coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Guilt Trippers and Fixers

In my not-so-humble, completely non-medical opinion there is no virtue to suffering in silence. Repressing your emotional pain is convenient for some people around you (the ones who do not want to notice you are in pain), but it is bad for your mental and physical health. Words have power. Speaking the truth "might" set you free."

There are obvious caveats to consider. I trust you to know what they are. Still, emotional pain will not go away by ignoring it. It wants to be felt, processed, and released. Unacknowledged emotional pain festers and screams like an angry crowd; it demands to be heard.
If you want pain to dissipate then you will have to chew it up and spit it out, not suck it up. Geez-o-Pete, do you want to end up with the psychological equivalent of a sinus infection? Emotional pain is powerful stuff. Left unattended it will find insidious ways to get your attention despite all your good intentions for "soldiering on." 

If you are lucky, you might have a friend who is a good listener. Sadly, I am not talking about a "fixer" friend. Fixers are good hearted people who care about you and want very much to help. However, they have their own pain to contend with. Their pain makes it hard for them to just listen to you speak the unspeakable, even though they really, really want to. I know because I am a fixer... I am freakin' useless sometimes, jumping in ready to fight other people's fights, warding off evil, controlling the hell out of every thing, frantically filled with "good ideas" and best intentions. Sometimes I exhaust myself (and others). Maybe most of the time.

When I am in pain but I don't have a friend who is a good listener, I pay someone to listen to me. Why not? In fact, seeing a gifted therapist is often the best way for me. However, if I cannot afford (or find) a gifted therapist, then I keep a private journal. I write whatever comes to mind. I like to imagine converting emotional pain into words is a magical release spell. Humor me if you can. I'm trying to fix things here. Relaxare!

I try
not to pay attention to guilt trippers. You know, the people who infer that your pain is self-indulgent and unimportant in the grand scheme of things. If I feel it, it is real. I cannot help fight the world's pain if I haven't first resolved my own. Guilt trippers want to shut us up and shut us down. That doesn't seem helpful or kind, does it? To be honest (and compassionate) guilt trippers probably do this because they have their own unresolved pain. I get it. I know they mean well. Still, they can get in the way of personal growth just as effectively as us fixers.

I want to be helpful, kind, and compassionate. I also want to be thankful, grateful, and look on that damn bright side. Truly. But I also want to be honest, courageous, and strong. Sometimes that involves facing your own pain first. THEN you can safely help the passenger in the seat next to you put on their oxygen mask.

I might have stolen that last sentence from some other blogger's recent blog. It sounds disturbingly familiar. If I have stolen your thought and you read this, please comment so you can take credit for it. I will apologize. It will assuage my guilt.

Sometimes I think Jiminy Cricket was just a nagging, chirping grasshopper


  1. Oh a Standing Ovation at how eloquent a Post this is about exactly what I think can often be the barriers to expression of Pain by someone needing to release it! Converting emotional pain as a Magical Release Spell has actually worded for me personally, which is probably why I've always been an avid writer. Gets it out of you and sent off somewhere, anywhere, and you got to FEEL it and be Heard so that you do not have to endure it silently! I'm just not that virtuous to suffer in silence anyway *winks* and yet, as you say, expression of one's pain can risk it being marginalized or minimized by those that think Pain, Anguish and Suffering can only be felt by those Graded on their own version of a Suffering Scale. Hey, suffering and pain are equal opportunity tormenting for all... alas there is enough of it to go around to every Human on the Planet, an unfortunate Fact and it doesn't have to be 'rated' by anyone in order to be profound for each person afflicted with it in their own way. Bravo to you for voicing a Topic so eloquently I could not have written it better. It gives Voice to some of the range of Emotion I've been feeling and some of the flashback I've experienced just for NOT suffering in Silence, so I needed this Post this Morning. God GF you are so much cheaper than Therapy and a helluva lot more effective... you didn't tell me to just Yodel. *winks* Hugs from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

  2. you are such a good writer, your posts are always so cohesive and thought invoking.

    Hope you are not in any pain - if so - this is the place to share it.

    Love, Liv

  3. This eloquent post reminds me that I do most of my suffering in silence. I probably should say something out loud. Thank you for writing this down.

  4. Sometimes I am told that I am selfish because I look out for myself. That's not being selfish. Looking out for oneself means not asking someone else to do that. That includes taking care of pain, emotional and physical, to the best of my ability. I always enjoy your take on things like that. I think maybe you understand that.

    1. Thanks A. When friends ask me about myself, my mind goes blank. But put me in front of a cold-hearted shrink and I'll blab on forever. We are who we are. I admire your self-reliance. I know you are always processing your reality thoughtfully and fearlessly at any given moment. There are so many different ways to do this right.


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