Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Little Advice.

Unsolicited advice. That is pretty much what this is. It is given out of love, frustration and a little bit of hurt feelings. What I am about to say might sound rude, it might even sound angry. It's not. I am just trying to explain myself.
When someone you know is going through something, maybe let's say their mother's death. Or maybe say a financial crisis where they are losing everything they have and have no idea what they are going to do. (These of course just examples, not anything personal). All you need to say is "man, that sucks." or "wow, I am sorry you are going through that". If these are things you have never dealt with, if you have no idea how it feels, then just keep it simple. Don't offer pity, don't try to make light of the situation and for God's sake by all means do not try to make the person see the bright side. Because when you are stuck in your own personal hell and you are two seconds away from a nervous breakdown you do not want somebody who is clearly not affected by this economy, who has absolutely no idea what it is like to bury their whole family, who still takes vacations and drives their nice cars and kids go to private schools, who can call their mom or dad and say hi, to say to you  "well, you still have your health". When this journey in our lives began and when our world started falling apart, not one time, not ever have I not been aware of the good things I have. Chris and I talk about it all the time. We are so glad that our kids are so awesome, we are amazed at how strong our marriage is, we thank God that nobody has gotten any major illnesses. And above all else we are so aware that there are so many people that have it worse than us. I am never one who thinks that my story is the saddest, that my life is the most stressful. It's not a contest. I am not trying to win. I just want people who are supposed to care about us and who are trying so hard to figure out what the right thing to say to know that you don't have to say anything. Just be there. Just ask us over for dinner, just ask if I want to have coffee one morning, ask if Chris wants to hang and play golf. Just do not try to make it better by trying to get us to see the bright side, we see the bright side, it's pretty obvious. I look into my children's faces and that is the bright side. I look at Chris and I know he's a healthy, strong, smart man who is willing to work his ass off for his family. I have no doubt that this will all get better. I know that a year from now we will be looking back saying "phew, glad that is over", but right now when we are in the thick of it, the people that just want to be there for us, who offer to help pack, who try to understand and show a little empathy for our situation those are the people that I want to spend time with. Those are the friends and family (and they are still out there and they know who they are)  that I let know what is happening, that I want kept in the loop and am comfortable sharing our story with.
I am sorry if this post offends anybody that is certainly not my intention, I know that people mean well, and I know what it is like to not be sure what to say. I just had to say something because my feelings keep getting hurt and I just felt that it was time to put it out there. I am an honest person, honest to a fault sometime and it was time that I was honest about this situation. Like I said in my last post I know that I am not the easiest person to get along with or the easiest person to live with but I am loyal and I am caring and I will tell you from the bottom of my heart when and if (God forbid) any of my friends and family go through trying times I will never try to make light of it, I promise not to make you look at the bright side. I understand that the bright side isn't what you need, it's knowing that someone is there for you.
Thanks for reading.


  1. Bravo, Nina! People need to be okay saying, "I don't know what to say, except I love you!"

  2. Thanks Laura, this was a difficult post to write but I had to put it out there.

  3. You are strong and brave and I know you will get through it all - my thoughts are with you, xoxoxo

  4. Amen. And good for you for being willing to speak up and try to teach people how you want to be treated. There's not much worse than being in the middle of something really hard and having someone else tell you how to feel and that your feelings are wrong.

    I addressed this once on my blog. I struggle with depression and marital issues and chronic pain and other stuff. Some people in life just think it's their job to try to fix it or fix me instead of just saying that this sucks and I'm sorry you're going through it.

    If you're interested in a little more validation here it is:

    I'm sorry things suck right now. I'm sorry people don't seem to know how to support you. I hope things get better soon, even just some small things that can take a little of the stress away.

    Best wishes.

  5. Well said...WELL SAID!

    It really is difficult to ever know WHAT to say, in any situation really. And for whatever reason, we as humans feel this need to say SOMETHING. Glad to know we just don't have to say anything.

  6. Thank you Allyson, Robin and Kristin. I wrote this in a moment when I was feeling very hurt and upset. The irony of course is that the person that hurt me the most will probably never read this, and people that I wasn't even talking about have taken it personally. The good thing though is I put it out there and hopefully it will make somebody think next time and then they will say "I'm sorry you are going through this" instead of "well, you still have your health"!!

  7. So excited for you and your family, Nina.
    I will miss you all terribly. Your journey will be joyful at times, and terrible at times I'm sure. I'm happy for you all.
    Love you xxoo


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