I’ve never understood when someone says to me that they know how I feel or they know what I’ve been through. Do they really? I think this is something that people say just because it’s like “have a nice day”, it’s a form of manners that we just spew out of our mouths without really thinking of what it means.
No one in this entire world knows how I feel or what I’ve truly been through, not even family. My family has no clue about what I’ve been through and none of them really ask about it either. I have my theories about why they don’t ask and I think the one I believe the most is that they don’t want to know. Whether it’s from just plain not interested or not wanting to know a lot of the painful things I’ve had to go through. So they can’t stand in front of me and tell me honestly that they know how I feel.
It drives me nuts when having a conversion with someone and it’s of a more personal level and they say it. If it’s weather or something generic, then yes, by all means, spout that out as much as you want. But when it’s more of an experience or something to that effect, no one truly knows what the other went through or how their perception of it was. Our perceptions are what I think, form our feelings of things and when we all have our own perception then we all have our own feelings about things and cannot understand another person and how they went through something similar. Confusing? I’m truly sorry but it just is something that truly boggles my mind.
In my case, no one in my family has been through what I have nor to the extent of what I have been through. Even though I have a lot of siblings, I was the one to stay home and help my mother and take care of her as her health changed over the years. By my own admittance, yes, I had the closest relationship with my mother but that I think is because we went through so much together. We used to joke and she’d let me say that I raised her. We had a relationship more like sisters most times than that of mother and daughter.
But the things that I experienced and the pain that came with that, no one understands. The guilt that I carry of decisions that had to be made and I had to make them alone. The things that happened and I tried to talk about while they all changed the subject. These things are inside of me and I feel them every single day. I can honestly say that not a day goes by, even after all these years, that I don’t feel her or think of her. I feel both comfort and pain in these daily thoughts but they have become a part of life for me.
In the beginning, I would cry at the drop of a hat or get really angry until anger became my personality to others. What they didn’t see were all the things I had on my shoulders that I had to get done and no time to feel what I needed to feel. When it’s bottled up like that and you go into what I call “robot mode” you do the best you can to get things done. Doctors appointments, medications, aftercare, remembering who to call and when and what for. These are just the beginning stages, down the road, the decisions became harder and harder and I was still on my own to make them.
Breaking down was not an option for me and on the rare occasion that I did, I did it alone. I still to this day have never shared what I went through nor has anyone asked. Back in 2010, I started having panic attacks and I sat through 8 sessions of therapy. I think it could have helped a little if I were allowed more than that. The outcome, however, I was told was because I never took the time to grieve. Who has time when I had even more things to do that I had never done before?
One person, I did have on my side was my attorney. He was an older gentleman that I had met a few years earlier when he helped me with something small. I was his last case this time before he retired. He reminded me of Andy Griffith in Matlock but just a touch sweeter. He always kept telling me to look after myself and even though I took care of everyone else, I appreciated that he thought of me. He walked me through the steps of probate and even helped me cope with the state telling me they wanted the house or wanted me to pay them back for my mothers’ dialysis treatments.
I had never sued anyone at this point but I took on a lawsuit with the state and we won. It blew my mind that they wanted the house or they wanted $76,000 for what she had worked and paid into the system for. The hatred and anger inside of me just seemed to grow at that point because I experienced first hand the nastiness of humankind. But he still stood beside me and showed me that not everyone is that way. I’ve since seen both and still do today, the good and the bad, but I have learned not to let them into my heart as I don’t have room for that anger anymore in there.
I still have a lot to get done each day and my plate still overflows. Sometimes that feeling of being on the verge of tears and throwing up all at the same time still overwhelms me. But I don’t fear it as much as I did before, it’s become a familiar part of my life. One step at a time and it passes so that I can finish what I need to and attempt others that I just can’t seem to get done.
So when someone tells me that they know how I feel, it really ticks me off. You don’t know how I feel. Even if I tell you how I feel, there are no words descriptive enough to instil the same feeling into you, so no, you do not know how I feel. I just want to tell them to stop saying it but that that would tick them off and like I need more anger in my life. I guess the circle will just keep going round and round.