Other People Have It Worse


My counselor said I should trace down why I have this belief: 

So what?  I just think I have it bad.  Other people have it worse. I should stop complaining.

I liken it to ‘Children are starving in China!’.  I do not recall anyone ever having said that to me, but that is how it feels.  How DARE I sit here and feel sorry for myself!  So what?  So what your husband is a lying, cheating, back stabbing, insane sex addict?   There are women being raped on their husband’s dead bodies.  Women whose husbands gave them HIV and they are dying of it.   People are starving.  People are burned all over their bodies and writhing in agony.  People are being tortured.  Psycopaths are murdering people and hurting them terribly.  Hell, even dogs are in agony and dragging their legs behind them as they slowly die.

Regret is pointless.  Regrets help nothing.  Regret, feeling sorry for oneself, cannot help you move forward.  It cannot help you find joy.  It cannot help you succeed in future endeavors.  It can only hinder.  Get over it.  Let it go.  Look forward, not backward.  So, it happened.  It cannot be fixed.  It is broken beyond repair.  You cannot go back in time no matter how hard you might wish it.  You are stuck with the reality as it is.  YOU ARE HERE.  Accept it.  Don’t sit around worrying about it.  There is nothing for it.  Here, let’s go do something else to take your mind off of it.  Let go.

Who cares?  The universe doesn’t give a damn about your little ape-ant pain.  No one REALLY cares.  Get up out of  that dirt, wipe yourself off, and get back to work.  Leads to – your pain doesn’t matter.  Your pain is inconsequential compared to others.  You have no room to feel bad because other people feel so much worse.  Your pain is nothing compared to mine.

So, if you don’t like it, quit whining and DO something about it!  Sheesh.  If you have the energy to bitch, you have the energy to act.  No one wants to sit here and keep listening to your bullshit when you refuse to DO something to FIX IT.  Fine, you can piss and moan and vent for a while, but pretty soon you had better ACT or you are just wallowing in the bullshit and being a pain in the ass.  SHUT UP ALREADY. (I know I felt this way about my mother, who complained and complained and never seemed to DO anything to HELP herself.  Just like my current husband.  Grrr.)

I keep thinking this should branch, like a tree.  One thought leading back to another.  I’m not finding the threads to follow, however.  She thinks that this thought must have its roots in something I was instilled with as a child.  I don’t doubt that.  My mother’s issues were all consuming.  My issues had to be stifled, swallowed, made insignificant.  My brother’s issues were huge.  I was the good child, the quiet child, the child who never caused problems.  I don’t know if anyone ever said those exact words to me, but I learned.  And I get frustrated with myself when I feel I am wallowing in self pity when the world is a much worse, much scarier place than I can imagine.  My hurts are so small.  I should count my blessings and be grateful for what I have rather than obsess over what I have not.

Perhaps she is right that it is a lesson which serves to minimize my own issues.  However, I also think I am right.  If everyone took their personal woes and put them in perspective, maybe they wouldn’t run around damaging each other so often to make up for their own lack of self worth and self pity.  Maybe he wouldn’t be such a cruel addict and be acting on his basest impulses without regard to consequence or other people in his life.

Maybe.

I add this later, on this note. 

I was the ‘good’ child.  I am the one who played with the little nieces.  I kept them out of the adult’s hair while they had their holiday fun.  Mostly tense, and uncomfortable, but I guess that was normal.  My sister sometimes would help, but she had her short temper, so everyone left her to her anger.  My brother would hide.  My dad would watch football, or chat.  My step brother.  Odd.  I don’t really remember what he would do.  Be with my brother, maybe.  Or my sister.  I, I kept the littler children busy.  Kept them happy.  Kept the adults happy.  I was so afraid the little ones would get yelled at.  Get in trouble.  Cause trouble.  They were innocent, and I couldn’t bare to see them in trouble, not on a holiday.  I didn’t mind.  It was fun to concoct a play for us to perform for everyone.  They got good attention.  I was praised for being so clever and so good for watching out after the littler children.  Sure, I might have wanted to sulk, like my sister, like my brothers.  I might have wanted to sit with the adults and listen to them talk.  But I decided that was my best way of being useful.  I wasn’t any good in the kitchen, and I always felt in the way, clumsy, hopeless.  I didn’t like sports.  I felt selfish if I found a book to read.  So I plucked up my patience and my good deed and my imagination, and spent hours with the little cousins.

I don’t like other people’s children.  I don’t want to entertain them.  I don’t want to discipline them.  I don’t want to control them.  Those are the jobs of THEIR parents.  Maybe I resent those years I gave.  Maybe I don’t want to be anyone else’s parent without it being my choice alone.  I know I don’t want to be HIS parent.

But someone in the family was always in a worse way.  More tired.  More angry.  More withdrawn.  More emotional.  More dramatic.  Prettier.  Smarter.  Cuter.  Out of control.  I was able to step in and take over.  When no one else is willing or able, I will step in and take a lead.  But I would rather walk alone.  Or side by side.  I didn’t want power.  Just love.  Just kind attention.  Just someone to show they cared, about me.

Little changes, I guess.

I always knew these things about me.  Just revisiting again, in a new light of a terrible red dawn I suppose.

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