Thursday, June 1, 2017

Public pain

In general, I think it is a good idea when people are honest and open about their experiences.

I talk about my GAD and OCD because they are part of who I am, and I have found that I have been able to offer comfort and support to others who also struggle with them. I talk about G's issues because of the support offered to others but also the support others have offered me. It helps to feel not-so-alone.

I did not talk about my GAD and OCD when I was in the thick of dealing with them, however.  For one, I was too emotionally effed up to discuss them publicly.  It was also the time before Facebook and my blog.  Maybe I would have blasted the social world with my struggle at the time, but I really hope I would not have. There was a small window of people who knew what I was experiencing.

It makes me feel hugely uncomfortable when I see people publicly going through whatever turmoil is hitting their lives in the very public arena of social media.  I feel like I have made that mistake at times, and it is not pretty.

Emotions are just too raw.  You cannot be rational while experiencing intense emotion.

I certainly understand the desire and need for support, for others to know that you are hurting. When D told me in the wee hours of the morning that his father had died in 2004, it was hard not to call my parents at that second and tell them the news. I'm not sure I understand why we often have this need for others to know our pain, but I understand that need.

But the throes of rage or grief are not our best moments.  We have to blend them with consideration and time to come to our better selves.

We can come across as jaded or thoughtless or flip in our times of intense pain when we go public.  Those are all real; we really do feel that way at the time, but they make everyone else uncomfortable.

I have inadvertently responded to posts on social media which I thought were jokes on the part of the poster, only to find out that they were not jokes. The sky really was falling in their world.

Sometimes I wish us regular folks would follow the lead of our celebrity neighbors and make blanket, non-emotional statements of fact to let everyone know what is going on regarding miscarriages or divorces or home sales falling through.

Because there is some need on the part of the social public to know what is going on.  I know people who did not ever publicly acknowledge something and then at a later time I ask about it, drudging up their pain because I didn't get the memo.

It is a weird balancing act between knowing what to share and knowing what is over-sharing on public media.

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