I wrote this post last week. I wasn’t sure whether to post it, at the time I found it painful and sad to know how people who suffer can suffer more from others lack of empathy and misunderstanding. Half of the way into it a few of my own grievances and frustrations come out. Its a little all over the place but I am going to post it today as it says something I need to say and feel strongly about.
A post was posted last week on another WordPress site I won’t name that evoked upset and most particularly from me. It’s not often I speak my mind in a strong or angry fashion as comments on someone else’s blog but this one post really got my back up. The blogger just said in reply to my comment “You were very blunt with me.” This is how I am when I feel strongly. The post was titled “Is Barron Trump autistic?” It outlined certain things he was doing which seemed to speak to me a little kid trapped in a network of adults driven by their own agenda, for example him on stage with Donald Trump at 3 am in the morning with a “strange look” on his face, biting his lip and with his eyes looking like they were going backwards in his head. WTF people the kid was tired! There were other things sited in the speculation which were quite frankly ridiculous.
It really angered me because I am sick to death of the way we label people with conditions in the public who are not acting in ways a so called ‘normal’ person would. I know there is a spectrum of autism and am sure many of us may be on it somewhere. But what annoyed me most and what I questioned was this. What is the person’s agenda for trying to point this out? Does it make them feel better if they can put someone in a neat little box with a label on the outside? Does it make then feel superior and distanced from something that challenges their sense of order and control? Does it distance them from the so called sufferer and make them feel better? And bigger questions to my mind are How is labelling actually in some way a failure to show necessary concern, deeper questioning or empathy?
Empathy means trying to step into another person’s shoes, to find some kind of resonance of or with a feeling and an emotionally engaged understanding of and with what they may be going through most especially in the case where their behaviour is threatening or scary to us in some way. Case in point. Today here in Australia there was a segment on Radio National about the alarming statistics for self harm for girls in our country. Apparently the statistic is that now 1 in 4 girls between 12 and 20 or so are engaging in self harm. What was being investigated was also why, when they actually go through some kind of treatment or contact with the mental health care system in this country statistics of self harm for girls actually get worse?
The bottom line was that young girls who self harm are often met with derision, disgust or lack of empathy. The medical team may refuse them an anaesthetic when they mend their cuts. They may actually in some cases have been sprayed with pepper spray. The woman speaking today was saying how often little empathy is shown towards what underlies the girl’s problematic behaviour due to the fact that others lack the ability to fully understand or care for the deep pain behind the self harm. Many of these girls have gone through real trauma, their cutting is the only way the have to express deep emotional hurt. Others may find the behaviour so scary and threatening so they erect defences and feel justified in punishing the ‘out of control’ victim. In the thrall of this kind of reaction they can act in a way to punish the person who is already suffering and make them suffer even more.
I had to turn the ending of the programme out to get in the sunshine today, but it stayed with me throughout the day. The following expression came to me ‘the cut they given themselves to deal with the emotional cuts they have received and cannot express in any other way.’ Its not fun to be bleeding so much inside. Its not fun to struggle with deeply painful feelings of despair and frustration that are difficult to express. Its not fun to be judged and misunderstood when this behaviour leads to other behaviour which just results in more pain.
Today I have been in a lot of pain myself. Its been a really dark day today, my body has been hurting a lot, painful feelings from the past have been coming up. I have had no contact with anyone in my family at all. Yesterday my mother was put into hospital. I couldn’t visit yesterday as I was so tired. Today I have tried to call her four times and no one is picking up. My sister came home yesterday and I had hoped I might have heard from her today since she was with Mum at the hospital yesterday evening. I had spent the past three days being there for my Mum, taking her food, making her cups of tea, getting her medication, calling her on the phone, thinking of other things I could give her or do. Now my other sister is home, no contact at all. I am actually really, really, really, really, really angry today. Incidents from the past where they have sidelined me and hurt me are coming up. Part of me just wants to get so far away. And when I hear a programme about self harm and suicidal ideation I can really, really relate. Over the past two days I have been feeling suicidal again.
I know there is a lot going on for me at the moment. I am feeling very much alone. People I thought may care and I have cared about don’t seem to have the sensitivity to see that I may actually need some support. A guy I had been helping the fellowship for some weeks I actually told about how distressed I was at present. Yesterday he was sending me more texts about difficulties with his ex wife and I got to feeling really miffed and pissed off toward the end of yesterday. Where is the consideration for my feelings and what I go through? Bottom line, it just isn’t out there in my everyday world. Its really only on here that I have found people who seem to really care.
I am fed up to the back teeth with others problems. This may sound like a whinge but its from the heart. I am sick to death of being the one who patiently cares and listens only to be forgotten. Then I need to examine my real motives. Have I been caring in the hopes if I do others will do the same? I am not sure. I just know at times I seem to care too fucking much and it fucking hurts when the kind of care doesn’t come back. I can fully understand too the frustration that would lead someone to feel self harm was a last resort.
I fully loathe the practice of others labelling certain behaviours as illnesses or defects or deficiencies when they are real responses to pain, frustration and not getting needs met. It makes me angry. And if I don’t want my body to hurt I most definitely need to find ways and means to express those feelings in a more effective way.
The Barron Trump post got taken down in the end. The person who wrote it admitted they were out of line. They admitted that they have been pulled up in the past by others for putting labels on things. The right to protest what we see and feel to be unfair is a basic human right. And often its what we need to do to set things right inside ourselves, for the price of our silence or acquiescence may be too high a price to pay.