Here’s a recent post chosen for Freshly Pressed that really hit a nerve:
And why does it still have to hurt so much?
When will it stop hurting?
Without question, I am over him. I no longer love him. I haven’t for a long time. I do not hate him. It would not bother me in the least if I never spoke to or saw him again. (Of course, this can’t happen (and I won’t allow it to happen), because we have Z and M.)
What I am not over is how much he hurt me. He’s not only hurt me, he’s hurt me in such a way as to have a long-term impact on any and all relationships I may have. He’s hurt me in such a way as to have a long-term impact on any and all relationships I already have.
When I need to talk to or just be in the presence of someone the most, I can’t bear the thought of it. I can’t bear the thought of confiding in someone else.
The depth of the pain is too much to bear.
The writer is a Canadian, a mother of two small children, whose husband cheated on her.
Keening for seven years? Maybe she’s “ultra sensitive”, as this blogger describes herself.
And here’s a married, white, employed writer complaining in The New York Times that she is living in a friend’s ratty old house, at no cost:
I remind myself to have faith in something larger than the petty irritations of an old house. It’s been, as Dan has said, an “unconventional” way to take over a house.
That would be rent and mortage free, an opportunity millions of Americans would be happy to tackle.
In contrast, here’s an extraordinary story about a family whose 20-year-old son, Declan Sullivan, was killed at Notre Dame University in an accident. Their gracious response is inspiring, not tiring.
My impatience with whining is colored by my own experiences, and those of friends and family, who have coped from early childhood with serious illness, partners’ or parents’ premature death, mental illness, alcoholism, sexual abuse, repeated job loss, natural disasters.
Canadian writer Paul Tough wrote a smart book on this subject:
Character is created by encountering and overcoming failure. In this absorbing and important book, Tough explains why American children from both ends of the socioeconomic spectrum are missing out on these essential experiences. The offspring of affluent parents are insulated from adversity, beginning with their baby-proofed nurseries and continuing well into their parentally financed young adulthoods. And while poor children face no end of challenges — from inadequate nutrition and medical care to dysfunctional schools and neighborhoods — there is often little support to help them turn these omnipresent obstacles into character-enhancing triumphs.
Jose and I, in our professional work as journalists, have witnessed horrific violence, death, war and fear for our own lives. People who choose our field know that working to tight deadlines against ferocious competitors means no one has time to coddle you, and insisting on it is a career-damaging choice.
When New York Times reporter Anthony Shadid died of an asthma attack while covering a story in Syria, his accompanying photographer Tyler Hicks carried his dead body into Turkey. Jose spent Christmas of 1995 in bitterly cold Bosnia, sleeping in an unheated metal cargo container, his holiday meal a packet of chicken soup, all he could find in the post-war madness there while working as a news photographer. He couldn’t shower for five weeks.
I faced my mother’s manic breakdown when I was 14, in Mexico, with very little help, and had to take care of a visiting friend, a girl my age who spoke no Spanish, while we figured it all out.
No one trains or prepares you for such moments.
I recently had a long conversation with a new friend, a woman whose life has handed her a tremendous amount of personal stress, fear and worry, some of which is out of her control and ongoing. Yet she is chic, funny, smart, tough and resolutely un-whiny.
Clutching and sobbing tends to make me sigh and withdraw.
When the shit hits the fan, do you crumble?