Day 18 Health Activist Writers Challenge – Write about a time that you lashed out at someone close to you because of frustration/fear/anger resulting from your health condition and wish you could take it back. Forgive yourself and let it go. On the flip side, write about a time that someone said something to you that they wished they could take back. Did you forgive them? Why or Why not?
I can’t recall a time I lashed out at someone because of diabetes. However, I have at times complained about my life to someone who has a whole lot of problems themselves – medical, financial, spousal.
This person is very dear to me. I hate seeing her in pain and I can’t really do anything to help her. I listen when she cries, I try to validate her concerns and offer hugs (although only via phone calls since we live so far away). I do my best not to complain about my own issues when I talk to her. In the past when I have complained about lack of sleep, discussions with my own spouse, issues with my kids, problems with schools and diabetes, she rarely empathises. Instead she always plays the devils advocate – sides with everyone but me. She has at times called me spoiled. Sometimes that is helpful but sometimes I just want validation. I’m sure its hard for her to hear me whine. In her eyes I have all I need. In her eyes my life could be so much worse. In her eyes I have all that she would love (minus kids with diabetes). She has said as much to me – many times.
I know what she says is out of love for me in hopes of helping me recognize what I have and out of the desperation she feels in her situation. I don’t hold grudges for the times I’ve talked to her and our conversation didn’t go as I hoped. I am sad for her often. I wish I could help her in some way. I know I can’t. So I listen when she is upset. I empathize, I validate. I am not suggesting in any way that I am a bigger or better person. In fact I frequently feel guilty for having more than she does and for occasionally feeling sorry for myself. She is often the better person.
Everyone has something – everyone fights a battle of some kind. I have learned something from my years of conversations with this very dear person – it’s never a good idea to complain about a life that is perceived by others as a blessed one – even if I sometimes feel less than blessed. That may seem unfair – you may think that if someone loves you they should not judge you for occasionally whining. The thing is – when that person believes you to be truly lucky and is happy for you for all you have – complaining about it is like a kick in the face.
I can’t take back all the times I complained about things that seem like child’s play (not diabetes stuff – cus that she totally gets – although she accuses me of being too involved – almost obsessed – that’s a post for another day). I can’t take back all the times I whined about being exhausted while being able to stay home and likely take a nap while she is equally exhausted but must go to work. I can’t take back all the times I whined about how my kids are spoiled when she struggles to provide for her own. All I can do is recognize my mistakes and recognize that she has her own struggles and mine, while difficult for me, are something she would welcome (again not diabetes).
I have nothing to forgive but I hope she forgives me for all the times I was insensitive.
One thought on “No Take Backs”
Christina, this was a very nice post. You are a great friend and it’s awesome that you care so much about other people’s feelings. But please hear me out. Your feelings are always valid. Just because someone may have problems that seem worse than yours, doesn’t mean that your issues are any less serious. What may be a huge deal to you isn’t necessarily a huge deal to someone else but you still matter. It’s okay for you to whine and complain sometimes. You’re human! You have that right. Nobody is perfect but everybody is worth it. 🙂