Sunday, October 7, 2012

Shutting down and closing yourself off should never be an option!

Last night I talked about some of the issues I have been facing.  How I have felt alone and dead inside because the one person I want to share my issues with has closed themselves off and has shut down. He is trying to deal with his own health issues on his own. He has shut down and cut himself off from his family, friends and loved ones, he has isolated himself to try and deal with his problems on his own.  I have reached out sent text messages, left voice mails, tried calling, even resorted to emails and emailing him via Facebook. His isolation has made me feel alone, lost and has caused me to worry more than he can possibly imagine at this point.  It has also kept him from participating in what has been happening with me. I am sure that he has gotten my messages, and knows that I have been in the hospital twice, that I have gone to see my surgeon, and have a doctors appointment tomorrow afternoon.  But, what he doesn't know is what I have found out so far, and how it is going to impact our relationship.  What he also hasn't come to realize is that by cutting me out and isolating himself from me he is cutting his lifeline, keeping him from using the knowledge and experience I have in the matters he is going through.

See I am a firm believer in talking, communication to me is the key to everything in life. When we talk about our problems and issues with others we gain perspective, and the mountains we have made out of the molehills take on a very different shape. By discussing our problems with others we begin to realize that maybe our issues aren't as big and as scary as they were when we were trying to deal with them on our own.  By confiding in others, giving them the trust of our openness we find that we have a support network that we can fall back on, that we are not alone in our fight, and we are now open to suggestions, knowledge and guidance that may help us navigate the issue at hand.  I know what I am talking about here. I have 20 years of dealing with illness, I have a great network of family and friends that I can call on to help me tackle the problems that arise.  I know how important it is because I also need help from time to time to navigate the pitfall, stumbling blocks and hazards that life throws at us.

I can help my friend with his problems because I have been there. I know what he is going through, the emotions he is feeling and I can protect him and help him navigate and find the best care out there to treat what is happening with him.  But, I also realize that his shutting down is his coping mechanism, his defense against a threat that is bigger than himself, and how he is handling and mitigating his fear.  But knowing these things doesn't help me feel less helpless and alone in this situation. See we are a couple, a partnership, and he should be able to confide in me, trust me with his fears, concerns and what is happening with him.  I can be his rock, his guidance and inspiration in this fight. I want him to know that he isn't alone, that he is the one person and thing that keeps me going in my own battle. I want to repay that by being his!

I know that sometimes it is hard to see the forest because all we can see is the trees before us.  I know that we can lose our way and get lost if we aren't watching where we place our feet.  But, I also know that we all need someone, we don't always know what to do or how to react to information that is thrust upon us.  Talking and communicating with others helps us with that.  It also keeps us grounded and focused on ourselves and what we need to do to solve the issue or problem.  We don't have to fight any fight alone, we have those around us that are more than willing to share in our pain, adventure and life if we just give them the opportunity.  Maybe it is pride, or fear that keeps us from opening up. Maybe it is the mistaken thought that if we don't say what we are facing out loud, if we don't consciously think about it, will make it less real and less threatening.  Trust me those are fantasies, what we are experiencing is real and no matter what we wish or hope it isn't going to go away on it's own. We have to face them with courage, hope and conviction that we are going to win and survive.  Keep a positive attitude and outlook will go a long way in making the situation bearable and manageable, but we have to get there and gain that perspective. It just doesn't magically appear.

Give voice to your doubts, turn to your friends and family, let them help you and guide you through whatever it is that you are going through, you are going to be happier if you do. You will feel less vulnerable, you won't feel isolated and alone, let them help you carry the burden, because you shouldn't have to deal with the weight of the issue by yourself.  Keep yourself open to the ideas and opinions of others, because they may give you an insight or inspiration that you might have otherwise missed.  A different treatment plan or way to handle the situation, because we each see things differently and from different perspectives.  Try looking at the problem or issue through another persons eyes and you will understand what I am talking about here.

Also if you are in a relationship with someone you cannot expect them to sit idly by and let you deal with the issue on your own.  You have to understand that they already feel powerless to help you, they see the pain that you are carrying and they know that they can do nothing to alleviate it and make it better.  But what they can do is be there for you, they can be the shoulder that you cry upon, they can lend you their strength, support and wisdom, and they can help you find the right answer.  You owe it to them to give them the opportunity.  Keep in mind that a relationship is a two-way street, that it is a partnership, you are supposed to be working together to build something, but you are also there to help one another through the difficult times too.  Give them the benefit of the doubt, talk to them, let yourself embrace their love, warmth and support.  Listen to them, let them help you carry the burden and lessen your load.  It will make it easier for you to heal and get better if you aren't weighed down with the stress and weight of the situation all by yourself.

I posted several weeks ago on Facebook a message to my partner, I know he knew it was for him, just as I know that most if not all of his posts are meant specifically for me. Others, may not even know that we are dating or a couple but we know it, and we have a short handed way of talking to each other even when we aren't really talking.  It helps us realize that we are in it together. But in my post I reminded him that we are a partnership and that I wasn't a silent partner, but a full sharing member. I was hoping he would get the point that I am here for him and always will be. Even if we weren't dating and didn't have plans to be moving in together soon. I would still be there for him. See when I tell you I am your friend, I am your friend no matter what. I will be there for you and you can count on me. I am not going anywhere.  I promise you I am your friend till the very end.  If I open my mouth and I say the words I love you, you better know that I mean them, because those aren't words that I say to everyone, and they have a special meaning for me. They are words of binding, and if I love you, that means I am with you, and only you.

I know if you have read my other posts in the blog I mention that the human heart is the only heart I know that has the capacity to love more than one person, it is also the only heart I know that can love someone unconditionally.  We have the ability to accept a person, their good parts and when we do that and we are truly in love we never even notice or see the bad parts of them.

If you ever find yourself in the same situation that I find myself in, be sure you let your friend or partner know that you are there for them, give them the space and time they need to come to the realization that you are sincere, you are for real and that you aren't going anywhere. Because often times we let our past experiences color our thoughts and ideas about our present, and we can't do that. Remember no two people are the same, and no two experiences are exactly the same no matter how similar they may actually seem.  If someone has left you in the past when you have confided in them or have asked for their help, that doesn't mean that everyone is going to do the same to you.  You have to accept people at face value. Keep in mind that actions always speak louder than words.  I know from first hand experience that anybody can tell you anything, yet their actions and time will reveal if those words that they have spoke are actually true. I am not saying that at the time they were spoken they weren't true, because they probably were. But, their strength and the strength of their character may be weaker than they thought. See if they follow through and live up to what they have said and promised.  Most people will, but those that don't measure up, let them go, because they aren't the ones you want to have trying to support you in a time of crisis.

I also posted yesterday that the scars of the past are always with us.  They are visible, but just because they are still there doesn't mean that they aren't healed.  By saying this what I mean is that we have gotten past the hurts of our past, and we are reminded of that past by the scars we bear, but just because that scar is there, doesn't mean that ever other person is going to do the same thing to you. You have learned from the mistake, you have healed from it, be open and receptive, the next person isn't going to do the same thing to you, give them the benefit of the doubt and the opportunity to show you that they aren't going to reopen that old wound.  As I have said earlier no two people are the same, neither are two situations, so you getting hurt exactly the same way this time through isn't likely at all to happen.  We also have to stop looking backwards, because we cannot move forward if we are constantly focused on the past.  The baggage of the past needs to also be left in the past, don't keep comparing your current to your past because that would be like comparing apples and oranges, because no two situations are identical.

Please understand that by closing yourself off from your support network of friends and family will seriously limit you from receiving the guidance and wisdom you will need to prevail over your situation. Each person is different and should be afforded the opportunity to prove to you that they are not going to hurt you like the person from your past.

As always my hopes and dreams are with you,

Uncle B