Saturday, July 09, 2005

What is normal, really?

First of all, thanks to Dana for being my first commenter, and for being able to sympathize. It does wonders to realize that others can relate and know how you feel.

You know, I was talking with my mom the other day (She's probably my closest friend, the one I open up to the most, yet only to a certain extent. I still remain closely guarded, even with her.) and I'm not sure how we got on the subject, but I ended up trying to explain to her something I do that I find a little bizarre. I'm not sure what it is or why exactly, but I tend to personalize other people's pain or humiliation to such a point that I physically feel it for them. I was telling her how, when other people do something I perceive as embarrassing, I am actually humiliated for them. Like I cringe with the idea of how they must be feeling at that moment, and how they will handle it afterwards. It's almost a sickening feeling of shame, even though it's not me that it's happening to. How weird is that? My paralyzing fear of public humiliation runs so deep that I actually feel the humiliation of others as well. And it goes for people struggling with pain or loss as well. When I hear of kidnappings or lost children on the news and they end up finding them dead, like those three boys in the trunk of the car, I am devastated for their families. My heart literally aches for them. Or like when Shasta was found alive, I was so happy it was like I know her personally. And even though that story had been out of the news for weeks, I still checked every day since it first came out to see if they had been found yet, just hopeful that they would somehow still be found alive. Like that girl, oh I don't remember her name, who was taken from her bedroom in the middle of the night, and spent months with her vagrant captor and his partner/wife?, doing who knows what to her. And then she came back! After, I'm sure, everyone had given up hope, she came back. I couldn't believe it, I can't even imagine what that must have been like for her and her family. I try not to let myself imagine because I don't think I could handle it. What was her name?! Beautiful girl, blond hair, blue eyes, seemed to grow up from a girl to a young woman in the time she was away, yet much before and not in a way any girl should have to. And even now, I still think of her and what she must have endured. How do you function after something like that? Or how do you function after the loss of a child? How do people go on after that? I don't think I could. Just thinking about it is physically painful. I wish I knew what to say to people when they've suffered a loss like that, but it all seems so inadequate. The pain of it all is just too overwhelming. I'm sure others must experience this as well, but not anyone I know. My mother couldn't completely relate, she feels bad for people but doesn't actually feel pain or humiliation for them. My husband certainly doesn't feel this way at all. If it's not happening to him then he could care less. That seems so heartless to me. How can you not be interested or have empathy for other people in that way? And I don't mean he should personalize it like I do, but at least feel something, care a little bit. That's normal, isn't it? I guess normal is different for everyone. And who am I to say what normal is, right?


Blogger illahee said...

hi, i've just discovered your blog yesterday, and i'm reading through your archives (hope you don't mind).

anyway, i am just like you. sometimes it's so bad, like when i'm watching a movie and someone starts doing something embarassing, i have to leave (or change the channel if it's on TV.)

and i think you're talking about elizabeth smart, right? the girl in utah who was taken by that weird guy and his 'wife'? spooky to say the least!!

8:11 PM  

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