in and hopefully never will.  

Fortunately, families tend to forgive and I've been forgiven for the mayhem I caused.  I'll never forget.  I wish you peace but I completely understand.

Stay the course.

Tom

LaurenH likes this

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My husband has continued to smoke on and off. He has quit before so I know he cans but he goes back to it and "punishes me" with it when he is mad at me cuZ he knows how much it upsets me. He has already had 2 cousins and one brother all smokers die eithER of heart attack or lung cancer before the age of 50. He now has anothER smoking brother dieing of small cell carcinoma cancer as well. He probably has a few months at best. We have watched him go through chemo 2 times, brain radiation because it metastisized, immunotherapy. He is constantly weak and nauseated.  And I am VERY angry now that my husband chooses (yes choice because he has proven he can quit for a lengthy period when it was important enough for something to him) to continue to smoke. I can relate because if he ever does get lung cancer I will definitely have grief complicated by much anger. Already having difficulty with the anger now.

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Enachrei,

Your anger is understandable. Your husband is fortunate enough to have a wife that cares. 

I wrote a book about my lunc cancer experience - "Scanziety". (Amazon ebook) Many readers have told me they've shared the book with family members who smoke and in several cases it worked as a tool to help them stop. If he reads it, he'll at least be prepared for the mayhem that awaits. 

Stay the course. 

Tom

LaurenH likes this

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