Life in progress

How comments can hurt


It didn’t start as a comment directed at me, but it bothered me nonetheless. The discussion was about a situation in which a man, with a disabled wife and a small child had taken a weekend ‘off’ to visit with friends and came home to find his wife had died. The comment, on a friend’s journal, stated that the commenter couldn’t understand why, if the man loved his family at all, he would need a weekend away from them.

I am a single mother of two disabled kids with whom I live alone. I love them more than anything in the world – but I need time off! By the time their father’s scheduled weekend with them comes around, which is supposed to be every two weeks but is more often not until the third weekend, I’m all but pulling out my hair. Loving them doesn’t preclude the work that’s required to look after their every need, nor does it make up for the fact that I don’t get any more than five hours of sleep a night when they’re here.

Back to the comment: I tried to explain to the girl who made it that it’s not that clear cut – that there are many things that go into the care of the disabled and the very young. She came back to say that she knows – and that she looks after her disabled parents. I fail to see the parallel. In the end I got the last word, telling her that she is a better person than I am.

It’s probably the way the conversation was left that bothers me the most. That I couldn’t make her see I’m not a terrible person and that I don’t not love my kids because I need time to myself to recharge and re-align my emotions, still sits badly with me.

It makes me wonder whether people out there with different problems than I have are just reluctant to look deeper into the difficulties of others or if they simply don’t care to try. It’s this ‘it’s not my problem so you must be doing something wrong to make it yours’ attitude that worries me. At the same time I hope they are never put into my situation, a little part of me hopes they are. Not very altruistic, but there you go. Sentiment breeds like sentiment.

Author: Linda G. Hill

There's a writer in here, clawing her way out.

28 thoughts on “How comments can hurt

  1. Pingback: Margret's Life Journey

  2. Pingback: Fortune Cookie | Margret's Life Journey!

  3. I’ve always thought you’re great and because you need a break now and then you are just showing your human side!
    Yes, ok, you can stop pretending! I know you’re not a robot!!!!!
    That said, I’m always bothered by the lack of empathy spreading in our society like a virus…it’s very sad.


  4. over here! If you don’t get a chance to be away from your children or the people you care for you lose sight of the care you give and can’t see the true beauty of things. Trust me I know x ❀ thank you for understanding bub x


  5. I don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t need a break from caregiving? When my Irish twins were babes, I would leave them with my mother-in-law most every Tuesday. If life was particularly kind, after my bigger kids finished homework, we’d head over there for dinner. Those breaks made me a better, more loving mother. I would think it would be the same in any situation. Even if it’s a labor of love, it’s still a labor.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think that you’re doing a great job and I understand what you mean. I feel myself bad sometimes when I feel I need a break or to ran away from home, child and partner and work. But I just think we’re human being and sometimes we need it. We’re not machines. Who pretends to be one I think that will have a very bad awakening the day they realize they breathe!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The overwhelming sense of responsibility works both ways. You have it so you stay so when you feel overwhelmed you feel guilty for leaving. Sometimes you just have to know when enough is enough!
      Thanks for your input πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  7. As a mom of twins I know I would take a break whenever I could. It doesn’t mean I don’t love mu kids. It just means that they are a lot of work. It is hard to run on almost no sleep and meet the intense demands of children. Everyone needs a vacation. Everyone needs a break.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Empathy is difficult to teach. Not enough people are willing to walk even a few meters in someone else’s shoes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think empathy has to come with experience. It’s hard for someone to relate to something they know nothing about and even more difficult, as you say, if they don’t even try to imagine it.
      Thanks for the comment πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Every body needs a “ME” time to get more perspective of things. There is nothing wrong with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This girl will eat those words soon enough. Hopefully, when that time comes no one shames her for needing to be “selfish” Hang in there love, you truly are an angel πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  11. people need to recharge as batteries do.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. As a die-hard Narcissistic Hedonist, I never understand people that DON’T take time for themselves! I seriously don’t get it.

    My Mom is the complete opposite of the spectrum, taking care of and doing things for both her local church and family members… often to the detriment of her health because she doesn’t take time for herself. I can understand the deadly mixture of the social butterfly and Florence Nightingale that lives in her bosom, but I can never talk her out of it.

    I realize there’s probably a happy medium between the two of us, but the Universe has a way of laughing at moderation, I think. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know… I think it’s up to us to find a balance. Without balance all kinds of negative things ensue, regardless of which way our heavier traits fall.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know, but I think true balance is like true love – an ideal of perfection that doesn’t exist in reality.

        As such, I think it’s always best to err on the side of yourself. After all, if you can’t play for your own team, how do expect anyone ELSE to cheer you on? πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Part of being a good caregiver is taking care of yourself and your own needs. Otherwise you end up feeling overtired, bitter and no good to anyone. Why someone refuses to understand this is beyond comprehension. Try not to beat yourself up over comments made by a person who sounds as if they are trying to appear to be “a better person” than you.
    Jennifer x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Save yourself first – that’s what they say on planes, right? It’s the people who don’t understand that looking after a host of special needs is in any way a hardship who don’t see the need for being saved in the first place that get under my skin. I wish I could ask them to try it, just for a day…
      Thanks for your comment and your support. ‘Tis much appreciated. πŸ™‚


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