While blog strolling I saw a twitter post that caught my eye.
The image links back to the poetry site where I first saw the tweet.
Thinking about healing while others stand by judging makes me cringe with knowing. However, if a person is going to overcome judgement, I think they need to understand a little about it. What are possible motives for opposition and judgement?
Sometimes people offer their 2 cents worth because they think they're helping, others will enable or sabotage without malice. We can't leave out those who sabotage with malice. No matter what, people are going to have something to say either in mild judgement or out right cruel opposition. It is another issue we as survivors must deal with, however, the survivor has a good amount of control over this particular hardship.
What's interesting is why people put their nose where it doesn't belong. Sometimes it's because of their own insecurities, other times because they feel like if you talk about your issues then it brings to light how they aren't dealing with their own. They judge before you can. They knock down before you can. Why? Because people fear having to face their own issues. They'll go into fight or flight in a heartbeat, and out of their mouth come horrible things they don't even mean. They're just afraid of their own issues. As with most misplaced judgement, is about them, not you.
People have preconceived ideas of therapy. The idea is basically a big black hole or a black cloud with hands coming down out of the sky. They might respond as if you've joined some cult because you now see a therapist. They may smile and try to be supportive when inside they're not sure what the heck all this means, for them. Keep in mind, the judgement is about THEM, not you. What does your therapy mean to or for them? Once you know that answer then their behavior is better understood.
Then there is of course the f-word, family. You know, sometimes they mean well, other times they don't. When they mean well they mess up so badly!! Oh my gracious. Expect family members to jack up their well meaning support. Keep in mind, they too wonder what is expected of them if you go to therapy. They feel as if you going to therapy means they have to do or say something. My goodness they can mess up a well meaning pat on the back. From the list below, identify the well meaning expression:
- I prayed I'd live to see this day!
- It's about time you're doing something about your issues.
- Don't be ashamed, everyone has problems.
- You just need to get back in church.
- I really hope this will be helpful for you.
With the exception of "I prayed I'd live to see this day," one could claim they were trying to be supportive. Like I said, sometimes family and friends can and will mess up what seems so obviously easy to us. It's not easy for them because it changes their perception of the family, of themselves. They often worry you're sitting there talking about them the whole time. Seriously, it's all about them. Hopefully things will iron out and there will be fewer times when they put their foot in their mouth. All I can do is shake my head because I don't even believe the sentence I just wrote. The truth is, hopefully their mismanaged support won't fall so hard on you or cause as much stress. That is what you should hope for!!!
Lets move on to the very short bit I'll devote to the part of family that has something to lose because you go to therapy. What I will say is this, the minute you walk through that door for therapy, that is the minute they realize they no longer hold you hostage. They can no longer control what you say, do or believe. This is your first step to freedom. With everything you have, TAKE THAT STEP.
What about judgement from other survivors, people with mental health issues or addictions? It's going to happen. Judgement is going to happen. Sometimes it's because we're on this healing high, we see so much clearer or feel validated for the first time ever and our judgement for others kicks in. It's as if we've forgotten how it felt to be a newbie. I hope that on the path to healing there will be a person who can see you at your best and worst and loves you all the more for it. I hope you will have a friend at the outset, but if you that's not the case, know that you can still heal. Kindred spirit or not, you and you alone are the most important reason to begin healing. The same as abuse can be seen in several generations, personal healing can touch generations beyond you.
As survivors, as those who deal with depression, chemical imbalance or addiction, we will heal at a different rate. There is no need to feel less than because you're newer on the road to healing. And there is no need to stay on a healing high horse lest we forget what it feels like to be looked down on. Remember, someone has to be ahead, someone has to be at the starting line, but no matter where you are on the healing path, there is enough room for you, for others and for me.