Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Grieving and Ranting

First of all, I want to thank all of you who left comments on yesterday's post. You helped me to feel better, you helped me feel validated. That's what I need right now.

Here are a few additional thoughts on that same topic.

When I'm distraught over something, and if I tell someone about it, all I want is for that person to share my grief. I do not want any advice, any solutions, any fixes. I don't want to hear anything that suggests I need to "Get over it," "Distance yourself," or "Move on."
I will move on in my own way, in my own time, however and whenever I am ready.
In the meantime, I need you to listen to me in a non-judgmental way. I need a complete absence of advice and "helpful" suggestions. For god's sake, don't try to "solve" things for me. I don't need that, and I don't want that. I don't want you to help me out of the gutter, I want you to get down in the gutter WITH me for awhile.
Here's what I DO need:
I need you to be upset that I am hurt. I need you to validate my feelings, instead of suggesting that I need to hurry up and move on to something better.
In the case of a failed relationship which involved cheating and deceit, I need you to be angry at the people who have hurt me so badly. I need you to agree that it was WRONG of them. I need you to share my outrage. Repeatedly. This is a HUGE part of what will eventually help me to let go and move on. Until I get this from you, I am "stuck" and I will keep returning to the same stage of grief. That's just how I am. I need to have my feelings validated instead of whisked away like broom sweepings. I will heal a LOT faster if I sense that you agree and understand my feelings. Conversely, I will heal MUCH more slowly if I'm not getting the kind of support I need.
In the case of a death, I need you to listen to my shock and my grief. I need to know that you care whether or not this hurts me. I need you to listen to the good memories I have, and possibly some of the bad memories too. I don't want any advice. I don't want any solutions. I don't want any trite little sayings copied from self-help books. I don't want you to fix things. There is absolutely nothing you can do to fix things. Just BE there for me as I move along the grief process.

Share my outrage.
Respect my pain.
Let me cry for as long as I need to.
I will heal eventually, when I am ready, in whatever way works best for me.