Normally, I am very compassionate and empathetic. Part of the reason I didn't like OB/GYN, for example, is because my patient's suffering touched me so deeply. I brought that sadness home with me whenever something went wrong.
But lately, instead of feeling sympathetic when I hear of other people's loss/struggles, I feel bitter, because I compare it to my own and find their's lacking/easier. I know this sounds ridiculous and not very nice, and really it is not even an appropriate/possible thing to do. When I take a step back, I know I can't compare my own pain to someone else's pain, but in the moment I can't help but feel that I have been wronged, that I have had it worse. I don't feel bad for the person who is suffering, I feel bad for myself.
For example, I had a classmate who was upset that his great-grandpa is sick and might die. I should sympathize with him, I know how much it hurts to lose someone. But instead I am pissed off that he still has his parents, and grandparents, and a great-grandparent(!) gosh darn it. Or similarly, I have a sick pregnant patient, but instead of being sorry she is sick, I think "well at least she has a baby."
And when I think like this I know that if the majority of people around the world looked at my situation they would say how can she be so pissed/complain so much/feel so wronged when she has such a great husband, a good education, a stable career, a roof over her head, her health, etc. So many people in world have had horrible, terrible, gut wrenching tragedy and injustices afflict them. When I truly think about it, I know that the majority of the people in the world have it worse off than me... Why am I so caught up in my own grief? Why do I feel like I have had it worse? I know I have so many great things in my life, but I can't see past the things that are bad.
When I think of my mom, I think of her suffering. I relive all of the bad things that happened in her last few months. I see her sick in bed. But she was only sick for 1 year of the 23 that I had with her. And her last few months had many happy moments. I don't know why the horrible memories are the ones that come to my mind, often unsolicited. I wish I knew how to move past those memories so I could remember the good times.