Photo courtesy photos-public-domain.com.
There is a strong current in our society to fix our surroundings. Mainly if they evoke negative feelings. Or if someone just sticks out.
Like my son who likes ballet. Eeeeuw say other five year olds, quick learners. Even adults are stunned. Really? Whose idea was that?? Karate sits better. With boys. But not with girls. We may let these things go. As just not important. We stand up for our children when they are the odd one out. That’s not too difficult, if it is only the after school activity.
What’s more difficult than to keep brushing off unwanted advice is the need to fix raw emotion. Especially anger. I can get angry about stuff. And I can rant. My husband and son can attest to that. And then I just need to vent and rant till I am done. I don’t need the ‘oh, well, never mind’ or the myriad of variations on that. I just need it to be acknowledged.
I fix my husband too. He once shared something with me that really troubled him. And when he finished I ventured how hard it must have been. For the other person. His eyes widened in incredibility. Without a word he turned on his heels and walked out of the room. I thought I’d opened the discussion. When in fact I just shut it down. Oh well… I’ve made many similar mistakes. So it’s not like I don’t recognise the urge. To advice, gloss over, change subject, to keep it light. As we grow up we learn to swallow many a camel. Of un-aknowledged anything.
It’s just that I’ve just about had it with blooming fixing. It stands in the way of so many things. Mainly relationships.
‘NO, YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND’ my son will shout if I’ve assumed I know how he feels. Assuming too much, or even at all, if talking to an upset person, is just adding fuel to the fire. Pouring gasoline on the fire.
‘Sorry, you’re right. I just tried to fix it. I’m sorry.’
‘Is that a question or an assumption?’ Is an effective, if firm, way of getting things back on track. Depending on tone it may be a downright F U. It generally is.
I’ve learned to defend or deal with unwanted comments and advice. For the most part. I assume people mean well. I assume positive intend. I’ve made a mantra out of it. I sing it to myself when I meet ignorant or rude people. Lord knows I can be ignorant and let’s hope only unintentionally rude.
But sometimes, just sometimes, ignorance just really gets to me. I’m reaching another saturation point.
At the moment it is about the finer details of adoption. Please don’t say it’s all normal. Or that you best friend in childhood was adopted, and you know exactly what it means. ‘He will hate you when he grows up. Because you are not his real mum’ ermmm whatttt? ‘Just you wait. He will.’ And don’t get me started on thing like ‘So he has been with you for 4 years? Then he’s fine. He has forgotten everything.’
Next time you feel that urge to jump in with your opinion. Next time you need to interrupt to get your point across. Try to pause and listen. Don’t correct. Just hear it out. Chances are you may learn something. I tell myself this too. It’s hard. I know.
Ok. Chances are also you’re not interested. You’re just trying to cancel out the noise. Fine. I’ll move on.
But if you are dealing with my son, and hurting him by insisting you know better, soon it’ll be me who shouts
‘NO, YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND!’
Please don’t pretend that you do.
And please don’t just put me down as a fuzzy overthinking mum. Who reads too much. That most definitely isn’t the whole story.
It really does at times feel like listening is too much to ask.
I’m still working on myself on this one. And continue to shallow insults borne of ignorance. Often I’m itching to have the last word. Or explain so people will understand.
Oh well, never mind. They probably won’t. Probably never will.
Really?! Is this where this ends?