- Mental Health
How many of us hide behind humor to hide our real feelings?
Hiding our True Selves
I was on Face book a little while ago and I saw a video clip a friend published on her wall. It was titled something like "Get Service". Basically it was about a young man beginning his day, and the several irritations that he encountered along the way. A young child riding his skateboard behind his car and he almost hit him, the person in the parking lot that stole his parking spot, the people at the coffee shop taking their time, and then he has to sit down to wait for his coffee due to the long wait. While he's sitting at the table waiting for his coffee. a man comes up to him and hands him a case that says "Get Service" on the front. As he opens the case and finds a pair of glasses inside, the man quietly slips away. In confusion, this young man places the glasses over his eyes. He begins to see short sentences placed over each persons body. "Just lost his job", "Fighting with Addiction", "Struggling with Self-Worth". You get the point. He's very confused, and rushes out of the shop and goes back home. When he pulls into the drive he again sees the young boy riding his skateboard. He pushes the glasses back up over his eyes and sees the boys label "Needs someone to care". He then goes and talks to the boy. The video ends. Yes, this video was created by a church I believe, to encourage people to be of service to others. But that's not my point. I'd actually thought of the concept for this hub before I even saw the video.
My question is this; How many of us hide behind our humor to avoid letting anyone see the real us, or to avoid seeing the real in others? To avoid being embarrassed by what we really feel inside. To avoid seeing the vulnerability of anyone else. To avoid having to actually get involved and DO something about somebodies situation.
I know I do it. I do it every single day. I hide behind my sarcastic humor to avoid being embarrassed by what is really going on inside my head and in my life. I do it for alot of reasons. To avoid being embarrassed is one of the strongest reasons, but there are others. I also do it to avoid making others uncomfortable. Let's face it, when someone else is depressed, anxious, sad, angry, or hurting, it makes people uncomfortable. Nobody ever knows what to say. Or if they do know what to say, they are hurt when you don't want to follow their advice. Or they worry about you. And I don't really want pity from anyone. I don't want anyone to worry about me. And I don't want to make someone else angry because of what is going on with my life. I also don't want to hear a bunch of cliches or platitudes from someone that has absolutely no idea what I'm going through because they've never been there themselves. I don't mind sincere comments from people that really care, or people that have been there, but I absolutely can't stand advice from people that have never been through what I'm going through. Don't get me wrong, that doesn't mean I think my life is worse than theirs, or that they've never gone through any kind of pain. In some cases I'm sure they've gone through things much much worse than what I'm going through. That, actually, is on my list of why I don't talk about a lot of things going on in my life, because there's always somebody that is worse off than I know I am, and somebody will inevitably point it out in some cliché form or other. And frankly, if I'm upset at that moment about my own life situation, I really don't care what is going on in anybody else's life. That may sound selfish, and it rarely lasts long when it happens, but for that brief moment in time, I honestly don't care what is going on with anyone else. I want to wallow in what is wrong in my own, and feel sorry for myself, and I don't want anybody to point out to me how wrong it is, or that I have to "get over it", or "it is what it is". Man, I hate that last phrase!! What idiot thought that one up? It is what it is...well no shit, what else could it be but what it is?
I started HubPages because I wanted to try to earn some extra money online. I had no real idea when I followed my sister on here what it really was all about. She just told me about it, and I checked it out, and we thought, ok, we should be able to do this. But I realized fairly early on, I'm not going to make much money at this. I don't have the patience, or the ambition to research and write "how-to" hubs. I have no niche market, no special interest, nothing I want to write about that much that I think others will want to read. I know myself, I prefer the hubs about "real life". The ones where people tell their stories and let you inside their lives. I'm fascinated by other people and their stories. Perhaps it's some sort of way at times to feel better about my own life. If someone else's life is worse, how can I possibly complain? Perhaps I'm just nosy. Perhaps my sister is right when she says I'm an em-path, and I need to worry about others, and care. I'm not exactly sure, probably it's a combination of all of the above. Anyway, I thought to myself, "OK self, if you're not going to write how-to hubs, you might as well just write real stuff about yourself." So I did at first, about my son and his mental health issues, and about myself feeling as if I was disappearing. Then I posted one of my hubs to Face book so my family could read it. The one about my uncle. And then I thought "OK now I have to watch what I post on Hub pages, because it can't be anything they (my family) would disapprove of, or that might involve them and they don't want others to know, or they might get upset." Don't get me wrong, not that I'm going to trash my family, I love them a lot, really I do!
And then another funny thought hit me. I realized that I'd found several friends on Hub pages. People that I admire for the things they believe in, the things they write, the people they are. That may sound funny to some people. How can you make "friends" with people you've never even met? Well, trust me, it happens. That's one of the hubs I haven't written "How I found my husband from an Internet ad." Yes it's true. The thing I realized though is this, How can I be honest and open and tell all sorts of my inner secrets to people I now consider friends, and possibly change how they think about me? Or incite their pity, or make them worry about me? I know I shouldn't worry about these things, in all reality, in the grand scheme of things, I will probably never meet any of you (hopefully Erik S you show up someday!), and I shouldn't ever worry about what anybody else thinks of me. Or be self-absorbed enough to think any of you would be sitting out there worrying about me if I told you something disturbing.
I will give you an example of the types of things I'm talking about...since I keep eluding to things. Like the fact that I've been diagnosed in the past with Major Depressive Disorder, Recurring, Panic Disorder, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. That I've tried numerous medications for these disorders and am now currently taking nothing. My body doesn't process the medications well, so they only ever found one that worked at all. Celexa worked for approximately two years, made me gain 100 pounds, and then started making the anxiety so bad my hands would shake and I had to go off of it. Because of some of my anxieties and phobias, I've lived with my mother for the last 14 years, so she would be available to help with my sons. I worked for years, and helped pay bills, she just has to be there to take care of them when they don't feel well, as I can't do it. Not everything, just a certain thing I can't even type because it makes me nervous even to discuss it, so suffice to say, she handles it and cleans up after them when they don't feel well in this way I can't even say out loud. Dear Lord, now you'll REALLY think I'm a freak! Don't worry, so do I. This is why I berate myself a lot...tell myself I'm a horrible mother. I asked my sister the other day "Do you ever feel you're a failure as a mother, even though you don't think of your kids as failures?". I don't think of my sons as failures. Hell, they're only 16 and 20, they're not old enough to be failures yet! They've made a lot of wrong choices, and don't do things the way I'd like them too, but they're trying to right some of the things they've done wrong, and working to do others right, so NO, I don't consider them failures. But I consider myself a failure as a mother. Please don't give me pity, I don't deserve it, or want it. I've had my family tell me numerous times it's not the truth. It makes no difference. My logical brain knows it's not the truth. I did the best I could with the tools I had available to me. I took them to pumpkin patches and apple orchards when they were smaller, we had a family pass to the local swimming pool and went all summer long, then stopped for cheese fries and ice cream afterwards, got popcorn from the local popcorn stands on hot summer nights and went home and ate it, laid together on the couch and watched lots of movies. We did lots of stuff, and spent a lot of time together, and I went to all their school functions and saw almost every game they played in when they both played football. (I only missed one for being in the ER. and one because we got a free trip from my cousin to Florida for the grown-ups!) That's just part of what I did do with, and for, them...so yes, my logical brain knows I was, and am, a good mother. And yet, I feel a failure. This is just a small sample of what lives inside my "real" brain. The me I hide from all of you I've come to "know" here on Hub pages. And some of you I like. :) So please don't pity me, or give me cliches, because I think I'm going to try to put some of my real self on hub pages...use it sort of like a blog, if you will indulge me. And I don't want to chase any of you away. Dang, I'm still worrying about what others think...when will I ever get over that?? Actually, I don't want to totally get over it, or I wouldn't be the person I am. I do care about others, worry about hurting their feelings, want to help if at all possible. So I wouldn't change it totally...just like it to tone down a little!
I also have another small request...I started a poem the other day...sort of goes along with this theme or hiding our head in the sand, not noticing when others need help...and I can't finish it...so perhaps all you kind souls out there will help me finish my poem? Just for me, not to publish or anything...just to have. Thank you in advance. I know some of you great writers will come through for me! Here's what I have so far:
The mighty ostrich tucks his head and hides beneath his wings,
Who gave us the right to ridicule the way this bird does things?
This bird he simply does the same as do a number of us all,
Who pretend we do not notice when others stumble, bleed and fall.
We walk along our merry way pretending ignorance is bliss,
That's it, that's all I've got. Help me out!! Thanks!