Aug 12, 2019

Are you a silent sufferer?

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When bad things happen we all have our natural way of reacting. Some, speak up about it. Some, stay quiet, and others can't even process such kinds of events.

I'm a silent sufferer.

When bad things happen, I tell no one. I don't mention it. I don't want to show any signs of there being an issue.

Growing up in the 90's it was all girl-power. I remember my mother taking me into her job on "bring your daughter to work day". A day set aside to encourage women in the workplace.

It was when women were trying to show they were just as capable and strong as men, but to me I saw the reality. Women, working full-time,  would go home, and end up doing most, if not all, of the domestic chores. My mom wasn't just capable like a man, she did twice the work, and still managed to smile.

She wanted me to be tough and not a glass house of emotions, like men think we are. "Be tough," she would tell me.

When she faced cancer while I was a high-school student, I learned just how tough I was. A teacher recommended I start seeing a therapist to deal with the trauma of my mother's new diagnosis. During the sessions, the therapist would ask me questions. The first one was always the same, "How are things going with you?" She would ask always knowing my answer. "Things are interesting," I would respond, and then I'd say no more. It was then that she recommended I start painting to help release my emotions and my feelings because she quickly learned I wasn't comfortable talking about them.

As I've grown, I've been blessed with a husband I feel more able to share the inner workings of my mind with, but with my biggest trials, I still feel incapable of sharing. There are no right words, and way too many feelings to process. I stay quiet. I smile. I show I'm strong, but the feelings are there.

To the silent sufferer, I want to give you permission to cope how you want to. Share what you want, and keep what you don't. Have a good cry on your own. Journal in a notebook. But please don't keep that stuff inside. It will come out in ways. Like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with way too much jelly, it'll bust right out the seams. One way or another, those feelings will come out, and I want to spare you the way I've seem come out of me. It's not pretty. It's not kind. It isn't patient. It is the opposite of all the good. So, let it go. Let it out. Just because you feel doesn't mean you're weak.

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