Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Say Anything

     You know how when a friend steps out of the house in a less-than-cute ensemble, you're really hesitant to say anything, because that's just not nice? At the same time, if that same friend instead steps out wearing something super-cute, it doesn't take two seconds for the praises to start flowing from your mouth. I found myself feeling like that theoretical friend the other day when I realized that while I usually get one or two comments whenever I post something happy or encouraging that's happened, I never hear anything from anyone when I post something that's not so great. Actually, that's not entirely true - I don't hear anything back when I post something that contains ugly thoughts. I have my theories as to why that is.

     Everyone wants to share in joys, and most people want to be there for you when bad things happen. My husband takes a trip to the hospital? That usually warrants a comment or two from supportive friends letting me know that they're there for me, whatever is needed. That's an amazing feeling when that happens, because it's something like tangible love. (God, how rom-com was that phrasing?) Nevertheless, it's true. It never fails to move something in my stodgy little soul when I see those words of encouragement. The sharing of the joys is a no-brainer because who doesn't love a parade? People are always ready to share the happy and that's wonderful as well, since it always seems like happiness gets even brighter when there are more people to take part in it.

     What I'm curious about (and please know that it's just curiosity - there are no accusations here) is why no one ever comments/offers advice when I post something like A Further Rumination on a Man's Ruination. I don't believe it's because there's a lack of interest or that the subject matter is unrelatable. On the contrary, I'm beginning to think that the silence is because maybe people see too clearly how and why I have those ugly thoughts from time to time. Maybe they recognize something in a phrase or a sentence that they themselves have thought with regards to my husband's disorder. Maybe it hits a little too close to home once in awhile and they just don't want to deal with whatever's been stirred up.

     I think that's possible and I also think it's very understandable. Hell, I'm the one who has the thoughts and most times, I wish I didn't have to deal with them either. I see it almost every time I have to talk to someone new about my husband's Marfan's Syndrome - they just kind of stand there for a bit, not quite sure what to say. Most of that is due to simple ignorance, meaning that they just don't know what it is or what to say about it. That's also totally understandable. I can't help but wish, though, that every so often someone would read something I write and maybe throw their two cents in. I don't even care if it comes anonymously, as I'm sure it's much easier that way. I actually still use anonymity to some degree on this blog (notice how I've never mentioned my husband's name?), because it allows me some measure of disconnect to what I'm writing about.

     I suppose that what I'm hoping will eventually happen is that an open dialogue will be sparked by something I've written, so that maybe someone else can benefit from my observations. That's the ultimate goal here. There's another part of me (and I really, really hate to admit this, because I HATE asking for help in any shape, way, or form) that's hoping that someone somewhere will read an entry about whatever issue I and/or my husband is wrestling with and see some piece of it that I don't. Maybe they'll offer some insight and that will be the missing link that makes everything fall into place. Maybe what I'm trying to say is that I just realized that one of the reasons I went public with this is because I'm having a difficult time doing this on my own. I need to be able to view things through others' eyes, hear things my stubbornness often blocks out. The thing is, though, I can't do it alone.


Anonymous said...

Hi! Long time reader first time commenter. Throwing my 2 cents in. When I read the "ugly thoughts" I think in my instance my reason for not commenting is because I'm facing a long term illness myself and while I've had similar feelings when there's setbacks and I have to think about my future, or lack of one that may be, it's hard. I also know when I get in that mode I tend to lash out and because "no one possibly knows what I'm thinking." Well, this blog helps me see things otherwise. What I'm trying to say is, don't think the message isn't getting out there because it is, whether that's obvious or not.

Amy McWeasel said...

I can only speak for myself for why I don't comment: anything I might have to say would likely be trite & ripe with platitudes. My husband also has a degenerative disease that's slowly robbing him of himself; he fights it tooth & nail, but it will win in the end. There's nothing anyone can say to make it better. In turn, I can't think of anything insightful or helpful, so it seems best to stay quiet. But! For what it's worth, your words are moving, and you're not alone.

Kristin Lee said...

@Anonymous - Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I hope that you can read my entries and know that while I can't know exactly what you're thinking or feeling, because you and I are on different sides of the issue, there's at least someone out there that can understand your frustrations. If ever you need to get some of it out of your head, I hope you'll visit and find a safe place to do so. @Amy - Don't assume that your words would come off as trite, I like to believe that I speak McClenahan well enough to be able to interpret your true meaning! It's nice to know with certainty that I'm not alone and I hope I can provide the same for you. You're absolutely right that nothing anyone says will make it better, but sometimes things can be said that make it more bearable. That's what I'm hoping for here and maybe you'll be able to find a little of the same, if you need it.