title explained

Onward and upward! something that you say in order to encourage someone to forget an unpleasant experience or failure and to think about the future instead and move forward.

My e-mail: jjmiller6213@comcast.net

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Am I too harsh?

I was sitting and thinking last night.  About Dar.  I've known her 6 years.  I thought and thought and tried to remember.  I think the only time she has ever asked how I was doing, was the week after Fred died.

I was in my recliner and had snoozed off.  I heard the door open and there she was.  I didn't know her very well at the time, but she stepped inside and said, "I was just checking to see if you are all right."  I said, "I'm fine.  Just taking a little nap."  and she left.

Not at any time, when she comes through my door, does she ever ask about me or my family or anybody.  It is always, all about her.  Her whole world revolves only around her and her needs, her pain, her---whatever.  That's all she thinks about.  

The first words out of her mouth when she walks in are, "I need to talk.  I need you to calm me down."

Yesterday she was going on and on about the treatments and therapies she CAN'T take, because they take her back to a time when she was abused.  So, I asked, "Did your husbands (4) ever beat up on you?  Did they ever try to kill you?  Were your parents abusive to you?"

"No.  But there was emotional abuse."

"My Dear," I said, "both of my husbands beat me.  My second one tried to kill me twice.  My father slapped me around and called me "stupid" from the time I was five.  Now, if I can get over all that, I don't see why you can't."

"It's just different with me," she said.  
Oh, of course it is because you are such a rare and unusual person., with such intricate maladies.

"I've been given black eyes and had my nose broken, yet I don't get hysterical when someone puts their hand up by my face.  I was rear ended, push into the oncoming lane of traffic and front ended, and then T-boned by another car.  I don't have PTSD about driving. "
I guess I get so mad at her that I tell my story to try and best her and show her she isn't any worse off?

"Well, you're just lucky."

"No, I'm not.  I sought help to get over it.  I put it in the back of my mind and tried not to think about it.  You keep all those thoughts active in your mind all the time.  You have trust issues and control issues."


"Well, why don't I?  I've been through the same or worse than you.  I accept the reality of it all, know I can't do one thing to control or change what happened, but can change my thinking by the way I react to it.  I choose to let go and let God and move forward."

"I don't know," she said.  "I can't.  I guess I am just unique in my way of thinking.  They told me at physical therapy that I am a special case. They've never seen anything like me before."

Oh Sister--you aren't unique, or special.  You are selfish, self centered, over dramatic and paranoid.  Go help someone else, volunteer, think of someone else for awhile and the pain will lessen.

"All of these people are trying to help you and yet, you won't do half of what they want to try."

"Nothing seems to help."

"It's going to take a long time, Kiddo."

"I just want the pain to go away."

"Of course.  A lot of that has to do with your mind--your thinking."

"I had a doctor tell me that, a few months ago.  He's nuts!  The pain is very real!  Why would anyone in their right mind keep the pain active in their mind?"
My question exactly.

"I just want it to go away so I can go back to work."


"I want to go back to work."

"Okay..now let's think about that.  You've told me that you have to take your Dad with you, or he gets nervous being alone.  How are you going to be away from home for eight hours?  What is he going to do all alone?"


"You're seventy-five years old.  You don't need the money.  You can't stand for more than ten minutes, they won't let you sit at your job.  You certainly can't stock shelves with your bad right arm..."

"But, I need the social interaction."

"Get a volunteer job then."

"I had thought I would try and volunteer at the hospital, in the nursery, rocking newborns."

"That would be great!  Just one thing.  The hospitals here don't have delivery or nurseries.  That means you would have to drive thirty miles to St. Joes--expressway driving.  You can barely drive to Brighton to physical therapy, four miles away, without getting a panic attack."

"I never thought of that."

"You and your Dad could go to the Senior Center once a week.  You would both meet new people.  He'd be the hit of the place at ninety-six and as active as he is."

"Hm-mm....I don't know."

"Well, get involved in church again.  You said you liked that new church you were going to last year.  Start going again and get involved in what is going on there.  Take your Dad."

"He's an Agnostic.  He wouldn't want to go."

"Maybe, if he tried it, he might enjoy being around all the people.  No one is going to drag him down the aisle to the altar."

She laughed.  "They'd suffer if they tried."  

"I'm just trying to think of things that YOU could do...for YOURSELF...to take your mind off the pain and make YOU feel better."

"If I felt better, Dad and I could take a few trips.  I know how to drive up to my brother's.  We could go to Indianapolis and visit the grand kids. I know how to get there."

"That would be great!  I just hate to see every minute of every hour of every day...your whole mind, body and soul are consumed with the constant thinking about your pain.  I'd hate to see you make a career out of being the victim."
That was our 90 minute conversation, while she sat and had her muscles stimulated.  HAH!

Am I too harsh with some of my words to her?


  1. Volunteer? Good advice. Thinking of someone other than ourselves usually helps with emotional or physical pain. It may not alleviate the pain, but it helps with coping - as long as it's something she's physically able to do. I was surprised to read that you haven't known Dar longer. For some reason, I thought you'd known each other for ages.

    1. She moved in Spring of 2011.
      When we first met, I remember telling Fred, "I think she and I are going to be best friends."

  2. Judi, you better than any therapist or doctor she can find. You have laid out the truth to her pure and simple. I have a friend like that. She seems to wallow in her illnesses. She almost seems giddy when the doctor tells her she has a new illness. And swears up and down no doctor can help her. I don't understand it. But she's been that way all her life. I love my friend, we grew up together, but I limit my time with her because she seems to just pull all the energy out of me. You're a saint and she's blessed to have you. Now, if she would only listen to you.

    1. I am usually exhausted by the time she leaves, so I know what you mean!

  3. Judi I think you have the patience of a saint! I understand there is some deep seated problems and she is not willing to examine them or to act upon them. She is going to always continue to see the world they way she does unless she wants to change. Dar doesn't seem to be capable of feeling empathy for others. That doesn't insinuate she is a bad person, just that her only instinct is to be honed in on only herself. You were not too harsh, I thought you were very gentle with her.

    1. Okay--I worry that I will hurt her in some way and I sure don't want to do that.

  4. Dar is a narcissist. Just give up trying to change her. Your best bet, run as far and as fast as you can from her.

    1. I can't run too far, she lives about 60 feet from my place. LOL

  5. Narcissist - that's what I've been thinking for as long as I've known you and her (lol). It's a shame, really. I hope she's at least glad to have you to run to. But, actually who really knows. I started to say you have more patience than me, but maybe not. I just wouldn't have the words you do to talk to her. I'd listen, and that's about it.


    1. That's probably what I should do. Just listen and make appropriate noises. LOL

  6. No way could I put up with that for SIX YEARS. You are beyond nice. She is beyond crazy!

    1. Sometimes, I look at her as a psychology case study. Abnormal Behavior class that I took in college. The weird way she reacts to things can be intriguing. No? Oui?

  7. Previously...

    I have wondered....

    How do you interact with this woman, at all?

    1. It's the way I was raised and taught to help people if I could.

  8. you are a kind soul judy!! you should surround yourself with kind, like souls!!

    maybe you should start locking your door...it would be hard for me to be around someone who is so negative and needy all the time!!!

    1. I could lock my door, but she would see my car and know I am here and if I didn't answer the door, she'd walk over to Merle and Pearls in a panic. This happened once. It's just easier to let her in and let her talk.

  9. I don't know but some people has a little world in there mind.
    Coffee is on

  10. Well, the Church Lady knows what to say, so from your lips -- channeling her-- to your neighbor's ears mYbe will penetrate. What would happen if you just said, Hm-m-m, or "That's too bad" and offered no solutions. Maybe, "Gee, I don't know." Sounds like she doesn't really want solutions so ........

    1. I'm thinking that would be my best reaction. I sure don't need MY mind cluttered with all her problems!