Guess who has a deadline and a houseguest arriving in less than 24 hours and piles of laundry and floors that need vacuuming and a bathroom that needs scrubbing BUT ALL THE DISHES ARE DONE SO TAKE THAT. That’s why I’m blogging. Or more likely it’s why I’m thinking so much. Okay, I’m always thinking so much.
So here is my thing. I’m not all that loud. You might think from my penchant for ALL-CAPSery that I’m loud, but I’m not that loud. I guess I’m loud in a HA HA I THINK I AM SOOOO FUNNY sort of way sometimes. But I’m generally pretty private and quiet and being in crowds freaks me out and having ANY ATTENTION on me at all makes me want to cry and hide and point at someone else and run when heads are turned.
Because of this, I have a really hard time asking for help. Well, not asking for help. I can totally ask for specific help when I know that I need it and I know what I need. But support, you know? From the general collective. I’m TERRIBLE at that. Any time I do mention I’m having a hard time and get kind words back, I want to apologize. Oh, please, no, don’t worry about me. I’ll be FINE. I can take care of me. Look! At all those people with bigger problems! Go hug them instead!
And here is what happens. There are lots of people, whether they are extroverts or what, who are VERY GOOD at letting everyone know they are going through a hard time. And then you sit and you watch the support roll in. By the truckload, so much support, everyone is thinking of them, holding them up in prayer. And I resent it. I resent the HELL out of it.
And my uncharitable thoughts spiral out from there. Why can’t SHE just DEAL with her problems? Why must she make such a spectacle? Why doesn’t anyone help the people too quiet to know how to say they need help?
Well, dumbass. Because how in the WORLD are they supposed to know those people NEED help?
I see a lot of people talking about how people write on the internet and try to sell themselves as so happy with these perfect lives when meanwhile insanity is happening beneath the surface. And later they are criticized for this, for painting a happy picture when they weren’t happy at all. And that DOES happen, that definitely happens, but then I get (also uncharitably) defensive. You can’t tell! You can’t! Because sometimes people are just private! Sometimes the things we carry aren’t for the internet or even close friends. Sometimes the things we carry are ours to carry alone.
But also sometimes people ARE lying to sell their lives. So maybe I should reel that in. Maybe I shouldn’t give the benefit of the doubt OR judge. Maybe I should just STOP.
Then of course there are layers to what people are willing to share. Just because so-and-so is very vocal about certain stressors, it doesn’t mean EVERYTHING in her life is stressful, nor does it mean there aren’t things happening that even she isn’t mentioning.
This all sounds very ominous. I promise things are a normal amount of fine and messed up over here. No great turmoil. This isn’t a cry for help. It’s just, I don’t know. I get frustrated every day–EVERY SINGLE DAY–of my life when I find myself not stopping and taking a second and realizing WE ALL PROCESS THINGS DIFFERENTLY. There aren’t right and wrong ways.
Well, kicking kittens is a wrong way.
But there aren’t. And I need to stop. To stop resenting the squeaky wheels. THEY NEED OIL. So they squeak. And people bring them what they need.
And that’s ANOTHER thing I do. I see someone being very loud about a problem, and I immediately imagine what sort of problem I’d have to have to be THAT vocal about it. And I compare my imaginary makes-an-introvert-scream problem to the WAY AN EXTROVERT PROCESSES REAL ACTUAL PROBLEMS and that’s just not fair. NOT FAIR. Not to either type of personality. Or anyone on that sliding scale, I suppose, so as not to pigeonhole everyone.
I’m not going anywhere with this. It probably sounds preachy, and I don’t mean it that way. I just, I don’t hide things on purpose. I don’t know that it’s even HIDING, it’s just not sharing, because it’s mine and I’m protective of it. Maybe. I know it’s not pride that makes me do it. I have no desire for everyone to think I have it all together. And it’s not shame. I guess sometimes there is shame, but I’m not embarrassed that I can’t do it all, that I need support. It just doesn’t even occur to me to talk about it.
But, man. If it does occur to you to talk about your problems, to live your life out loud? I admire you. And you deserve every drop of oil you get.
OKAY GROUP HUG EVERYBODY THE END.