WARNING! This is a rant blog. I am having a moment. I am filled with this particular complaint and I need to release it into the universe or I am going to explode. I know it is stupid and I know that I am about to sound ungrateful. I recognize that and yet it is going to come out anyway. Don't continue reading if you don't want to potentially be annoyed by the craziness that is me. You have been warned...
Why do people ask questions that they don't really want to hear the answer too? I admit that I do it as well. Some are standard...for example when you ask someone "How are you today?" You don't really want to know, exactly, how someone is doing. You don't want to hear that there dog threw up on their shoes, they had stomach issues all night and that a car almost hit them on the way to work. The expected answer is "fine" or "OK" or even "hanging in there." This isn't to say that you don't care about someone or that you think there lives are not worth listening about...it is just that you don't have the time or energy at that moment to talk about the intimate details. If I want to REALLY know I would say, "hey, how are things? I want to catch up!"
So my big whiny problem?
Everyday I am asked about how Truman is doing. People I know well, people I have met for 5 minutes, people who I don't really like, etc., etc. all of them ask in the "how are you today" way about Truman's health. I realize that I have put myself out there with this blog. I also know that, like my very first blog explained, that I am "out there" in my community. My dad and mom are talkers and end up sharing more info than I typically would.
I don't really know what people actually know about Truman's health. Do they know everything we have been through and are asking about the current situation? Do they not know anything at all and just remember that I recently had a child? Is it a random question to ask to keep conversation going? What do they really want to get from that question?
So, I tend to treat it as I would a "how are you." I respond with a "doing OK," "hanging in there," "growing big!", etc. etc. To be honest, most of the time it is really, really hard for me to actually talk about it all anyway. I'm sure it doesn't seem that way by reading my blog...but face to face, dealing with the actual words, sympathetic looks, and actually SAYING it out loud, makes me a little sick to my stomach.
Sometimes people push. They keep asking more questions. They keep trying to get more information. I try to remain positive and up beat. I try to put on my best Becca smile and just pretend like talking about it isn't literally tearing me apart. They want details. What a could happen if a certain diagnosis is made. I don't deal with these thoughts on my own...let alone with random people. There are times that I walk away from someone and have to literally get control of myself so I don't break down.
So if I am honest about what is going on with Tru...it either tears me apart or I can tell that the person is hitting that "TMI" point and I don't know how to stop talking. OR if I say that he is OK...the person's face brightens up and with a big grin they say something like, "Oh thank goodness that is over." or "So happy to hear everything is better."
Yup. Over. Better. Exactly what is going on...
And my biggest pet peeve? The one that makes me want to poke someone's eyes out?
"Well he looks like everything is normal"
"He looks healthy enough to me!"
"I don't know why you are so concerned or doing all the testing...he looks just fine to me."
I appreciate your medical opinion. Now shut up and get away from me.
Or the "I know someone's child" stories...you know the ones...
"I have a friend who's daughter didn't walk until she was almost 2."
"I know this guy who had a bunch of medical problems when he was little and now he is 6 feet tall and plays football."
"You never know what can happen, a friend just told me a story about a little boy who was supposed to die from this horrible disease and now he is about to graduate from college."
Thanks. It is great to hear that good things have happened to other people. Now shut up and get away from me.
I know it sounds horrible. I know I sound like a total bitch who can't even appreciate that people care (or at least want to look like they do) and that no one has a set of rules for how to deal with this type of thing. I get it. I do. And most days I handle it. Most days I can swallow it down and hold my tongue and only cry when I am by myself...
Today not so much. Today I want to tell the world to just THINK before you speak. Imagine if every time you spoke to someone that they brought up the most emotional, difficult, frustrating, scary thing that has ever happened to you and want you to update them on how things are going...
"How are you doing today? And how are you dealing with your Mother's death?"
"Whats up lady? Anything new on the miscarriage front?"
"So good to see you! How is bankruptcy going for you?"
I'm done. This is way too long of a blog about my own stupid hang ups. It is now out of my body and I can work on moving past it. I appreciate you sticking with me this long if you actually made it this far. And please, don't over think it. Don't start worrying about what YOU might have said to me, or if you did any of these things...I really don't have a list of names of people that have done it running in my mind. In fact if pushed I don't think I could give a direct example.
But I do encourage you to think about the people in your life that are going through something difficult. I'm not suggesting that you ignore the elephant in the room--just be thoughtful of how you approach him.