One of our acquaintances just lost her Father to a long illness. Prior to his death she had become quite emotional: taking a leave of absence from her job, spending time away from her husband and kids to help out her parents, and when she was was with them, increasingly treating her husband and children poorly. She took out all of her frustration on them- unleashing a wrath of terror no matter what they did. She routinely berated them.
When I saw her Husband, he was surprised to learn that my Father was quite ill. Why was he surprised? Because I was still acting as a mainly rational person.
Because I wasn’t ranting or complaining or screaming, he assumed I lack empathy and I was not upset about how ill my Father is. He actually said:
“So I guess you’re not upset.”
For the record, just because someone is not an emotional wreck does not mean they are not upset. It does not mean they are not sad. It just means that they remain pragmatic through the course of events because being so emotionally invested where you can’t move one foot in front of the other really doesn’t do one any good.
My Father is ill. I do what I can to help out my Mother and Father. I do not berate my sister because she lives across the country. I don’t yell at my Husband that we don’t live closer. I don’t yell at my daughter for very tiny infractions. I don’t sit and cry every day and be nasty to people. I just ask my Mother how I can help and I help.
I like a good cry. I also love a good rant where I can yell at people and call them incompetent. However, when dealing with this illness, that is not the best play in the playbook unless I am dealing with the long term care insurance company. Sometimes you just have to get through the day to day. Pets have to be fed, bills need to be paid, regular life has to go on.
Just because someone is not constantly wringing their hands, wearing a hair shirt and moaning woe is me all the time doesn’t mean that they don’t feel…they just choose not to enunciate their feelings.
Like now. Someone asked me how I can continue to blog while the situation in the Ukraine is going on. They thought I didn’t care, that I lacked empathy… In truth I care very much. I feel very badly for people who are forced to leave their homeland, forced to engage in a war they didn’t want. Just because I am not writing about it or sitting and talking about it doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter to me. Just like COVID when people didn’t understand how I could just go on with my day and not give a body count tally…how COVID wasn’t the only thing on my mind.
People said I was cold and didn’t care about the human condition…
News flash: Just because you talk about something more doesn’t mean you feel more…It just means you talk about it more.
There is no prize for talking, thinking and obsessing about COVID and Ukraine and every other problem with the world every day, but I guess everyone has their hill. We all know what mine are but I will try to spread out my No Censorship, No Book Banning, No Addictive substances to solve problems spiels to every other week…
And if people want to think I’m cold, or emotionless, or lack empathy…so be it. I can’t tell others what to do or how to feel. But I can control what I do, which is to continue to be pragmatic about the situations in front of me, and treat everyone with as much respect as they deserve.
And just get out of bed each morning, put one foot in front of the other and just keep going.