This morning I discovered a voicemail that was received last night after I had gone to bed. My long-distance friend was upset with me because I had failed to comment on a facebook posting about her life-threatening surgery. I feel horrible that she experience this and I didn’t respond. I feel horrible that she called me and was upset that I didn’t respond, because I am sure she feels physically terrible anyway. Adding emotional pain made her believe that I didn’t care.
My only excuse is that I missed that post. I had been gone when her emergency occurred and had never gotten caught up on reading all my facebook posts and comments. I just didn’t know. ’
I have since called her and all is right with the world again. She understood; she just felt like no one cared at the moment.
Feeling like no one cares. Most of us have experienced this. A few days pass and everyone you love and care about are busy with other things. Maybe you post a blog or a facebook status, and the reaction you were hoping for doesn’t happen. A landmark day in your life comes and goes leaving you unsatisfied. An anniversary of loss makes you miss someone so much that you can hardly go on.
I learned by example that when things like this happen, you just go on. Suck it up. Get on with your life. Be tough.
I am rethinking that response. Maybe I should respond in a different way. Maybe I should get angry and shout out loud and send a message that I am upset or feeling neglected. I know I am guilty of holding my feelings inside. In my family, that was a trait to be admired. It was a sign of strength, that one could overcome anything by pure will.
It’s not always good to hold your feelings inside. At some point, something has to give.
My friend has no difficulty telling others how she feels. If someone upsets her, she lets them know. If someone neglects to do something, she is there to remind them to get it done. She wears her heart on her sleeve. You have no doubt where you stand with her.
I’m the opposite of this. I keep things bottled up not expressing how I feel. I don’t want to offend anyone or make them feel bad. No one really knows how I stand on certain issues. Sometimes I don’t even know.
I have survived being the way I am and she has survived being the way she is. There’s no right way or wrong way. We are what we are. It’s important to keep that in mind in order to keep the peace.