Life and challenges…

25 Apr

Things in my life are still overwhelming and I’m having a hard time getting things done while not over-doing it physically.  I know that exhaustion makes it hard for me to put words together, but I’ve been very careful trying to not over-extend myself.  I’m still having trouble talking despite doing my best not to get over-tired, and I think it is not practicing talking (writing) posts regularly, using my brain to form a post that makes sense, and I never want to lose my voice again.  So, I thought I talk about what’s happening in my personal life a bit deeper than my normal. 

I have a sibling who has mental health challenges and has always been challenging.  According to mom, my personality changed when my sibling started having mental health challenges.  I think she was right, and that I am the way I am now, in part due to that, some of my natural tendencies are stronger, and other’s less prominent, specifically, seldom (if ever) showing deep emotions publicly.

We all are who we are because of our genes, our lived experiences, and the lessons learned – both the good and bad.

I don’t often show emotions because it makes me feel vulnerable, and that I’m not in control.  Plus, I know I’m strong enough to deal with whatever comes my way on my own, and if I did need more support, I’d turn to those closest to me, although I’ll admit that even asking is hard sometimes.

I don’t like feeling vulnerable and I don’t think I should have to physically prove to others how I’m feeling emotionally.

But, lately, I’ve found the secondary cost of not being publicly emotional is how people outside your inner circle view you; some will see you as unfeeling, or just the one who takes care of everything and everyone, or not seen at all except to be told what other people need you to do for them – because they are hurting.

So, the other day, I talked with a friend about how frustrating it all was, and how it seems people view the person based solely on the emotions they show, regardless if they are honest, if it’s part of their game, or because society expects it.  I don’t understand how people just can’t assume everyone feels bad/sad about something that just happened.  Why must a person physically show their emotions to others to prove how they feel?  Where is the benefit of doubt?  My friend’s response was that just because I don’t show my emotions, doesn’t mean I don’t have them, I’ve never shown them and people who know me, should know that.  Then she added a WTH, and who do they think they are, stand up and don’t take it, if it happens again.  Sounds like a plan, just don’t know if I have it in me to do that – because I want everyone else to be happy.

The take-away: Give others the benefit of doubt…don’t make them show you how they feel, just believe they are hurting if you are, we all have reasons for how we react, or don’t react.


Posted by on April 25, 2016 in Adoption, adoptive parents


Tags: , , , , ,

14 responses to “Life and challenges…

  1. eagoodlife

    April 25, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    I don’t think we can make assumptions about how others feel. Why not just accept their silence? No-one ‘should’ ever do anything – horrible would ‘should’!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ginny09

    April 25, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    If someone doesn’t accept you the way you are, you are their loss. And thats the way it is.


  3. Lara/Trace

    April 26, 2016 at 12:55 am

    What insight. You are the only one who can give you what you need. Someone told me that once. I struggle with showing emotions too, really.


  4. pj

    April 26, 2016 at 2:37 am

    We are guarded…for many adoptees that’s just how we are-doesn’t mean we don’t feel emotions-actually just the opposite.


  5. cb

    April 26, 2016 at 9:04 am


    My younger brother also had mental health issues while still at school and I more or less ended up just trying not to be of any bother because I felt they had enough on their plate.

    When dad died (he had vascular dementia), my siblings were more openly upset than I was but I feel that that was because they saw dad less often. Mum and I used to visit him together in his dementia home every Sunday (mum also visited during the week) and so I saw dad’s deterioration right to the end. On the last Sunday we visited, it was the first time he couldn’t even smile and I just looked at him and thought that he didn’t want to go on for much longer. He passed away on the Monday and I think he chose that time to go.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jess

    April 28, 2016 at 12:31 am

    “I have a sibling who has mental health challenges and has always been challenging. According to mom, my personality changed when my sibling started having mental health challenges.”

    TAO, have you read The Flying Troutmans? It’s Canadian, quite good. Something similar happens only in the opposite direction.


    • TAO

      April 28, 2016 at 3:07 am

      I will see if I can find it…


  7. L4R

    May 2, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    Most people will take you at face value. People see FB posts composed of the best times in someone else’s life, and they often assume that person has an amazing life. People can see just one awesome picture of someone (never mind in reality that the person doesn’t look at all like the picture), and most people will trust the photo as being an accurate depiction of the person.

    The same is true for introverts Introverts are just harder to read. Few people can truly understand us. It takes more effort, and it takes an understanding that not everyone wears his or her emotions for all to see.

    I’m sorry that some of the people in your life don’t know or understand that you are hurting.


    • TAO

      May 2, 2016 at 6:37 pm

      Thanks LR4 – I completely missed the fact that I am introverted and how people perceive us. That helps so much. Just too overwhelmed to apply logic… 🙂


  8. beth62

    May 5, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    I’ve been to many military funerals where crying was basically banned completely by the family of the departed. It was seen as inappropriate, disrespectful, not strong, not confident in the afterlife of the person who had passed.
    My first mother in law pinched me so hard I bled, because I sniffled while sitting in the pew, no tears! Just my nose was leaking (blamed it on spring allergies later LOL)

    It was a huge formal Marine service, several hundred attended including over half of the state police force, Nam Vets and Bikers in full dress. The procession to the cemetery was a sight I will never forget. Tough crowd… And a scary crowd to me!
    We stood up strong and proud to exit the church, chins up, eyes forward, fears in check, confident in tomorrow. It was okay that blood was running down my leg at the gravesite, but not okay for tears to be running down my cheek.
    We all made it thru the day, none of us truly thought we could manage it, but we did.. When it was over, and the drinking really began, no one held back then. the wife, the grown sons and me all ended up cuddled in a pile on the family room floor, we woke up there the next morning. Mom “made” me sleep in her bed with her for many weeks, we cried every night and struggled thru every day. We had held strong and positive for months after DX and during cancer treatments. I remember going with a son to find and physically drag her home from the gravesite, in the dark, more than once, where she laid on the ground praying to die. She lost over 80 pounds by the end of the summer. She refused to show her grief publicly, always smiling when talking of him or her familys future – her soldier husband’s dieing request of his family.
    She was strong when she needed to be, when asked to be. IMO, that’s something to be proud of.

    Yes, people outside of the family, and military, said things like; Well, it looks like she is happy he is finally gone. Used words like cold-hearted, insensitive, unbelievable, I thought they were close – guess not. I can’t believe his sons were not upset at his death. Just another day I guess. And even nearly a year later when the sun began to shine a bit on her and she began to date a new fella, the clueless comments got even worse. Hateful even.

    Many, in a way, seemed to expect us to comfort them in the loss of their friend/coworker, hold them up in their grief, take it from them, since we looked so strong and fine with our dear Pop’s death.
    I just couldn’t believe how people could be so clueless… and cruel.

    We were far, far from fine.
    I’m still not fine, it was decades ago.

    ((((TAO)))) Wishing there were magic words, flowers, food, drink, a pill that would ease it all for you and yours. Know that you are in my thoughts, hoping for ((((you)))) to find some sunny moments amoung the cloudy.


    • TAO

      May 5, 2016 at 4:49 pm

      Thanks Beth…like everything…this too will pass…it’s funny though – someone asked me why I had to deal with all mom’s stuff…I looked at her and said: because I’m her daughter…people are clueless…who else would they expect deal with everything?


      • beth62

        May 5, 2016 at 6:48 pm

        Well, all of that and the planning is just magic ya know, just takes care of itself. It just happens with no effort from anyone… All prearranged right, just fell together.
        I’ve learned to thank and compliment those who managed to pull it all together and make it happen, perfect or not, regardless of the event. I remember those that told me i did a good job and the person who the funeral was for would be happy. They really helped me feel so much better, even if I thought they were just being nice.
        It’s not easy, especially when you have what we call “funeral brain”. It’s nearly impossible to think straight then. If you can manage to think straight enough to get dressed and remember to brush your teeth too, I think you are doing very well and are far ahead of the crowd! Try to be kind to yourself here.

        Oh TAO, it’s so difficult to deal with comments like that. So hard to let it slide, even if/when you might imagine the person is trying to say something supportive to you.

        I swear I’m certain that the dumbest things ever spoken on the planet by anyone must have been at or near a funeral. I am astonished every time, I’ve even astonished myself at dumb things I have said that came out not so right. Its such a vulnerable time 😦

        Liked by 1 person


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