Monday, October 27, 2014

Pain isn't a switch you can turn off because it makes other people uncomfortable

I've been mentally writing a post for this blog for several days now and still don't have anything to put down in print.  The content has become incredibly painful and I find myself going further than I intend to so it's taking a lot longer to write.  It has to do with Samhain and my mother.  The more I delve into my relationship with her the more I find deep pain. Both with her and with my still-living father.

And the pain isn't just from my relationship with them but from peripheral relationships that have determined that my perspective on my pain is "wallowing" and that I should just let it all go.  I don't know why talking about pain has now equated wallowing.  In fact, I know it hasn't.  My mother's death is still raw to me.  It's been a year and half since she died but I still haven't process the grief.  I guess I didn't grieve at the appropriate speed.

In pondering all of this, I've also had to deal with my departure from Christianity and all its rules.  One being that one must forgive.  It's mandatory.  Some of the more liberal denominations say it's for the health of the forgiver but what if forgiving isn't healthy?  Why has no one admitted that blanket forgiveness isn't healthy for everyone?  Forgiveness that is forced is far from the panacea we're brainwashed into believing.  The notion that we must "get over" or "let go" of things doesn't always heal.  Sometimes we need to process those hurts until we understand them and can move on with our lives.  Even if that means we never let go of them.  People who tell you to let go of your pain aren't experiencing your pain.  They are not empathetic to your anguish.  They only know they got over theirs (or suppressed it successfully).  And quite frankly they don't really care about yours.

Also, I've noticed that people who want you to forgive do so because they're bored with your pain.  No one really is interested in your story.  While you're trying to explain your pain they're busy thinking about what they're going to say to you to "fix" you so they don't have to hear it anymore.  And maybe, just maybe, the person in pain is talking about it so much because no one ever listens to what they're saying.

Maybe I'll forgive someday.  But if I do it will be because I can.  Not because I'm pressured to.  Or because I'm shamed into doing it.  Or maybe I won't.  But either way, it will be for my health.  Not forgiving isn't wallowing.  Sometimes it's protecting.

Telling someone to get over their pain is the same as telling someone with depression to just get over it.  Come to think of it...I've had that said to me, too.

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