Sunday, November 8, 2009

Tellin' It Like It Is: A Disclaimer

TMI would be a way of life around my family's house, but it just isn't. I realize that's about the most contradictory I could ever be in a statement, but it's the best way to describe the situation. We have discussed everything from sex to diarrhea at the dinner table and red faces only mean that the next object of torment has been identified.

That openness is not really crude; it's honest. And that honesty can be purposeful on some occasions and meant for laughter on others. It's always created an interesting dynamic, and one that I've loved. There is a sense of home-y with a family that allows open exchanges.

But not all things are for the public. It's a difficult pill to swallow when the "always open" becomes the "don't wanna talk about it." Yet in the last few years there are issues that I just don't want to talk about. I don't want people to pretend they understand or pretend they know what's going on. You know why? Because there is a select list of people I've shared my feelings with on a few subjects: 1. My husband, 2. My mother. That's it.

Frankly, it pisses me off when I get these lectures about how I need to let people help me deal with difficult issues or share whatever situation I'm going through so people can be there for me. Some situations aren't meant to be shared.

Let's be honest, being there for someone has a whole lot more to do with what you do when you don't know every single detail. It doesn't require that you make assumptions about the situation. It doesn't require you to stand around and nod your head in sympathy. It's just possible that the person who is actually in A situation (and I say "a situation" because it may not even be the situation you think it is) doesn't want your sympathy. Any time I've known someone who dealt with a bad situation, his or her general feeling was the same: They didn't want sympathy. They wanted normal. They didn't want people to try to understand, because they usually couldn't. And, in the beginning, they learned that some feelings need to be kept close. It's far more devastating to share a heartrending situation and watch someone blow it off as unimportant than it is to deal with the situation alone.

Some things aren't about friendship or a lack of understanding regarding the perameters in which friendship is meant to function. Some things are what they are.

And that should be respected.

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