I’m fired up today people. Few things really grate at me beyond general annoyance at something, but today I am the passionate kind of infuriated that is making my fingers type faster than I can purposefully articulate a thought. So bear with me….
I’m mad that in a world of such advances in knowledge and practice, we’re sometimes just plain dumb. Note, there is a difference between making a mistake and refusing to even CONSIDER that you have made one. I’m mad for the general public who has mental disorder labels put on them because a book says so, when what they really need is to be heard in a way that doesn’t involve just trying to “fix it” and “move on”. I’m mad that what will truly help them is sometimes thrown off the map entirely because of a classification that they probably don’t actually even meet in any realistic terms. Yes, there is a difference between Depression and Grief. I’m mad at the doctors who refuse to actually “hear” their patients.
I’m enraged for my friends in the baby loss community who are subject to cruel and harmful words/actions (intentionally or not) every day, especially when it is by those who are supposed to love them. I hate that some of these words/actions do irrevocable damage to our hearts and minds because we struggle internally with wanting to believe someone we trust or love has an answer to help heal us, but then realizing they don’t understand us, they’re not even listening, and they don’t care to. I’m mad for those of us who feel forgotten because those who we open up to downplays our experience or flat out ignores our loss. I’m sorrowful that as a collective group of people suffering a very real traumatic loss we can still feel so alone with our grief. I’m astounded that others try to put timetables for grief and healing on any part of the process. I’m angry that we try to project our own beliefs and experiences onto others, and even moreso when it’s someone in that community who should know better. Sharing what you’ve experienced and what helped you is one thing, that may or may not be helpful, but it’s not the answer for everyone. I am me, and you are you.
I find it absurd that the following sayings even exist:
—“Time heals all wounds” – No it doesn’t. Not when you’re a parent. You’re not healed, even when you’re functioning a piece of you will always be a little bit broken. Forever. You may be managing, but you’re not ever whole again.
—“It was God’s plan” – Really? I’m not even going to get into religion here…. That is their belief and it is wonderful to have (for THEM), but not everyone shares it.
—“We all have baggage” -again, really? No *&^! I have baggage. I need my own airport for all my baggage from one single occurrence in my life of 34 years, and you’re going to try to sum it up like a relationship that didn’t work out? This wasn’t one of us losing interest or giving up.
—“At least you…… [enter any seemingly positive thing here]” – No, there is no bright side to losing a child. Ever. Ever the optimist I tried to tell myself this during the first months…. “At least I got to spend some time with her”, but that didn’t make me feel better, it made me miss those moments more.
So I’m mad at all these things…..What am I doing to do about it (besides vent it out in writing form for your enjoyment)? I know I can’t single-handedly change the mental health diagnoses and criteria, and I cannot change some people’s attitudes, beliefs of actions, and I can’t always make people understand, but I will try.
What I will do is continue to do outreach and show compassion towards others who aren’t getting enough (or any at all). I’ll find those who simply need someone to relate, on any level. I won’t try to fix them (though fighting that urge is hard, because I really do want to make things better for others, but some things you just can’t make better). I won’t tell them what to do next. I won’t tell them it will be OK or expect them to go back to being the person they were before. I’ll let them feel how they feel and share what they want to share, without judgement or expectation. I will understand that just like my thoughts here are my pictures of things I’m unhappy about, they have their picture of the world that they are trying desperately to adjust to. I will help them find others who share the same sentiment in getting them the support they need. I will not only listen to them, I will HEAR them for who they are, not who someone else says or thinks they should be.
Think of what our culture could become, what good we could do, if one by one we just made the extra reach towards showing compassion.