Thursday, May 14, 2009

Comparing Trials

I don't know if this is a cultural thing or what, but have you notice how we compare trials with each other? Things are said like, "Well, I can't complain, because my situation is not as bad as so-and-so's." Why do we do this to ourselves? This was actually a big and very interesting discovery from our journey with Charlie.
One day in the hospital we were getting our regular visit from the social worker to see how we were doing. It ocurred to me that the she just visited the person in the room next to us that had it much worse than I did, and was about to visit the person on the other side of me that did not have it as bad as me at all.
I asked her, "How do you do your job and keep a straight face withe everyone you visit? The people that have no problems probably complain the most, and you have to act like that's totally understandable. How can you do that when you have seen the worst of the worst in this hospital?"
She said to me, "I have to just tell myself that this is the worst situation that this person has experienced in their life so far. That is all they have to compare their situation to, and that's all I can expect from them."
This conversation taught me so much. I knew people that had it worse than far! Sometimes I felt like that meant that I wasn't allowed to grieve, feel sad, be frustrated, etc. BUT this was a hard situation for me; was I supposed to not be human?
I decided to let myself be as human as I wanted, and that I also needed to let others be as human as they wanted to.
There are people that are going through things that are not as hard as what I went through, but who am I to tell them that they have to suck it up!? Shouldn't I be the one that could empathize the most?
So bottome line, don't compare trials. Take what you can from each trial, and appreciate the differences. Learn what you can from your own trials and from others' experiences, because that is what they are for. Learning.


Melissa said...

well said. I had a great time at dinner too. It was so nice to see so many faces as it had been a long time! Hope you are feeling well!

Christina said...

I think what you wrote is so true. When we were in the waiting room while Jacob was having his open heart surgery, there were parents traumatized because their kids were having tubes put in their ears. I wanted to scream "my son has been in surgery 5 hours already, what are you whining about?" But I have realized that that really was a scary situation for them and I shouldn't compare what I was going through verses them. Life is full of different experiences for different people. I just hope I am learning the things I need to from my challenges.

Hugs & Prayers,
Christina from IHH
Jacob's Momma

Kaidence's Mommy said...

What you said is so true. How are you doing? I would love to get together with you sometime.

McBride Family said...

I was so glad to see an update! I am not good at facebook and was totally lost trying to find you!
You have made a very good point and I thank you for it! I do find myself thinking "please tell me she is not sitting here telling me this after what Reagan has been through" but, your right, everything is big when it is your own situation! I am going to remember this!

I can relate a little bit about your conversations! You want people to be blessed and encouraged by your stories about Charlie. He is and will always be a part of your life and something that you would like to share with others! Not for them to feel sorry for you but just for conversation. I really don't like getting the "Bless her heart". Things will come more natural as time goes by. You were truly a blessing to us while we were in PCH! I would not have a blog if it were not for you! Thanks a million. Have a great day!
Jeri Ann from Alabama!

Lindsay said...

Well-written, Shannon. Hope you are great and miss you!

The McOmie Four said...

Hey Shannon,
I just wanted to say thank you for your feelings that you put on this blog. I keep my feelings to myself about everything that went on. This makes it hard for me to pinpoint what is actually going on with my emotions. I just want you to know that some of the things that you have realized and put into words have helped me so so much. Thank you.