Thursday, 19 June 2008
Comfort and comforting
In my head I rant continually about the fact that nobody in the real world cares less about what has happened to me. They ignore me, they shut me out, they change the subject, they look embarrassed, they just don't understand. But is it as simple as that? I'm not sure. Maybe I'm not very good at asking for help, maybe I'm unable to receive the help that is offered. Perhaps I'm not open enough. It's certainly true that, when people ask how I am, I usually say that I'm fine. Despite the fact that I want to say that I'm desperate, devastated, struggling to get through the day. So recently I decided to adopt a new strategy. No more saying - I'm fine. Instead I'm going to try and tell people the truth about what has happened and how I feel. But so far I have to say that the new strategy has not been a rip roaring success. I've tried it twice and both times the people I've talked to have finished up in tears. Not tears for me, you understand. Tears about their own situation. And yes, both of them are people who are in quite difficult situations. But situations which are, actually, largely of their own making. And nothing like as bad as my situation ..... (Sorry I hate competitions in pain but what I'm saying is true). And yet I'm the one mopping up the tears and offering the comfort. Why does this happen? Is it something to do with me? Am I someone who is incapable of ever making myself centre stage? Or do I just happen to know a lot of people who don't really recognise that the business of comfort is a two way street? I really don't understand and I find all this very upsetting. Any advice appreciated!