Friday, February 22, 2008

Apparently bad news makes you interesting.....

Wow, if I had know that I would be getting so much company on here I would have made coffee or dusted or something....or perhaps taken a crash course on spelling and grammar to make things a little more coherent But then, I have never claimed to be such things and "coherent ramblings and such" doesn't make for a very good title really. It's kind of an oxymoron don't you think?

At this very moment I'm doing ok and as such don't really feel like talking feelings. Instead I thought I would take a moment to do a public service handbook sort of thing. Think of it as a guide to help you help those close to you who are going through what I like to call "the suck".

1. Offers to help out are always appreciated but don't make them unless you are prepared to follow through. Be aware that most people won't take you up on the offer because they don't want to impose. While I realize that some of you might be counting on that fact, for those that don't, trying offering something specific.

"Is it ok if I bring over a delicious casserole? (again with the oxymorons, I know!) or maybe some cookies....barrel of whiskey...whatever."
"Could I help with yard work...housework....etc."
"Could I take your kids off your hands for a while so that you can......" or simply,
"I thought I'd come over for a visit..."

2. I realize that the situation might be upsetting for you but please take into consideration that the person that you are dealing with has to live in that situation 24/7 without reprieve. If you call them up and are crying or upset and they, at that moment are doing ok, it can ruin the moment for that person. Best to get the tears out before you pick up the phone. Also, if you are the one that's upset it often leaves the other person feeling like they then have to console you.

3. Do NOT say stupid things like:

"Everything happens for a reason."

"God only gives you what you can handle"

"You are so strong...I don't think i would ever be able to go through that"

"I know a person who had something similar and they......." don't even go there.

Comments like these can result in resentful feelings and bloody noses.

4. Never compare situations. Case in point: In the equestrian community that I am a part of there is a little boy who is extremely sick with leukemia. I had someone attempt to compare my situation to that of his family. I believe that they were attempting to console me with the fact that at least my kid doesn't have cancer. They are not the same. Itemized accounting of what each family has to endure to try to make one side seem worse is totally and completely not appropriate. Particularly when you don't have all the information.

5. Take into consideration that everyone handles things differently and processes things differently. There are no rights and no wrongs. Unless the person is continually engaging in self-destructive behavior, let them be! (Read: If I want another glass of a nice south african pinotage and it's not something I'm doing all the time, shut up and pour.)

6. Don't disappear when the heat of the moment is over. The person will probably need your support longer than you or they think.

7. Don't just assume that the person has family or whatever in place and then not call or stop by. Never assume anything. Chances are, they really do want to hear from you.

8. Don't take their anger personally. Don't act offended by it and don't keep thinking that you need to fix it. It's something they need to work through. Leave it alone.

9. I think that this one only applies to me. If I want to make jokes about hating Katie Holmes because she's so damned perky....and happy...and has "everything she could possibly want (or so she says" Let me. I'm really not that bitter and I really don't hate her but pretending to makes me feel better, so there!

10. Again, this one is just me. I truly appreciate that people need to do research and educate themselves on the evil that is Batten Disease but unless it's a huge news announcement on some new therapy or I initiate the convesation please please don't inundate me with what you have learned. It goes back to the fact that is is our lives and we are attempting to continue live despite it all. My kids deserve that. I spend hours conducting research and sending out emails. Sometimes it's nice not to have to focus on Yanna's illness. It helps me be a better parent.

I'm sure there's more but I figured that this was a good start. Also keep in mind that everyone is different so what's true for one person might not work for someone else. That's why these are called guidelines.

1 comment:

Spanky Dan said...

This is what I was talking about. I broke a few for reasons I understand. But well put on your part.