Thursday, June 10, 2010

Resiliency

I wonder if that's a teachable thing. Because I am clearly resilient. I would love for my kids to be too. I know people who have become completely unhinged at the loss of a pet. I acknowledge it's sad, but also a part of life, and move on. Life throws curve balls, but you move on. (Note to my life - enough curve balls here, thanks!)

But lately, I feel like that resiliency has come at a price. I've always been the kind of person to call a spade a shovel - Aaron calls it a complete lack of tact (I don't think it's THAT bad). I do call it like a see it. But I usually have some some of feelings when bad things happen. I've noticed that lately, I've kind of become an unfeeling asshole. For little things - like when watching my beloved show So You Think You Can Dance, when people were getting cut in my mind I was thinking - Jesus. Why do they care SO much? And then of course I thought that for most of them it's a dream job and a once in a lifetime opportunity... but my first thought was 'Seriously? Crying over a dance show?!' That isn't it, though. My mom called all sad about her college friend who was diagnosed with cancer. And my first thought was - 'Well, you are 70. People start dying around then' - thankfully my filter kicked in and I didn't say it out loud... but I'm really nervous I'm turning into an asshole.

I know to some degree it's a good thing, not sweating the small stuff. I guess. But I certainly need to turn up my internal filter a bit! I know for a fact that everyone has different levels of dealing. And we now know that I can deal with a lot and survive - but I hope that I regain a bit of my sensitivity. Right now I feel like I'm a bit of a hard ass. I guess realizing it is a good first step, right?

9 comments:

Michele said...

OH honey, you soooo arent alone. I often think, when people are complaining about little things, "did your babies die? no? then it's not so bad..." Thankfully I dont say those things and, now that I realize it, I'm really trying to not even think the thoughts, but it's hard!

HereWeGoAJen said...

I agree, too many people throw tantrums over things that are NOTHING.

But I also agree, internal filters are good. Even if someone is being stupid, sometimes it is important to them.

mamahearsawho said...

i don't know you at all, but i'm gonna guess (especially because my filter is all but nonexistent) that your self-described insensitivity is kind of a defense. it's how you keep yourself going in the face of extreme adversity. i mean, if you acknowledge that losing a pet is really tragic, how do you justify carrying on every day after losing your child, y'know?

Just me said...

When I feel that way about something someone says, I try to remember "This is her reality". It's been hard lately because we've had a shitty run of it, but at the same time I wouldn't wish what we've been dealing with on others.

Let me preface my next comments with this: I haven't had a child die. And my heart goes out to those who have- no one should have to go through that. Children should NOT die.

But I feel like I need to share that I am one of those "people who have become completely unhinged at the loss of a pet"... I've been through almost two years of infertility and had two miscarriages (one a drawn out experience with a twin pregnancy where we lost one fetus one week, and then lost the other ten days later)... but losing my dog in September was more heartwrenching. Don't get me wrong, I was devastated about the miscarriages. And it kills me that we may never be parents. But losing my dog broke my heart.

With no babies yet, and none in the forseeable future, she WAS my baby. I got her before I met my husband, and she was with me through a lot of shit. It's been ten months, and I still miss her EVERY DAY. And one of the hardest parts is that I know there are people who look down on my heartbreak and say "It was just a dog."

But she was my best friend. And that's my reality.

Kimberly said...

I don't think you're being awful - I think that that's first of all a pretty sensible and sane way to be, but I also think that maybe it's a little bit what you need right now, to not get carried away by emotions over little things.

Also, I thought the same thing watching the same show, so maybe I am not the best person to say anything...

Heather said...

It's been about 2.5 years and I still get a bit judgemental over things that other people will lose their shit over. It peaked in the first year and has definitely ebbed, but the judgement is still there. Losing a child makes one pretty matter of fact about life, e.g. expecting your parents friends to start dying when they hit their 70's. Yes, I've felt like that asshole too.

@ Just me - I'm sorry about your dog. :(

sarah said...

I'm like that. I call it being blunt - and its something to work on - but I'm more likely to roll my eyes and snort at those cut dancers than feel any sort of empathy for them. Woops.

Dreams and False Alarms said...

It sounds like one of the things you are struggling with is that you are comparing everyone's pain and losses to your own, which is understandable. It is beyond what even the word unfair encompasses that Nora died; it is unconscionable that babies EVER die. So in one way, yes this hard shell does protect you, but in another way, it is a way to encapsulate your grief and call it being 'hard edged'. If you are busy being angry with others for being sad over lesser losses, it shield you from your own vulnerability. You can't, and no one expects you too, just get over Nora's death. I was a loss, and a horror. When we need a lot of empathy, it's very hard to extend it to others.

Kahla said...

My mom could have written your story and you remind me so much of her. Guess that's why I like reading your blog! I don't think you'll ever be completely the same again, I know she's forever changed.