Journal: A Reason to Stay Silent

Something has become very apparent to me over the past few days. For those of you who read my last post, you know that I am currently struggling with some dark thoughts. In an effort to escape them, I have deliberately reached out to specific people, as well as opened up about it at group and here on my blog.

One of the specific people, someone I am very close to and trust with my life, reacted in a way that I did not expect.

She got very fixy

We were speaking on the phone when I told her. An hour and a half later I found myself completely emotionally shut down. I'd spent the entire phone call listening to holistic remedies, emotional solutions and therapeutic approaches. I listened as she boldly proclaimed that the Spirit was telling her that I needed to completely open up to her and tell her everything, which I found odd because in that moment all I felt was resistance. I really feel like I am sensitive to the Spirit, so how could our experiences with Him be so different in the same exact moment?

I do know that she loves me and only wants me protected, safe and happy. It's not that her intentions aren't pure, but rather, it was her approach that left me feeling reluctant.

It's been a struggle since then. She treats me different. She treats me as if I'm fragile
You know that voice that's used; an octave too high and slow and tentative. Like vocal volume will somehow break me.

Sadly, it just makes me not want to be honest with her. 
It makes me want to remain silent about my struggle. 

It kind of throws me back into fear about being open and honest; being vulnerable. That is one of the biggest reasons we don't open up about our addiction; fear of being treated differently. We already think we are a freak. Treating us differently only confirms that belief.

I called her tonight regarding something completely unrelated. I purposefully changed my voice to make myself seem more chipper than I actually was, not that I was really even in a bad place. 

She answered with a tentative, "Hi, how are you feeling?" 
Up went my defensive walls as I fought the urge to tensely respond; 'I'm fine.'
"I'm doing good," I said.
"Oh I'm so glad, I can tell in your voice that you are doing better."

Of course, then the shame crept in, whispering; 'you are such a liar.'
I'm not, though. I'm not a liar. I might be isolating, maybe. But not lying.

This is not to say that I don't welcome advice, or ideas or even empathy and compassion.

I do.

And, I'm not really even clear where the line is, between the stuff I welcomed and what I experienced with her... all I know is it just felt different.

A number of you have responded with amazing thoughts and comments, all of which I received well and didn't feel an ounce of resistance. So again, I have no clue what the difference is. Maybe someone reading this can help me identify it.Ya, that would be nice.

Anyway, I'm not really sure how to end this. I just wanted to get it out of me and put it somewhere.


  1. Oi vey. I struggle with this. Meaning...I can get fixy, yet I think I'm just a very good listener, too. It's a fine line to know when it's appropriate to offer advice, and when not-to, I think.

    Maybe you had an expectation from that phone call, that you didn't have with blog comments, and so when the phone call took a turn in a way you weren't expecting, you naturally weren't ready for it--so as a result felt "resistant?"

    I can't wait to read of your final conclusion as to what went down...

  2. Some people are the type who are very uncomfortable with loved ones who have deep struggles, and that triggers them to jump in and try to fix everything. I think you were sensing this, and therefore didn't feel comfortable sharing much more with her.

    I have a friend who likes to "fix it" too, and while she is a wonderful friend, I sometimes have to remind her that I don't need her to fix things for me.

  3. I've got way too many support people who are fixy. It makes them wonder why I don't open up, but it's hard for me to tell them why without feeling shame for ignoring someone who's "just trying to help."

  4. Were you going to this person for advice or a listening ear? I become frustrated when I want to get some thoughts out or want/need a listening ear and instead am loaded with what I "should be" doing. Or handed a lot of advice. If I'm going for advice that's a different story. But I think the motivation can make a big difference. Or with a listening ear I am seeking validation. I'm sorry for this experience. It seems as thought it has added to your already heavy load.

  5. The times I feel like this are because I feel like the person I'm talking to is disregarding my feelings. Like what she was saying in the comment above, I feel like my feelings aren't validated and whoever I'm talking to is saying in effect, "Just do this and this, and stop feeling this way." But in a much nicer way. I know it's always in a loving way with the spirit of trying to help, but it seems to rub me the wrong way because I feel they don't really understand my feelings. I'm sorry you're going through such a hard time right now, Sidreis. I love you! You are so loved and so needed by many people. Your strength continually helps and inspires me to keep going. I'll keep you in my prayers.

  6. In the spirit of "we are all a little broken" perhaps she does not know what you need (a listening ear vs advice) and needs you to either accept her for her brokenness or help her to be better by offering honest insight into your feelings. Would it be so bad if we were to tell those we loved "Susie, I love you, but I really don't want advice today. I need a listening ear and a whole lot of feeling validated and loved"? Is that really so confrontational and beyond the scope of a true Christian friendship? I love the fact that as sisters, we are gentle, kind, loving, and serving. However, we should be able to be open with those we call our sisters. If not, then why blame the overly helpful advice giver who is trying to help you in the only way she knows how? I don't mean to sound harsh- you are an amazing person with a great blog and I LOVE reading it- however, fixing the stress of what's bothering you lies within you, not her. Especially if you only vent to others and never explain to her how to be the type of friend you need her to be. I hope you can feel this being sent in the spirit of love and not in some harsh, negative way. Like I said earlier, we are all a little broken. I am just as guilty of mistakes as anyone. Maybe more so. I only wish to help you see a way to heal yourself so you don't hurt from this over and over in the future as people tend to be anything but perfect. Bless your heart for all you do for us!


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