Day 18 Health Activist Writers Challenge – Write about a time that you lashed out at someone close to you because of frustration/fear/anger resulting from your health condition and wish you could take it back. Forgive yourself and let it go. On the flip side, write about a time that someone said something to you that they wished they could take back. Did you forgive them? Why or Why not?
I can’t recall a time I lashed out at someone because of diabetes. However, I have at times complained about my life to someone who has a whole lot of problems themselves – medical, financial, spousal.
This person is very dear to me. I hate seeing her in pain and I can’t really do anything to help her. I listen when she cries, I try to validate her concerns and offer hugs (although only via phone calls since we live so far away). I do my best not to complain about my own issues when I talk to her. In the past when I have complained about lack of sleep, discussions with my own spouse, issues with my kids, problems with schools and diabetes, she rarely empathises. Instead she always plays the devils advocate – sides with everyone but me. She has at times called me spoiled. Sometimes that is helpful but sometimes I just want validation. I’m sure its hard for her to hear me whine. In her eyes I have all I need. In her eyes my life could be so much worse. In her eyes I have all that she would love (minus kids with diabetes). She has said as much to me – many times.
I know what she says is out of love for me in hopes of helping me recognize what I have and out of the desperation she feels in her situation. I don’t hold grudges for the times I’ve talked to her and our conversation didn’t go as I hoped. I am sad for her often. I wish I could help her in some way. I know I can’t. So I listen when she is upset. I empathize, I validate. I am not suggesting in any way that I am a bigger or better person. In fact I frequently feel guilty for having more than she does and for occasionally feeling sorry for myself. She is often the better person.
Everyone has something – everyone fights a battle of some kind. I have learned something from my years of conversations with this very dear person – it’s never a good idea to complain about a life that is perceived by others as a blessed one – even if I sometimes feel less than blessed. That may seem unfair – you may think that if someone loves you they should not judge you for occasionally whining. The thing is – when that person believes you to be truly lucky and is happy for you for all you have – complaining about it is like a kick in the face.
I can’t take back all the times I complained about things that seem like child’s play (not diabetes stuff – cus that she totally gets – although she accuses me of being too involved – almost obsessed – that’s a post for another day). I can’t take back all the times I whined about being exhausted while being able to stay home and likely take a nap while she is equally exhausted but must go to work. I can’t take back all the times I whined about how my kids are spoiled when she struggles to provide for her own. All I can do is recognize my mistakes and recognize that she has her own struggles and mine, while difficult for me, are something she would welcome (again not diabetes).
I have nothing to forgive but I hope she forgives me for all the times I was insensitive.