I Get What They Don’t Get

I have come to realize that the people most close to us, really do not truly understand the constant battle of having a mental illness or the decisions that are made when someone faces a terminal illness. In my own experience, the most hurtful part of going through my darkest moments were when I was unable to confide in my friends, family, member or my spouse because they just did not “get it.” Sure, they were there for me when I needed them the most, rather that be picking me up from the ER if I had an episode, or allowing me to talk about what I go through without interruption but their reaction would be so “matter of fact” or a dry “I understand” that I never truly understood if they “got it or not.”

So, I would shut out. I would stop talking about my struggles because frankly, who the hell wants some of my mental illness “juice” to splash over onto them. As I stopped talking, they stopped listening. There was no asking if I was okay for that day, there was no “do you want to talk about what you are feeling today” as they avoid the subject as much as possible. At times, my relationship suffered because my spouse would find himself irritated by me being uncomfortable. He just did not understand why I could not “chill the fuck out.” No, he did not say this to me directly but his body language showed me. It hurt, on top of feeling like I was going crazy, I had to deal with the fact that people did not get what the hell I suffered from. The stigma of mental illness rang loudly through the actions of my peers and my love ones.

When I sit in on a family feud of my patients who’s family members do not get why they are making the decision to end their lives due to their underlying terminal illness, they scream, yell, and completely become oblivious as to the severe pain and the lack of quality of life these people are facing. Wife’s, husbands, daughters, and sons would much rather avoid speaking about the situation, or get angry at their inability to understand the situation from the other persons perspectives.

“Education is the key to acceptance.” -A Wise Person

My patients often mention that their family members “just don’t get it.” I get it. I get how difficult it is to defend your case. I get how frustrating it is when their is no “off” button. I get how uneasy it feels when you are forced to harbor your feelings to benefit those who you love the most. I get how scary it feels when all you want is for someone to GET IT. I get how oblivious people are when they are faced with a unfavorable situation. I get how annoying it can be when you have to constantly explain what they just don’t get. I get the fake smiling. I get the “I’m okay.” I get not having the strength to explain shit to anyone.

I have to be okay with people not getting it. We are not in control of other people’s actions nor their decisions. However, as part of my journey, I have to educate people on what they don’t get. I have to continue voicing my challenges to get rid of the stigma around mental health. I have to continue to educating the family members of my patients so they at the very least; they understand aid-in-dying from a dffierent perspective. I cannot shut out. I cannot get frustrated and shut up. I have to do MY part in giving others to opportunity to “get it.”

#educate #helpthemgetiteveniftheywontgetit #theresalwaystwoperspectives

6 thoughts on “I Get What They Don’t Get

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  1. You seem to have lived a very eventful life. I am 39 years old, 4 children and it took me years not to care what other people thought and to stop explaining myself to people. You are ahead of the game. By the time you have children, if you can, or want them, you will not let peoples ignorance get in the way. Forget the jerk boyfriend who got agitated with you because you needed a helping hand. There is someone out there who will help you through your difficult times because they love you for who you are. They will not try to hurt you– you will not have to explain too much. Just wait, the right people will come along. Stay away from people who don’t understand or respect you. If you can’t avoid them, just simply don’t share with them what is going on in your life.

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    1. Thank you for this. This is why I share my stories with you all. I love to hear great feedback and advice. I am still a work in process, I am learning as I go. I suppose thats why this blog is tittled lalas journey. Thanks again!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. People in general will never ‘get it’ unless they face a similar situation themselves. Even still, those who get it, will still not completely ‘get it’ they will at best be able to ‘relate’. Because we all have different experiences.

    Those who can relate are important people to have, because they too can’t get into words what they have in their minds. You would never have to explain to some people what is wrong or at times even be able to answer in detail the confusing question of why. So, those who relate, get you in that sense.

    If you find yourself, defending yourself time and again to the same people, if I were you I wouldn’t waste any more time on that. (Personal experience).

    There are plenty of people who can ‘relate’ to you. Even if they aren’t in your daily life or family. Living with any type or level of mental illness is exhausting enough let alone to have to be critisized for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I agree with you. We cannot waste time trying to explain our feelings to people to make them get it. My intent was to not shut down or shut that person out. My intent was to educate these people in the effort that to not MAKE them get it, but to give them the opportunity to understand. My intent is to allow them to understand from our perspective and vice versa as their is always two perspectives and if we want someone to understand ours, we have to hear that person out as well. My main intent was to somehow, be apart of the ATTEMPT to get rid of the stigma around mental illness. However, as mentioned, we cannot force people to see if from our side- its that old saying “you can give people the knowledge, but you cant force them to think.”

      Thank you so much for reading and giving great feedback! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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