Archive for ‘Personality’

June 5, 2013

What Not to Say to Someone Who is Struggling

1. “There are people in the world who have it worse off than you.”

The last thing you want to do when you’re trying to help is invalidate someone’s pain. Sure, there are people in the world who are suffering to an unbelievable extent. But that doesn’t make my pain unimportant or imaginary.

2. “Cheer up already.”

A person who is struggling emotionally is not going through a phase. Being depressed or upset is not something you can just snap out of. By telling someone that they should just “get over it” or “cheer up already,” what you’re really saying to them is that you don’t believe that their pain has any real significance and that they’re emotionally incompetent if they can’t manage to make themselves un-upset.

3. “Are you just doing this for attention?”

Treating mental or emotional trauma like it’s an act or a game is not only offensive, but also harmful and damaging. You wouldn’t tell someone with a broken leg to stop playing around, so why would you say that to someone with an emotional injury? There’s nothing about this that’s positive or constructive. It only hurts.

4. “You have no right to be upset.”

Feelings are not things that only certain people are privileged enough to have. I don’t need to prove to you that my feelings, concerns, and struggles are real and valid. If they’re real to me, they’re real. Plain and simple.

5. “You have your whole life ahead of you.”

For many people struggling with severe emotional trauma, envisioning a future is not an easy task. The future is scary and for plenty of people, it’s not something they look forward to. Saying this can stir up a plethora of fears for a person. It’s also another way of indirectly saying that their problems are small and insignificant “in the grand scheme of things.” Just because a problem will look small in the future, that doesn’t mean it feels small now.

6. “How can I expect you to love me if you can’t even love yourself?”

For some reason, people view love as this singular, finite pool of stuff that you give away to people in parts until there’s nothing left. And for people whose loved ones are dealing with self-esteem issues, they feel that their loved one’s “love pool” is already empty and thus cannot be used to sustain a love for anyone else. That’s simply not the case. I don’t have to love myself in order to love you. My love for you is completely separate from love for myself. Saying something like this will just make people like me feel like we’re doing a terrible job showing our affection, which will only increase the self-loathing.

7. “Want some advice? ……”

Giving advice is a double-edged sword. We all know that you try to give advice because you want to help. But to me, you’re advice-giving can sometimes sound like gloating and condescension. What it says to me is that you’re clearly much more capable of handling problems and you’re obviously superior to me and my problems are so insignificant and petty that they’re a cinch to fix. When giving advice, try to keep in mind that what you’re saying and what is being heard are sometimes two very different things.

8. “You’ll feel better tomorrow.”

No, I won’t. That’s the general subconscious reply. Emotional pain is real. The cause and the triggers – for lack of better words – don’t matter. What matters is that whatever it is causes me pain that I can’t get away from. This pain is in my mind and the mind is not something you can escape from. Sure, you can ignore it for a little while. But that doesn’t make it go away. Don’t assume that sleeping it off or becoming preoccupied with something else is going to make me feel better in the long haul. That’s a very poor assumption to make.

9. “You’re being selfish.”

This has to be one of the most infuriating things anyone could possibly say to me. Trying to guilt me into feeling happy seems like a really backwards plan, don’t you think? When you say this, you’re telling me that I have to just suck it up and deal with the overwhelming emotional trauma that I experience on an almost continuous basis because I’m making the people around me uncomfortable. Do you see the irony in this?

Advertisements
May 24, 2013

“There’s no need to get upset over nothing.”

Once, I was being verbally and sexually harassed at the mall by a group of teenage boys. My ears became hot with anger and I felt as though my blood was beginning to boil. I wanted to scream at them. But I didn’t. Instead, I vented to a “friend” of mine. This friend responded with the statement, “There’s no need to get upset over nothing.”

Yes, I am getting upset. No, it is not over nothing.

I get upset when white, straight, upper-class girls say that since they have never felt afraid to go out in public alone, I have no reason to be afraid.

I get upset when I am stopped by police officers for taking a walk in my own neighborhood.

I get upset when people shout obscenities and slurs at me when I walk down the street in “dyke” clothing.

I get upset when my parents tell me that I need to “stop dressing so butch.”

I get upset when people ask me, “Where are you from?” as if it’s impossible for me to be from the United States.

I get upset when girls ask me if I’ve ever had a crush on them as soon as they learn about my sexual orientation.

I get upset when people ask me if I have any straight friends.

I get upset when people ask me if I have any white friends.

I get upset when people ask me if I’m in an open relationship with my boyfriend simply because I’m bisexual.

I get upset when people ask me if my relationship with my boyfriend is some kind of diversity statement.

I get upset when people tell me to “get over it.”

I get upset when people say, “It’s all in your head.”

I get upset when people do not understand what it means to be depressed.

I get upset when people use the word “depressed” as a synonym for “bummed out.”

I get upset when people see my scars and call me an “attention whore.”

I get upset when I cannot freely walk through my own house without the fear of knowing that at any moment, I could be judged, ridiculed, or reprimanded because of my body and the way that I look.

I get upset when straight white men make jokes about their friends being fags or queers.

I get upset when a local news station refers to an entire community by simply calling us “gays,” as if our sexual orientation is our only identifier.

I get upset when people do not understand that the fear of being harassed, assaulted, discriminated against, or even killed because of my biological gender, my gender identity, my sexual orientation, my skin color, my race, my ethnicity, my weight, my mental health, and/or my partner is constant and ever-looming.

I get upset when people, who have never known what it means to live your entire life in a constant state of fear, attempt to dictate how I should and should not feel.

You have no right to decide a goddamn thing for me. Because you can and will never even fathom what it feels like to live in a world that you are simply a guest in.

May 20, 2013

Daily Struggles

I’m not quite sure as to where this post is going yet. I’m really just writing to vent and get all of my thoughts out of my head and into some tangible format that makes it easy to sort through them later. Best get started, then.

 

I take every kiss seriously. Really. Every kiss is a big deal. Yes, there have been many kisses; today alone consisted of at least thirty. But every kiss, no matter how brief, is important. I believe that a kiss can speak volumes.

On the cheek: “You are important to me.”
Between the knuckles of the hand I’m holding: “You’ve taken such good care of me and I really appreciate you.”
On the chin: “I’m happy right here. I don’t want to be anywhere else.”
On the corner of the mouth: “I want to see and feel you smile. Your smile is my favorite thing.”
On the lips: “There is no one else I’d rather share this moment with.”
On the nose: “You’re playful and I really like that about you.”
On the neck, just below the jawline: “You’re worth the wait, the distance, the extra effort. You’re worth every minute of it.”
On the collarbone: “You’re beautiful and I wish you could see yourself the way I see you.”

I wish I could convey my feelings into actual words. But whenever my partner asks me what I’m thinking or how I’m feeling or if there’s something wrong, I never have anything meaningful to say. Take tonight for example. Here are basically all the things I wanted to say tonight when he asked me 5 billion times “What’s wrong?”

I feel like my entire life revolves around making you like me. Yes, you’re my boyfriend. You have been for four and a half years. So obviously you like me. But that’s not what I mean. What I mean is that I spend so much time and energy trying to get you to understand how I feel about you. Because you’re my best friend and you’re everything I want out of life. And when I look at you, I feel like being happy is something that I can actually attain, and that’s not something I aspire to feel with anyone else.
I wish that every time I kissed you, you kissed me back with the same passion, responding to what I’m trying to say. But I don’t think it’s fair for me to expect you to feel as strongly about me as I feel about you. Because unless you’re as emotionally complicated as I am, that is just impossible. All I want is for you to understand what it means for me to love you as much as  I do.
On a completely different note, I feel like I don’t deserve you. Because you are amazing and deserve someone perfect. I feel like one day, you’re going to see that you could do much better and then I’ll lose you. I don’t know how to keep that from happening. It’s my worst nightmare.
So, what’s wrong? I am. 

Why can’t I just talk to him? You’d think it wouldn’t be so hard after 4+ years. But apparently, it is. Because I’m a crazy person. Why is my life so goddamn difficult?

 

This blog post got a little too real. But I got all of my thoughts out of the way, which I guess was the point. Pardon the rant. I half-promise the next post will be less insane.

May 19, 2013

depression comix #122

This is a daily struggle I face. This is probably why I have so few friends. It’s just easier to push people away than to make the mistake of opening up to someone.

Depression Comix

image

View original post

Tags: