Possibly Ugly Topic

12 03 2010

You’ve been warned… so don’t crawl up my ass if you don’t like what I’ve written.

So what follows is a perfect example of how and why people can sometimes interpret my actions, words and ideas as cold.  So let me explain.  I’m very sensitive, and if I let it all in then I would be a train wreck all the time.  So as a survival technique I’m forced to use logic to pick and choose.  Anything that I can separate myself from emotionally before the feeling seep in, I do.  I hold them at arm’s length, inspect them and puzzle over them if they are ‘interesting’.

So things happen, planes crash, wars, the twin towers in New York… and I feel nothing.  I choose to feel nothing because it’s feel it all like a big squishy ball of goo or nadda.  Why in god’s name would I sit about personalizing and tearing myself apart emotionally over something that doesn’t directly affect me?  That isn’t really part of my immediate ‘world’.  Doesn’t make any sense to me, so while I’m still able to, I separate myself from any and all emotional tragedy related to the event.

There is war… and I don’t cry.  Millions are killed in a bombing, and I think.. hmm isn’t that sad.  Sad for the people directly affected by this event.  The twin towers came down, a train in Europe is blown up, a bus goes off a cliff, a tsunami, earthquake or typhoon hits and I observe the news with a kind of detached curiosity.  And that curiosity is what gets me in the end…. I can’t just shake my head look sad a pretend to be heartbroken along with everyone else.  I’m not.  I didn’t know them, we weren’t close….  I try to explain and nothing I say seems right.  The look on their faces are of disdain and anger.

How can you be so cold?  This affects us all, people are dying.

You’re all a bunch of hypocrites… people die every day.. I don’t see you sobbing your eyes out over some random homeless man in Siberia kicking the bucket.  What because you didn’t know about it?  Bull shit.  You’re not sad because you didn’t know him, or anyone else who knew him.  You might care if someone showed you pictures and told you his whole life story… and you know why that is?  Because that connects you, makes his life and hardships personal to you.  Voila… now it affects you and your emotions.

I can’t even begin to tell you how much flack I received over my lack of response to 911.  Don’t get me wrong I was shocked and surprised over what happened, but I wasn’t crying into my Wheaties over it.  I wanted to know what happened I watched the videos with pure fascination.  It WAS categorically not the worst thing to happen in recent history, it wasn’t the largest loss of human life, it wasn’t the most innocent people killed… it may have been all those things in The United States, but not the whole damn world.  Why the hell would it change and alter my entire life perspective?  I’m not even American… it wasn’t my country… it wasn’t even my bloody coast.  If it happened in Vancouver, it would have been a whole different ball of wax.  I’ve been there I know people there… it directly affects me and mine.  Personal devastation to follow.   Previous to 911 I’d never been to or  know a single person who was in New York, or had ever been there.  Why. Would. It. Be. Important. To. Me?  Seriously?

Ok rant rant rant… what’s the point?

So I got an email the other day from my supervisor at my Editing job.  Generally all the emails from them are schedules, and people asking for subs, switching shifts etc.  So imagine my surprise when I get one marked “Victoria’s Obituary Notice”.  I’m sorry but what.. who … what?  Attached is a picture and one of those nice (churchy) but nice little obits, saying how this lovely person is gone etc.  Where she was born, where she died (two weeks ago btw… I got the email a week ago) the resting place of her remains.

Well I’m floored.  I’m staring at this picture…. and I’m pretty sure I recognize her… but I haven’t seen or spoken to anyone at that job in a couple of months (Chinese New Year…. school break etc) and really I don’t do much chatting with most people there anyway.  When we’re editing we’re busy, and most of us jet out of there as soon as possible when we’re done.  So.. which girl from work is this?  Is this some kind of really weird and messed up joke.  Hu?  I wrote back and asked the supervisor “Hu, what?”

She wrote back:

Dear Magda, One of our proofreaders (her name)  committed suicide. She left us last month. Since her family decided not to have a funeral, her friends is going to hold a memorial service for her. If you are able to attend, you can contact (another girl we work with), one of our proofreader and a close friend of  (her name).

I wrote back, about it being sad for those close to her even though I didn’t know her well.  Etc.

But what I really wanted to do was ask a million questions, what happened, why.  Was she depressed?? Was it something people saw coming, or was everyone truly shocked?  Why did she do it? How did she do it?  Who found her?  Are they ok (I’m more sympathetic and concerned with the living)?  Questions questions questions…. all which will be unasked and unanswered.   I can’t ask anyone without coming across as a ghoul, but I’m not a ghoul I just want to know the  how, what and why, I want to understand.

But it’s insensitive to ask grieving people questions like this.  I’m not even sure who it was (I”m pretty sure but not 100%) .  If it is who I though, we weren’t close.  I knew her, but only as an acquaintance.

And if I mention it to anyone else… they are all oooh how are you?  Me hu? I’m fine, a little bit of a case of the unsatisfied curiousities, and can’t figure out how to acquire the information I want with out coming across as horrible and insensitive.  Oh.. that wasn’t what you meant…. crap.  I mean hmm yes it’s very sad.. and um.. stuff.

Sigh.  I’m cold to protect myself, but it seems to backfire or at least over shoot.

Thoughts?

Ps I have opinions on suicide, but I’ll keep them to myself for now.  I will say I think it’s very sad when people can not see anyway out of their predicament.  If anyone is thinking of it, the only thing I have to say to you is, it solves nothing, and hurts many.  Some find themselves feeling it is the only solution, it isn’t a solution at all.

That’s all I’m going to say about that for now.

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26 responses

12 03 2010
Dee

Oooo, a pickly post for sure!

I get it, Mag. I’m not as severe as you are, in that I did cry at 9/11, and I choose not to watch the news because it breaks my heart, but I, too, stand off a great deal. I do not feel for those I do not connect with, but I do tend to connect easily.

I also tend to be more empathetic than you come across, and sensitive to what others need me to say or do, even if it’s not my initial response internally. I choose to come across to them how they need me to in that moment, rather than what I need to do. Maybe it’s a mom thing, because I find you to be the opposite. Let’s just say that I’ve learned to NOT go to you when I’m feeling sensitive and need someone to just cry with me, lol.

Yeah, there is no way to find out the details. I think this is where you and Sam are the soul sisters. She’s a detail person, too. Crazy nitty gritty details that I run from singing at the top of my lungs “LALALALALALAA” so I can’t hear them.

And don’t fucken get me started on the selfishness of suicide. Having lost a mom to suicide, I have very VERY strong feelings on the matter, and have a REALLY hard time holding my opinions in.

12 03 2010
Magdalicious

Oh 😦 I’m sorry…. I sometimes have trouble with the right reaction. We always put ourselves on others (no matter how hard we try not to) and I HATE it when everyone holds my hand and tears up about shit. I just want someone to say… fuck dude.. that sucks.. wanna have a beer? I”m guess I’m too much of a boy in someways. But sad panda that I upset you over the nose cancer… hugs?

I can see that, Sam and I had some serious bonding over the nitty and the gritty when I was there.

Sigh I didn’t want to put it in the post… or be the first one to say it… but yeah suicide is such a shit thing to do. It’s a pretty much a big fuck you to everyone who cares about you, a big ole I’m the only one that matters and this is my only solution and I don’t give a crap what it does to all of you.

Sometimes I doesn’t do shit… maybe you really had no one… but honestly.. there is some bleeding heart out there crying for you.. so yes you’re dead… and now you’re an asshole too. There is a reason the Christians have made it the ONLY non forgivable sin. That’s right… child rapists and mass murders can ask for and receive forgiveness…. but take your own life.. and according to the church .. you’re fucked.

Not that I have an opinion on the matter or anything. (Hey the reason I never offed myself back in the ‘dark’ days… (and trust me it was close more than a few times) was I couldn’t handle the guilt and sorrow I felt even thinking about what it would do to those around me. Sure the initial drama and sobbing mourners at my imaginary funeral tickled my dumbass self… but then the reality of what it would mean to my mom and my (3) friends would sink in… )

12 03 2010
Tracey

HAHAHAH, I love your sister’s post, because mine is going to be the exact opposite – I’m so much harsher than you :D, and ironically, I’ll go to you if I need someone’s shoulder to cry on. BECAUSE I KNOW YOU WON’T CRY IN YOUR WHEATIES TOO!!!

I totally understand why you’d have 1000 questions about the girl who committed suicide. I would too. And, if you didn’t really know her, why would you cry it up? I remember people dying that I knew from high school and I wasn’t a train wreck over that. If you wanted to fish for some answers, you could email the friend, send your condolences and (pretending you knew her better than you did) say something to the effect that you had no idea that she was upset in way. She seemed so perky the last time you saw her. Then add more condolences…. like the criticism sandwich policy 😀

13 03 2010
Magdalicious

Yeah I really enjoyed the contrast between the two. You kow I say that people say I’m cold hearted etc… but your comment reminds me of how many people comment on how I’m one of the few people they can come to with something heavy and I can handle it. Or at least I can pretend to handle it and stay cool.

The I won’t cry into my wheaties too thing is extra funny because part of the reason I’m all stone cold is I’m trying not to pick up on ‘your’ emotional turmoil and get weepy. LOL if I’m not on the ball I might cry first.. ha.

Yeah.. the problem is I’m not really close enough to anyone there to really ask about it.. I’m thinking I might ask Ryan when Uni starts again.. he’s quite the little gossip and he usually has all the dirt so I’m hoping that might work out.

12 03 2010
Chris

I dont think your as alone as you perhaps beleive in your reaction to these kind of events, Millions watch the news with a detached sense of acceptance everyday. Based on culture, religious, beliefs and geographic location I presume people watched the 911 disaster with every reaction from sobbing fits of tears to “they had it comming”. This is illustrated by the fact there are always tasteless jokes bounded around within minutes of such events (jackos death, 911, princess diannes death.

Most people on hearing about such a death would be curious to learn the whys and wherefores behind it and as you rightly pointed out only those directly affected will really grieve. Personally I have never understood suicide, stress and depression i can understand but to me if you dead set on going out……..gang bang the bank into a 50k loan and blow it all on holidays, coke and hookers. If that dont cheer you up nothing will!

13 03 2010
Magdalicious

This is a good point.. can all the coldies unite? I’m tired of being singled out as evil because I’m not a tears over things that have nothing to do with me… maybe we should rise up and create a union?

Dude… lol gang bang the bank into a loan and coke and hookers… good man…!! If the we find out there is a meteor about end life on earth (or some other definitive soon nothing we can do about it end of the world) I’m calling you and we’ll go out in style… TRASHED 😀

13 03 2010
Dee

Ummmm, I want an invite to that party. Just sayin…

13 03 2010
Magdalicious

DOOOODE.. seriously… you’re so in

12 03 2010
Dee

That’s hilarious, Tracey! And good plan re: criticism sandwich. Do that, Mag (and report back to us, cuz now I’m curious).

Dude, I will not go to Mag for support and sympathy ever since my nose cancer conversation. Zero sympathy, and a whole lotta “what, big deal?” when it was probably the most traumatic thing to have happened to me since I was 17 and living on the streets, and was told I was pregnant. Mocking was not the reaction I needed.

Having said that, I do feel that we have different people in our lives for different reasons, to fulfill different desires and needs in us. Each person adds something. This is just not Mag’s role in my world, ROFL.

13 03 2010
Magdalicious

mmm sandwich…

Sigh.. I’m sorry I was inappropriate yet again.. fail magda. BUT in my defense…. I was right wasn’t I? You are fine … wait you are right? Mocking… did I mock? Uh oh.. if I didn’t I didn’t mean to. Sorry.

You know what though.. it’s cool that I”m not that person… because you know what I suck at that stuff I don’t want to be people’s go to for cry cries person, make me unhappy my shitty reaction makes them unhappy.

I feel my role in your world must involve something with laying on the lawn pointing to my forehead and saying I’ll give you a kiss on the cheek… yes no? Kiss kiss .. love you!! (Yes I’m sucking up…. bite me)

13 03 2010
Dee

LOL… first apology was appreciated, now you are being a wimp. KIDDING!!! (kinda)

Seriously, stop apologizing, we’re totally good.

And you fulfill a few different roles in my life. Everyone has different people that they go to for certain things. I go to you when I need someone to connect with over genetics. I go to you when I need someone who GETS what I’m saying about excercise. I go to you when I just need a sister moment (not a mooshy one, but a bonding one), and I go to you when I feel you need someone who gets you (or is at least trying). You are my go to for too many things to count (mainly cuz I never tried, I hate pigeon-holing). It’s easier to count the why-nots, than the whys.

(((((hug!))))

Honestly, I kept reading and reading my reply, thinking it was too harsh and would hurt your feelings. But then I shrugged and thought “meh, like she wouldn’t tell me eventually if I mis-stepped?”. This is how we grow together, is learning what the other needs, and knowing how to meet it in a way that is ours.

I adore you. Unconditionally love you, even. *grin* You’se stuck with me now.

13 03 2010
Magdalicious

Meh I’m not stressed about it.. just being a suck.. because.. well people are nice to me then 😉 I like nice.

LOL yeah I wasn’t upset by it… just felt a little bad because I had thought you had appreciated my not jumping on the somber band wagon. I was wrong.. it happens but makes one feel a little down.

Crap.. so like there is no shaking you? 😉

13 03 2010
peg vince

Well My Love I get the blame for this as well. Between Genetics and nurturing you never had a chance. Your father was the cry-baby who always took ever thing that happened it the world as his personal brewhaha. He never took responsibility for anything that happened in his life. Even thought he was very smart he always thought the world was out to do him a dirty. He is a very unhappy person because of it.
And as I raised you, I wanted you to realise that the sorrows of the world were not yours. I feel that life has enough sorrow we do not need to borrow from others. I will not apologise for this because I do not think it is a bad thing as a whole. Yes people might think you are cold but this because the do not know you. You are very loving person, ( bit of a bitch but loving…lol )
I think that you get really shit about thing to do with your family because you have had so much lose at a young age. So when you hear a scary thing from your sister you mock,,, and pretend to your self that it can’t be that bad because the thought of losing her is to much for you to bare. I Under stand that as I was and may still be like that myself I hope that as I have gotten older I can handle the bad stuff better and there for react in a more appropriate way but maybe not as people think I am a bitch.
I too did not cry at 9/11 it was very sad but so was the holocaust so was the racial cleansing in Albania I could name a thousand disaster that where ever bit as bad as 911 the difference was it was in the USA where they have not had to live with bombs dropping (world war 1&2)on there heads so where shocked that it could happen to them. And as you said it was not personal. If it had been I am more likely to get mad rather then cry. I am more a person of action. If bad is coming down the pike lets stop it do something that is the Momma. I see no point in crying in your beer saying poor me.. like that makes anything better.

13 03 2010
Magdalicious

Actually that makes a lot of sense 🙂 good point mumsy. (ps you rocking the dragon naturally speaking again?)

13 03 2010
Dee

But what of shedding a tear for someone else? Not because you feel their pain, but because you feel FOR them?

*shrug*

I’m kinda middle of the road, I guess. I’m strong when necessary, but not if I don’t have to be.

13 03 2010
Magdalicious

I’m all over it, sympathizing with some else’s pain…. but I need to keep it at arms length .. because if I don’t it becomes mine too.. I can’t really sympathize without depressing the crap out of my self. Then to top it off I can’t really deal with the depressed sad sad because it’s not mine so how the hell do I cope with it? Make sense? Back to the cold biotch because I’m all sensitive.. I’m a contradiction wrapped up in a … something lol can’t remember the saying.

13 03 2010
peg vince

No dragon it is on my other computer this one has windows 7. I just used word and copy and paste.
I still can’t see where crying for someone else’s pain helps them in anyway. I think one should have compassion for peoples pain which I do. I really think people are usually crying about their own issues. Now I may be wrong but I do not think so.
I do not think sympathy is all that positive I prefer empathey myself feeling sorry for people I also do not think helps them in anyway just makes us feel better about our selves.
I was telling Shola about this blog today and she said good god if anyone thought you where really cold they really did not know you. She said you just hide your sensitive heart behind a fake cool front. As she has been your friend since you both where nine years old I think she has a good handle one who you are. She sent her love.

14 03 2010
Magdalicious

How are you liking windows 7? I am thinking of upgrading because I like the way it looks but I’m not totally sold yet.

Oh yeah? Tell her I say hi too!

Yeah a lot of people think I’m a thick skinned Rhino, but I’m a big old softy I describe it as a big marshmallow with a thin hard candy coating tap tap break skwish. But everyone who knows me, really knows me knows that 🙂

14 03 2010
Dee

I see your point, and have to agree, it does not help THEM in any way (unless they feel the need to share their pain with someone that is on the same level as they are with it) usually.

I also see what you mean with “usually crying about their own issues”. That is definitely me a lot. When someone is feeling pain, if I associate with it, I’m not only crying for theirs, but also my own. For me this is a good thing, in that it helps to heal old wounds. Allowing myself to revisit areas I either have not dealt with, or have not dealt with fully. Re-mourning is something that helps to heal my broken heart. It allows me to acknowledge the pain, examine it, kiss it better, and put it away again, healthier and a little happier.

But then, that’s exactly what you are saying… it’s not for them, it’s for me.

Having said that, though… I do know that I feel better when someone else is experiencing the same things I am, to know that I’m not alone. I don’t think anyone gains solace in feeling they are the only one to experience the depth of feeling the are experiencing, and sometimes it truly does help to have someone cry with you.

Every person is different, though, and there is no right or wrong here. It is an interesting discussion on human psychology, though, isn’t it?

14 03 2010
Magdalicious

Yeah I agree… and when it’s something that I”ve experienced, you’re right it is nice to know that someone else knows what I’ve gone through. I’m also usually pretty good at empathizing even if I haven’t experienced it. But I don’t do it much anymore.. I used to be everyone’s therapist. I didn’t like it.. it depressed me. It’s cool sometimes but not all the time.

I don’t find it helps to have someone cry with me.. I’m a crier and I want you to help me stop not egg me on. I’m perfectly capable of crying my face off all by ‘my own self’. That said I do need to talk it out.. but I need you to remain calm because if you’re crying it’s go time. lol

I guess what we’re all taking away from this is an interesting multi perspective on how people deal and what they need. I think we all need to be a little more open and forthcoming with it. Because the disappointment of the wrong response sucks. I fucking hate it when people tell me what to do and I hate it when they cry into their wheaties over my shit. Don’t be an ass. But that’s probably what they want and need.. maybe my new policy on this should be to just ask.. hey what is it they you need here? An ear? a Shoulder? Advice? You tell me and that’s what I’ll give you.

It’s interesting to me that in sex we are expected to just grow up and tell people what we want in the bed room… but when it comes to feelings, stress, grief, anger and advice we’re all cagey about what we want and need and then expect others to guess.

I’ve actually gotten into the habit of either talking to strangers… because they don’t know you well enough to say shit or get wheepy, or I just straight up tell people I don’t want advice I want to talk it out. Maybe at the end you can offer your opinion but ask first, or I’ll ask you what you think.

Yeah this posts and the comments have taken on a life of their own…

15 03 2010
Nadine

WOW I really missed out on a good convo here! I’ll just share my thoughts anyways…. I agree that suicide is an absolutely VILE thing to do, the ultimate in selfishneas…. my grandfather killed himself when I was quite young, all I knew is that he had died and when I found out later on what he had done I was so angry. I felt like he had cheated my whole family out of someone we loved and left us with nothing but questions. I still don’t know all the details, and frankly I don’t want to. When I was going through PPD after Haley was born, I dealt with a lot of suicidal thoughts, all followed by “How could I ever do that to my daugher?”

As far as 911 goes, I found myself more concerned that something would happen on Canadian soil… I was sad for the Americans and their pain, but more preoccupied with how I would protect my child should something happen here. Selfish? Maybe, but I can deal with that.

I’ve been accused myself of being uncaring, cold-hearted, etc. I just react differently to other people’s pain. I find that if I don’t put up at least a little bit of a toughened exterior, or at least try to find some humour in the situation, I end up internalizing their feelings, which in turn makes ME feel bad inside. How crappy is that?

With all the bad shit that happens every day, all over the world, I think it’s a matter of survival to maintain a sense of detachment. I mean, how unhealthy would it be to turn into a blubbering pile of mush everytime you read the newspaper, watch the news, etc etc. Nothing good is ever reported anyways, ffs. I don’t think you are insensitive at all, I happen to know how big your heart really is and just because you aren’t wringing your hands in sorrow over this former co-worker (although I’m sure that there a lot of people who love her that are doing just that, and I am genuinely sad for them) does not make you cold.

15 03 2010
Magdalicious

yeah you did .. you missed a lot hu? it’s all good you’re here now.

Nadine…. dude…. Pointing at my eye and point back and forth at you and me…. about the toughened exterior preventing the internalizing of feelings. YES EXACTLY. Thank you for expressing my feelings better than me!

Totally I’m genuinely sad for them.. but I do what I can to prevent internalizing it all.

You get like 50 gold stars… you rock!

20 04 2010
Kari

This is an interesting topic. I am a mixture of things. I actually live in America and I don’t cry over 9/11. No one I knew died. I didn’t attend any funerals and I am sorry that some people around me lost loved ones. But death is apart of life. Just like birth. I believe we should celebrate a life at the very least LIVED. At least they made it thus far. You can’t make them alive again with tears or making yourself a terrible mess. No. Once they are dead, their gone. I went to a funeral not too long ago, with a man I had known in my childhood. A very good guy. Wonderful would help anyone who asked and always laughing and living life.

I watched as people dealt with death differently. My mother sobbing, my brother freaked out by a body he saw once living, cold like a stone. Me. I was fine. He had lived a good life. Touched many hearts, and learned to be the best person he could be. That to me is a life well lived. I am not going to cry for something that is unchangable. Instead, I am going to look at my fond memories of them. Look at how everything is effected and changed and focus on the present. Not the past, what I could have said. None of it matters. It’s stuck as is.

And if someone dies over in California I don’t know. Well, I hope their spirit soars above the clouds touching each water droplet. and Blessed be to their families. But I am sure if I died tommorrow that same family wouldn’t even know and nor I them. It is a matter that you have to accept the good with the bad. When living comes bad news. When being born, death will come. All I can say. Is when someone dies that I know. I will celebrate that I at least knew them and they weren’t some person who died in some accident that I have no idea who they are.

Love that you know/knew them. Not that you will no longer.

Blessed be.

~Kari ♥

20 04 2010
Magdalicious

Hmmm interesting perspective…. for me I would be all weeping a tears if it was someone I knew… even though I believe and agree with all of what you said. But deep down I’m a big ole marshmallow 😀

Dead bodies are icky to me, but not in the whole they were alive and now they aren’t kind of way. I just don’t like dead things, they are so empty ick. But once someone is dead, I mourn them missing from my life, but their body is a shell and once they are gone it’s nothing more than an empty shell.

Such a grim topic.. well gotta talk about these things sometimes.

20 04 2010
Kari

Oh forgot to add. That whole rant up there ^ is about being cold hearted in a different way. A way of warmthful cold heartedness it seems…weird condecending line there LOL But!! that is the way I deal with hard emotions. I analyze them and conclude, that the past is unchangable all I can do is understand what happened and change how I will be in the future. Not anyone else. not the future. Just myself. and perhaps give some shitty advice to people along the way =D

20 04 2010
Magdalicious

Yeah makes sense.

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