Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Talking about Pain...

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    A Nestle Free Zone... What about YOU?
    Posts
    5,374

    Default Talking about Pain...

    I was reading this quote last evening & it "spoke" to me about how important it can be to share our feelings. Not just our happy "lollypop" moments but our pains. Our struggles. Our heartfelt challenges & even our travels to the edge of the precipice.

    I've always been a Woman who connects with other women & builds Community. I also have not had too much trouble sharing my inner troubles and conflicts. I've been raped, abused physically, emotionally & spiritually, I've suffered tragic loss, life threatening illness, the near loss of my child more than once, the loss of my birth family, the break down of my marriage. I sure aint proud of these things but I personally am not afraid to share them. If I've learned nothing I've learned that when you can hear anothers' story it helps sometimes to "make sense" of your own. Or sometimes, just the heart swell you feel heals in another way...

    I find the loss of that sharing by so many in our Society now incredibly sad - for the Wise Women of our Communities clam up as a "stiff upper lip" is needed... Or we only speak of the" nice" stuff... Sometimes I think we are afraid to speak about our pain or our difficulty for fear of being "different" to our peers, or odd. I think this stems from our lack of a Village...

    Anyway I could (& DO!) go on and on... This is the quote - it's from a book I have read called "The Gift of Betrayl"...



    "Women buy tons of self-help books, seek counselling & guidance 80 times more often than men, & welcome one another in loving acceptance Yet we martyr ourselves too much; keep our hurts, pains, & challenges a secret: & try too hard to make the unworkable work. We need to change! One of the most important lessons I've learned from immersing myself in theliteratueofaddiction recovery is: we are only as sick as our secrets. My personal life & clinical work have shown me how relevant those words are to relationship challenges. Don't keep your doubts, hurts, & pains a secret. Let other women help you. Pick safe friends as confidates - & talk to them. Ask them to help you, & let them in." (Eve Wood MD)
    Last edited by Inanna; July 14th, 2010 at 10:10 PM.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Glenroy
    Posts
    1,458

    Default

    Ah, but the key is in finding safe friends as confidantes. For me, anyway.
    I think part of the shame of losing the village is that we lose the ability to form these bonds in the first place; there just isn't the time, or the space, to really sit and get to know people, to actually create the safe space to have those conversations.
    I've never had anything to hide, but it's not often that I find myself in the position or with someone where the dialogue is that open or where those things can come up organically.
    I no longer have ties to the people who by virtue of knowing me for so long were witness to a lot of my 'stuff', or who I felt free to call with the next installment when things came up, and it's really hard to create those kinds of friendships as you get older.
    BB is different, but it's not real life and I'm sure people disclose a lot here that might not come up in real life conversations.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Recently treechanged to Woodend, VIC
    Posts
    3,473

    Default

    I have a group of friends that I've known for 15 years. They regularly describe the group as a "see each other through thick and thin" group. Over the last three years, I have tried to discuss the difficulties I have been facing. I've basically been treated like a whinger and this has been INCREDIBLY painful for me and made it less likely that I will open up to others. Though looking at the bright side, that's probably why I've spent so much time on BB in the first place - because I wasn't getting IRL support.

    On the other hand, people who I've known for a very short period of time have been much more welcoming and better listeners.

    So I guess from my perspective, it's risky to open up. You could get bitten on the bum as I have, if you choose to open up to the wrong people. And old friends doesn't necessarily mean "good" friends or "close" friends.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Murray Bridge, SA
    Posts
    1,600

    Default

    Now that's one wise woman So true

    Thank you for sharing Inanna... I'm sure my mind will be churning this one over for days...

  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    3,617

    Default

    I find it incredibly hard to open up about significant issues in my life. Even when I do try, it is like there is not real interest, so I give up. It is hard to open up about how I am feeling IRL in particular. On BB I am abit more open, but only to an extent. I have posted anon about some issues, because I have needed to get it out, but didn't want anyone to know it was me. And even then I have found it hard to be completely open and honest and I have ended up deleting alot of what I have actually wanted to say.

    It sounds easy to say "tell people your problems". I find it really hard. When faced with disinterest or one-up-manship again and again, it makes you ask 'why bother'. So I guess I am probably a little (or alot) scared of rejection, or something. Also I feel don't deal well with pity - I don't want it, I don't like it; and I don't want my problems to colour the way people see me. I have very little patience with people who use their problems as an excuse to behave badly or treat others poorly, and I guess I am afraid that others may judge me the same or start excusing me for my bad bahaviour / treatment of others because of my 'issues'. I am most open with my DH. There is not much I cann't tell him, so he is my saving grace. However, even then I can really struggle to tell him some things and if he misunderstands I might allow myself to give up. I guess there is probably an element of embarrassment in it too.

    Maybe that is silly. I don't know.

    I think I lost my trust in others with my problems and secrets when I was a child (actually I can pretty much pinpoint when). The question then arises 'how do you get that ability to open up back?'

    It's funny how much easier it is to be more open with total strangers, then with people I know. I guess there is a safety in anonimity.

    The stupid thing is that if anyone else had the same problems I do / did, I would be the first there to offer support and advice and comfort and to tell them that no-one would be judging them, and that their issues where worth listening to.

    Hhhnmmm... this thread is a bit of an eyeopener, having a few realisations here. Not sure what to do with those realisations, but gotta start somewhere I guess.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    A Nestle Free Zone... What about YOU?
    Posts
    5,374

    Default

    I'm sorry I posted this and left it... I've been incredibly unwell this past 10 days & literally haven't had it in me to be on my puter!

    Thankyou for those that replied.

    Fionas I found your comment really struck me
    it's risky to open up. You could get bitten on the bum as I have, if you choose to open up to the wrong people. And old friends doesn't necessarily mean "good" friends or "close" friends.
    What is the risk of opening up? What is it that we risk?

    I am not "picking on you" I just sincerely want to understand what it is that is so deeply feared by so many?

    I am a very open person who really most people know as outspoken and it's very obvious what Ifeel and think on different matters. I hope & I aim to communicate that with kindness and tact but nevertheless I am very succinct and direct in my opinions (or lack of one!). i don't find it difficult to share my feelings. I hear people say it's risky but what are we really risking?

    To me the only risk in not opening up is that the other will not know us in our entirety (whatever that may be in that moment!).

    I find I have more time now as a 40 something with 5 kids than I did single and working. Mostly because now I actually do know who I am, who I aspire to be, my beliefs, or where I am undecided etc etc. I have and do think more deeply and widely than I did at 23 than I do at 43.

    Perhaps because I do share and open up I have found it less difficult to build a village. There are few secrets & I have no fear in saying: "I don't know about that" or "that's different to how I feel but I hear you"... When as a younger woman I felt more pressured (but less than some!) to conform somewhat.

    I hope it's okay to ask that question of you Fiomas

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Recently treechanged to Woodend, VIC
    Posts
    3,473

    Default

    It's totally fine to ask that question Inanna - I count myself as a very open person too. I actually wrote that post when I felt that I had opened up to my oldest friends about how difficult I think my life has been in the last few years and particularly in the last few months with a very difficult pregnancy. Their responses, or lack thereof, made me feel like a whinging loser so I guess the risk from my perspective was feeling worse. Not only was I dealing with a rough trot anyway but also their reactions which I found quite hurtful.

    However, I actually opened up to them again last week and told them exactly that and we are now back on track. But it took a lot of courage to do that because I was afraid of making the situation worse and feeling a bigger fool, I suppose. The risk was "they already think I'm a whinger, now I'm going to whinge that they THINK I'm a whinger which kind of proves their point." Of course, they didn't react that way. I guess it's just a lesson that whatever you're feeling is never foolish but I still think there's a risk involved in opening up. That's OK, every decision in life has some kind of risk so I'm not saying that's a bad thing, just a fact.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Glenroy
    Posts
    1,458

    Default

    I think it depends on why you are self disclosing.
    If it's to let another person know where you've been and who you are, you really aren't risking as much. if you're making yourself vulnerable and asking for acceptance, you are risking rejection.
    I had quite bad depression (set off by pnd) when I first gave birth to Beth. I wasn't myself, had lost the ability to edit, was really all over the place and damaged in ways I couldn't even articulate or understand myself.
    I had two best girlfriends at the time who, if you'd asked me prior, I would have said would stick by me and get me through anything.
    As it happens I was wrong, and they not only walked away, but openly and brutally rejected me first when all I really needed was them to keep faith in me and wait it out. It broke my heart and sent me spiralling.
    I can reveal this here because I have nothing invested and there really is no one to reject me. Revealing my blackest side to the people I thought loved me best at the time left me crushed.
    Now that I've come through what I have (as much as anyone, anyway) I have no qualms imparting my knowledge or perspective, but only if it's in context or if I think I can be of use to someone else. But again, those situations don't come up organically very often in my day to day life.
    Does that make sense?

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    A Nestle Free Zone... What about YOU?
    Posts
    5,374

    Default

    It does make sense Lara

  10. #10

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    3,617

    Default

    Exactly what Lara said.

    You risk:
    being dismissed
    being rejected
    having others judge you - think you are a sook, think you are pathetic, think you are hopeless.
    people seeing you as a victim
    being made to feel silly, worthless, boring.

    For me (and this is going to sound really pathetic) I fear that people will see my vulnerabilities and then turn them against me.
    This has been a learned experience, where I have opened up and trusted with my innermost secrets to people only to have them turn around and use them against me, or spread these things to other people and betray that trust. When that happens enough, you learn that it is much safer to simply not let anyone into that inner circle. A case of once bitten twice shy.

    You really need to be secured in a relationship to feel you can open up properly without risk, but it is a bit of a catch 22 - because how can you feel secure without being able to open up.

    I get along with people easily. I can talk to anyone and I do. I only have less then a handful of people I would consider friends, no topic is off limits - but with all of these friends, I would still struggle to put myself out there too much.

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Murray Bridge, SA
    Posts
    1,600

    Default

    The known is 'safe' and we know where we stand - even if that means constant pain and suffering... the unknown *could* be worse!

    Someone has a saying on their tagline or signature that says something like 'people can only hurt you if you give permission' - it's so true. If you have confidence in yourself and have your own self to 'fall back on' - you won't be hurt by the other person's possible rejection because you weren't seeking their approval - iykwim. It's the need to fill up our own selves with other's support that lends us to hurt.

    So I think what I'm saying is that you need to grow yourself first before you can have the strength to 'put yourself out there'. But by the time you've grown - you won't need to put yourself out there as you'll have all you need from yourself.

    The next question is - how do you grow yourself?

    *hugs* to all those who have suffered hurt... I hope this thread helps you get a little trust back in yourself to help you take a further step.

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    A Nestle Free Zone... What about YOU?
    Posts
    5,374

    Default

    Great post Nettie

    Misty I understand your feelings - what is the worst thing that can come of it though? Does it really matter what others think of you? Yes of course we all like to be liked - that's part of us that is very challenging to let go - we are raised to care about what others think. Letting go of it takes a LOT of work.

    I try very hard with my kids to teach them to measure against their hearts, against the Wisdom of people that they respect, words they respect not the greater masses. The greater masses think that Paris Hilton is cool & we should spend more money on war than on our health system - don't measure against that. YOU are worthy & wonderful & special as are we all.

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Recently treechanged to Woodend, VIC
    Posts
    3,473

    Default

    I think you hit the nail on the head Inanna when you said that letting go of that need to be liked takes a lot of hard work - time and energy that many of us simply find too difficult to find in our everyday lives.

    Ooops, gotta go but will come back later.

  14. #14

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    3,617

    Default

    It isn't just a need to be liked though.

    Honestly, I consider myself a pretty confident person. It doesn't usually bother me too much if someone doesn't like me, I don't expect everyone too - particularly given how outspoken I am.

    I guess it is more of a concern that people will treat me differently once they know certain things about me. I like the way I am treated by people most of the time. People see me as confident, outgoing, strong, all together. If I share certain things, then maybe they will change this opinion? Maybe they will treat me differently? Maybe they will censor themselves in certain ways?

    I have learnt over time to deal with my own issues, by myself. So maybe by opening up too much, I would risk loosing some of that control that I feel I have. I am not sure I would even know what to do if someone did offer me unconditional support, because I don't know how to lean on anyone else (besides my DH), I never have. I really do find myself at a loss as to how to react if anyone does show me sympathy or concern - it makes me uncomfortable, and I don't know what I am supposed to do with it.

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Glenroy
    Posts
    1,458

    Default

    You don't have to do anything with it, Misty. If it's unconditional it comes with no expectation, you just say "Thank you" and if you feel like letting that person see the less revealed side of yourself you do it, maybe with baby steps.
    Sometimes knowing that you could ask for help and be heard is enough.

  16. #16

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    summer street
    Posts
    2,708

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by misty View Post
    I guess it is more of a concern that people will treat me differently once they know certain things about me. I like the way I am treated by people most of the time. People see me as confident, outgoing, strong, all together. If I share certain things, then maybe they will change this opinion? Maybe they will treat me differently? Maybe they will censor themselves in certain ways?
    I wish I'd seen this thread sooner.

    Misty, your words really resonate with me. I am a very open person, but I have learnt to pick and choose who I open up to about certain things, because I am scared of loosing the image some people may have of me. I think its a control thing for me...I like to have some control over the narrative of myself itms?

    This sort of censoring has only come about though because of negative reactions I have received from people over certain disclosures. Situations that make me cringe even now when I remember their reactions, and the realisation that I cannot take those words back...they are out there now, in someone elses conciousness as knowledge to use in their own way.

    I think it is so important to teach our children empathy to minimise the risk of alienating those who are actually opening up their hearts and looking for help. So many people jump inside their own heads and judge or, feel confronted or whatever, before they think how that reaction could hurt the other person.

    After I had DD I actually went to see a counsellor for a while just to vent about life as a mum, because NO ONE wanted to hear it. She was SO reassuring and said. NORMAL! normal, normal normal and sent me on my way.

    BB was my other life line...

    The saddest thing is, I am secretly so thankful I DIDN'T open up to some people about my early thoughts on mothering, because the facade remains intact. *Sigh* and so I too perpetuate the mask of motherhood.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •