Here’s An Idea

I really {and I mean really} hate that I feel that I have the need to post this and I hope {and pray} as I write it that if you have happened to stumble onto my blog, you will understand where I am coming from, rather than feel like I’m attacking you.

If not: Consider this my apology in advance. 

This post was born from a high level of stress, a serious lack of sleep, and suffering through the well-intention-ed meddling of well-meaning people one too many times. If my tone comes across as anything but exhausted, you’re reading it with the wrong voice in your head.


I begin to feel as though social interaction, at this stage in my life, is entirely over-rated. Now before you jump on me, try to have me committed, or berate me for being a bad wife/ mom/ daughter/ sister/ whatever… hear me out. Each of us suffer through some affliction or another at every point in our lives. Many of us have to deal with insensitivity and well-meaning and not-so-well-meaning advice and/or horror stories about a vaguely similar situation that said person slightly remembers through the haze of a decade’s worth of time and bad dreams.

Just don’t. 

 Granted we all feel the need to share, empathize, and relate to one another. It’s part of the human condition and a big part of what separates us from the apes and various other mammals that have the ability to communicate and form social groups. {After all, my husband’s not going around eating your children to ensure his seed is the dominate one in the area… we, as humans, had to draw the line somewhere!  *said facetiously, by the way- my husband is fabulous with kids and doesn’t need to prove to anyone that he can produce awesome kiddos considering we have six of our own.*}

I know you mean well… I really do. 

I just don’t need to hear it. 

For those of you who don’t know, my family has had to deal with a series of rather frightening medical issues over the past seven months.

Did I say frightening?

I meant terrifying. 

Less than two weeks ago, in fact, my husband {my big, strong Superman bear of a husband} ended up being carried away from my house on a stretcher. At one in the morning. With oxygen. And the EMT’s? They turned on the lights when they pulled out of my driveway. To the hospital. Again.

You see, he has been having seizures. A particularly nasty version of seizures known as grand mal seizures, which are supposed to last with their particular viciousness for about 5 minutes. But his? This particular night, he had two in a row… back to back… that lasted more than an hour combined.

So regardless of how well meaning you are, commiserating with me that you knew someone who  died from having seizures so you know how awful they are and “feel my pain” is not going to cut it. I don’t feel comforted. My anxiety raises, and it causes me to spend every moment worriedly analyzing every movement, every inarticulated sound that my husband makes wondering “Is this the last conscious interaction I am going to have with my husband? Are my children fixing to witness their father dying in the throes and contortions of a grand mal seizure?”

Here’s an idea: if you feel the need to comfort me say “I’m sorry you’re having to go through this. It must be terrible.” Then stop talking.

A lady in my Anything study group said it perfectly: “Desi, this is a very urgent need! I will pray for you, your family and his doctors”

And that comforts me, instead of making me worry more.

Because that other kind of ‘sympathy’, regardless of how well meaning you are or how much you are trying to help, just sends running from doing exactly what I should be doing right now: reaching out to the Body of Christ for prayer and support. That other kind of sympathy is what urges me to keep my phone unplugged and my doors locked so I don’t have to hear your well-intentioned, but poorly thought out versions of commiseration.

welcome your prayers. I really, really, really do: It helps to know that people are praying and I’m not alone petitioning for at least an answer to the .why and what for.

want to have people I can relate to, talk to, discuss my worry, fear, and hope with.

crave comforting words, hugs, and smiles.

But to be able to spend my time with my husband enjoying him and his company?

I’ll pass on the misdirected horror stories masked as empathy every time.  


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