Apparently I’m an ignorant, hopeless, victim . . .

None of these things are really true and I have had so much encouragement and support from all of you who leave me comments, as well as the friends I have in my real life and the professional service providers I am engaged with. There are plenty of people who have actually met me, as an adult for more than a few minutes at a reunion party, who have offered encouragement, support, and understanding as I have struggled through the Eyoreness of being me.

Yet, one comment, and my defensiveness kicks in, and despite my best effort to maintain equilibrium, I found myself in conflict with someone WHO DOESN’T EVEN MATTER IN MY LIFE and I couldn’t let go of the icky feelings of woundedness, and the reversion to my desperate need for the acceptance and approval of another, “Why can’t I make them like me?”

There are a number of truly wonderful, caring, open-minded, big-hearted people who, despite their own mental and physical health issues make a daily choice to reach out, encourage, inspire, and offer beauty to others who are suffering. So many of these people are experiencing the slow deterioration of health for themselves or loved ones, have experienced recent death of or separation from friends or family members, are facing seeming insurmountable financial and material challenges, and/or are coping with the needs and demands of family members whose needs and damage are worse than their own. These are people of faith, strength, courage, perseverance, and fortitude. If I’m being honest and accepting my own truth, I am these things too, despite how I feel about me most of the time.

We are in a period of our lives and what feels like a moment in time in the world around us that, despite the beauty, truth, honor, love, grace, mercy, love and forgiveness that we KNOW exist, has us exhausted and weighed down because the hits just keep on coming without a break.

The murder of innocent schoolchildren in the US and the knife attacks on other children in China. The wars, the genocides, the systematic and persistent rape culture, and other heinous social injustices around the globe can sometimes feel like they outweigh the positive of Good Samaritan holiday efforts, men and women working in their own communities a world away from our insular lives, and a female president in South Korea who may be a peace bringer.
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Then I hear the news that a dear friend who has struggled and won the battle of cancer, suddenly lost a dear friend to cancer, and all she can ask is, “Why?” Another dear friend who shares in some of the physical and psychological challenges I do, but has so much more direct responsibility on her plate, finds out that her potential respite person is in an accident where her pregnant daughter was seriously injured as well. Everyone is alive and going to be okay, but this dear friend of mine is not only not getting the respite she needs, is feeling helpless to be available to her friend in this time of need. Closer to home, Jerry’s mom was informed at the beginning of this month that she was to vacate her home due to foreclosure, after months of trying to do everything to keep the home and then look for another place to live to have no one rent to her because of the foreclosure that happened as a result of her husband’s death. Other family members are experiencing separation from loved ones, broken relationships and and more financial devastation. The list goes on, and I’m not the only one with these kinds of stories or who has people with these kinds of stories in their lives.

Dark humor abounds and there’s so much to cope with, sometimes you want the world to stop, so you can have a rest. I decided to put it out there, mostly because I knew I wasn’t alone and wanted others to know they weren’t alone either. Perhaps I should have put it on a photo of a grumpy cat, or re-captioned a cartoon. Instead, I just used my own words without embellishment:

Not to be a Debbie downer or anything, but let’s be real. How many of us really, kinda, sorta, hoped we were wrong and today was the end and we would finally get a chance to rest? Show of hands by clicking “Like”

Six friends like this

Dissenter: Sick

I almost left it alone. I should have left it alone. Why in all that’s good and gracious, did I not leave it alone?

Me: There are a lot of really good people who have been going through a tremendous period of trauma on top of trauma, who recognize and understand there is still good in the world but can’t see an end in sight for the things they are experiencing. Tired, not sick.

Dissenter: Well u have given up hope.. So.. Without hope you might as well….

Me: No, acknowledging how tired I am isn’t giving up hope. I’m still here, still reaching out still doing what needs to be done.

Dissenter: But to think of it.. Head is shaking

Me: I’m happy for you that you haven’t experienced the illness of the brain and body in conjunction with the kinds of things that can cause some of us to be sick enough to have these thoughts and feelings. I know how hard I’ve fought and how long I’ve battled against things inside of me and outside of me which regardless of my thoughts and efforts and all the feel good, positive mantras that exist. To experience these thoughts is not a crime, to acknowledge and be honest is not a sign of weakness. So, please, do not measure or diagnose my wellness or capacity for hope on the basis of one status.

Let it end there please, Just. Let. It. Go. ~ speaking both to myself and to Dissenter. But no. Now I get a private message:

no assume anything about me.. you do not know me at all… and alsow my comment was towards the whole you were disappointed in todays outcome.. you know what… Im tired of poeple whining wimpering and playing the victim. you are a victim if you choose to be a victime…

Have a happy holiday and hopefully you wont be too tired in 2013. I have deleted you as a fb friend.. and other recently for ignorant comments..

Compulsively feeling the need to continue defending myself and . . . whatever . . . I respond, even though I know it will probably never be read:

I wasn’t intending to assume anything. Merely stating that whatever it is you have gone through and the way your brain and life elements have functioned together have enabled you to be the happy, motivated, engaging and inspirational person you seem to be. You’re absolutely correct in that I know nothing about you and the things you have moved through and overcome.

The reverse is also true, yet it was somehow okay for you to call me sick and tell me that I’ve given up hope.

I’m sincerely sorry if I have offended, that was not my intent. I was trying to point out that you can’t ever judge or measure another without truly knowing their story.

Then the knowledge that he’s friends with another dissenter who recently summarily unfriended me because she didn’t like how I advocated for mental illness supports as part of the response to a local shooting and another conversation where I came to the defense of those with a manic depressive diagnosis, started circling and cycling through my thoughts. I couldn’t shut them off. My heart rate felt like it increased, I got tunnel vision, my stomach felt nauseated and the tension in my body started increasing and tightening up.

ONE dissenter v.s. SIX supporters. Why is it the only one whose voice I could hear was the one?

I know what kind of person I am. I know my heart. I know my values. I know that I am progressing and moving forward in my journey. I know what I have come through and how I have changed and what I have committed to in order to sustain that change and build on it. Why is it that that self-knowledge was not stronger than the hurt and self-doubt of feeling judged and rejected by this one person?

FYI – expressing a dark humor thought and admitting that the end of the world might not necessarily have been a bad thing in light of all the overwhelming, pain, sorrow, struggles, and destructive relationships and attitudes that exist and that having this all end would mean an opportunity for rest and something different and new, is NOT acting like a victim or giving up hope. Thankyouverymuchbye.

Did I get it out of my system yet? Am I done? Can I move on and get through this? Not quite:

Oh, and if I make a statement on my status update that you find offensive, ignorant, sick, or wrong, and you feel the need to leave a judgmental comment about it, expect that I will push back and call you on it. There is NOTHING wrong with being truthful and honest about where you are inside of your own life and reaching out to let others who may be experiencing similar things know they are not alone. Admitting “sickness” or “weakness” associated with depression or going through difficult experiences is not playing the victim or being hopeless. We get tired. We admit it. We reach out to others. We set ourselves down and catch our breath then get up and keep moving forward.

For people who have gone through tragedies, injuries, and life circumstances, but not have dealt with mental illness like chronic depression, bi-polar, personality disorders or other such things, to tell us that we are sick and have given up hope, because they managed to make it through their challenges and come out happy, well-adjusted people doesn’t make them better, it just means they had a different experience.

I find it offensive that people can post all kinds of hateful and derogatory memes, cartoons, quotes, and pictures targeting groups of people based on their politics, their religion, or even their preference for a teen singer or sparkly vampire, but I get called an ignorant, hopeless, victim for stating a semi-humorous dark thought about the end of the world that had nothing to do with anyone or anything other than myself.

I guess I’m done now, except to say, I know I still have some co-dependency work to do. Oh, and nine people liked the last one. πŸ˜‰

Thanks for sticking with me through this.

Photo Credit: Bridge City Community Church, Youth-led sympathy project in response to Sandy Hook Elementary deaths.

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21 comments

  1. Nothing wrong with standing up for yourself. And from all the pressure it sounds like you’ve been under, it seems like dissenter was just that one nudge too many.
    And at the same time, you didn’t say anything heinous or personally attacking him, so go you for the restraint!
    And if you can’t blow off steam on a FB page with dark humor…

    Like

  2. If there is one thing that social media has taught me is that what other people think doesn’t have to matter. It’s taken 47 years to get to the point where I can say “they can have their opinon and it’s not going to destroy me”. I know that it’s a really hard place to get to and I admit there are times (like one interraction with an FB friend this week) where I am shaky on my soap box, but you know it feels so much better to know that if I let a comment go without challenging it, my life won’t be wrecked. It sounds like you are heading that way too. Well done. PS. I love that song. πŸ™‚

    Like

    1. Cate,
      Most of the time I am able to filter out the numerous quotes, memes, and updates that my sensibilities are twinged by. They are the flotsam and jetsam of the News Stream and most of the time not worth my time or energy. I have enough drama in my day-to-day life without actively courting it online. I have learned, for the most part, to not engage in serious debate or dialogue on Facebook since the majority of users are only interested in promoting their own version of GroupThink. I have tried to stop tilting at windmills or trying to stay the wave that’s crashing around me. However, there are moments, more and more of them lately, when the nerve of being discounted, dismissed, and disempowered because of the unconscious and prevalent stigma and prejudice against those of us dealing with mental illnesses, mood and personality disorders, and psycho-social development impairments gets triggered and I can’t stop myself. This was one of those moments.

      The really positive thing that came out of this is that I was able to make a deeper connection with an acquaintance whom I have known and admired peripherally. We were able to exchange some private messages and talk honestly about inner thoughts that we tend to keep hidden. So, even though it was an upsetting circumstance and I got overly wound up, good did come of it and I have to focus on that and just remember this lesson for the future.

      Blessings,
      Kina

      Like

  3. AAARRRRRRGGGHHHHHH! I feel the rise of indignation I would have had in your shoes. It is frustrating at best to be confronted with cavalier, uninformed, judgmental opinions that perpetuate shame and isolation! It is beyond frustrating when it is something you and those you love have had to trip over in real life ad nauseum.

    I had a similar reaction recently and popped off to another blog commenter in my target weak spot, who rather popped back (I almost typo’d pooped back – that would have fit!). It ended up being a very opening and heart-warming dialogue, and earned both of us a new on-line friend. I’m learning a lot about communication that is healthy for me through seeing others’ responses – hot or mild, educated or ignorant. On the other hand, I also recently ended a long-term friendship because she was too willing to slam through the healthy boundaries I am attempting to set for my own emotional health – with no regrets.

    The truth and integrity you show through your words day after day speaks to so many, myself included (to the point that I’ve considered just reblogging you and skipping the trouble of writing myself – kidding!). The word gets out, and attitudes are changed at the most basic level one on one. Your transparency is making a difference. It is steadying me, and I hope to pay it forward, so the insights are being spread. No, not to those who want to “hit and run, ” or slam and scram (that is the one that trips me up the worst!). So what! From what I see on your blog, you have an increasing circle of influence (which isn’t your main concern probably, but it has to be good to know). The slammers aren’t in it, because it is too much of a challenge to identify. They will “friend” those who think like they do. It may be that they will sometime experience mental illness for themselves. Or someone might find the right words, time and place to explain it. Then they might get it. Or not.

    There is not a time ever when I would not hit your “like” button for the suggestion posed. When I hurt most, I identify with all the pain in the world (at my own experience level), it’s overwhelming, and I feel hopeless for myself and everyone else. When I am calmer and more centered, I can realize that I have my little circle of influence inside which I can choose to simply add to the net good in whatever way comes up. At those times that is enough. The truth is, it is enough all the time. I can’t fix it. I can only do what I do. Big deep breath.

    Truth told, you are an inspiration. I love your fire and your gift with word and clear ideas. I understand (as best I can from my experience) your reaction. You and your reaction are cool with me!

    Diane

    Like

    1. Diane,
      Thank you so much for your support and encouragement. I like knowing that what I’m writing about and that sharing my journey is relevant and resonates with others.

      I don’t even mind engaging in dialogue with those who disagree or have a different understanding or perspective, as long as they are actually open to two-way conversation. I have enough conflict and disagreement in my existing life, I don’t need to add more.

      Boundaries are new for me and I’m still working through the who, what, when, where, and how’s of it all.

      Have a Merry Christmas,
      Kina

      Like

  4. Hi Kina, I’m sure you already have a huge library of resources, literature, etc. assembled from your path in recovery. Just in case, is send this link to another healer out there that has put together a pertinent list of some of his work. https://col002.mail.live.com/default.aspx#n=1978287509&fid=1&mid=45a2dde9-4bcc-11e2-82ea-00215ad85708&fv=1

    God bless you, and don’t let anyone or anything deprive you of what your heart desires for this holiday, remember, we are celebrating!

    with love,
    Gregg

    Like

  5. I have the same need to make everyone like me. I’ve done stuff like this soooo many times, when I know it would’ve been better to let well enough alone.

    I don’t understand why the dissenter was so butthurt about that status. Everyone (and I mean everyone) has negative thoughts like that now and then. Talk to parents of young children! Most parents have negative thoughts about their children once in a while out of frustration. Does this mean we’ll act on them? No.

    Ugh. Sorry you had to go through all that. People suck sometimes.

    Like

    1. Pam,
      Thank you for sharing that. I think it is an easy trap for all of us to fall into at one point or another whether it’s online or in casual conversation, there are always opportunities for emotional landmines to go off because none of us is truly aware of what another person’s trigger point is. We just have to learn to be self-aware of our own triggers and find ways to disarm them so we don’t blast off on an unsuspecting person who doesn’t intend harm or ill.

      I don’t know much about Dissenter. I know he has overcome some kind of physical disability related to hearing and is a very active, outgoing, and outwardly happy and upbeat person based on our reacquaintance at our 25 year high school reunion this past summer and what I’ve seen him post. Based purely on his reactions and words, I suspect that he has had trouble with one or more individuals in his life who was a fount of negativity, possibly even someone with a personality disorder or depression whom he has unresolved issues with. Just like I reacted to his statement as though I were reacting to the disapproval and judgment of a couple of loved ones and others who have washed their hands of me over the years. Honestly, I don’t remember interactions with him from when we went to school together. Otherwise, the overwhelming desire to have him change his opinion and express approval or acceptance might have made a little more sense. Oh well, he self-deleted, which means he wasn’t interested in trolling and carrying on a negative feedback cycle with me, which was the healthiest choice either one of us could have made, I think, so I appreciate him for that.

      I just have to keep remembering what they say in recovery and what I first heard from Roseanne, “Hurt people, hurt people.” However personal his attack felt to me, it could not have been personally related to me because he does not know me, nor do I know him.

      Merry Christmas,
      Kina

      Like

  6. We are humans we all hurt, we just handle our situations differently. Mental health is a serious health condition which affects a vast amount of the population. Take it one day at at a time, hug yourself, indulge in the positive things about yourself. Blogging has helped me a whole lot to avoid the feelings of failure.

    Like

    1. Jyune,
      Yes it is a serious issue. I am working on being kinder and more accepting of myself and others, because you never know. Blogging has been critical in my journey toward healing and recovery. It has been my lifeline.

      Thank you for reading and commenting. I appreciate the connection.

      Blessings,
      Kina

      Like

  7. I know it’s hard but try not to dwell on the negative for too long. Having a reaction is normal — not saying you can’t feel hurt or want to defend yourself. Ultimately at the end of the day, if you can look at your actions and know you tried your hardest to keep on progressing, then just ignore those who are so sure they know what they’re talking about. You’re doing the best you can, end of story. πŸ™‚

    Like

  8. I am so sorry that some people have such self righteousness to act like this, quite simply if I don’t agree I choose not to post, I have my opinions and so does everyone else, they are entitled to them, as I am mine, creating petty arguments and acts of childish temperament, just affirms my reasoning if they’re happy with that so be it, I don’t need to argue as argument breeds resentment and I have enough of that in my life through my own actions, I don’t need to resent the actions of others.
    I am always inspired by your courage, you know that, I will always be here to support you. Yes, a piece of me wanted the world to end, I have like many suffered enough, but I keep going, trust in God and try to live life as best I can, just the same as you do.
    Don’t let these self centred people, who aren’t willing to allow others an opinion different to theirs, grind you down, rise above them. You keep doing what you’re doing, keep posting what you are post, I for one will keep reading and keep encouraging.
    I have chosen a song for you that I hope will cheer you up, please take a listen.

    God bless you my wonderful friend.
    Wayne

    Like

    1. Wayne,
      Thank you for your kindness, compassion and understanding. Beautiful song, thank you.

      Normally, I would have let that one, single word comment just float on by, knowing the futility of responding to it. Upon further reflection, I think I picked that particular battle for a combination of three reasons:
      1) It was like someone eavesdropping on a conversation, they were invited into, and choosing to attack instead of engage constructively. Not acceptable behavior in person, why is it acceptable online?
      2) He was not only passing judgement on me, but also insulting and passing judgement on the friends who had identified with my statement and risked exposure by publicly “liking” my statement. I know some of what each of those people were going through and had been going through in their lives. I knew the strength, courage, fortitude, love, and determination that exists in each one. He did not. I felt compelled, not only to defend myself, but to defend my friends who had made themselves vulnerable when they decided to stand with me by liking the status.
      3) There is too much prejudice and stigma against those with mental illness and mood disorders and many of my friends have these issues in their lives, as do I. If I am unwilling to speak up, speak out, and make a stand against it, how can I expect others to do so?

      Retrospectively, while I wish the encounter hadn’t occurred, I stand by my words and actions. I maintained civility and respect. I drew a line and established a boundary and held onto it. Regardless of my bio-physical responses and emotional agitation from the encounter, I was able to process through it and am not stuck in the loop. All is well.

      Blessings,
      Kina

      Like

      1. Kina,
        I fully understand why you responded and I agree that your voice should be heard and quite rightly someone should stand for those who suffer from mental illness and other issues.
        I just hate those people who think only their opinions matter, I haven’t got the time for them, but you reacted with great dignity, which I believe is a credit to you and your courage to stand.
        I am glad you enjoyed the song, I hope it helped to cheer you up a little and I am so glad all is well.
        Forever you friend,
        Wayne

        Like

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