Assumptions are dangerous. People believe that they are empathic and believe they can understand. They claim they understand. They are assuming they know. That is the dangerous part – the assumption of understanding or knowing.
Assumptions are thoughts based on what the person knows or what they believe they know. This knowledge is based on perceived experiences, what they have read and understand. Most of what they have learned are urban legends or common biased generally socially accepted knowledge, not necessarily factual. Neurotypical biases. Mental illness-free biases.
The reality is, they don’t know. They cannot conceive or comprehend what is going on in our heads. Our minds. Our thoughts. Our emotions. Our being. They cannot imagine what we say to ourselves. Mean, hateful, hurtful things that would make anyone cry out STOP!
The books of knowledge can only explain what MAY be going on in our heads. The books can only explain the WHY of our resulting behaviours, emotional outpouring, and disabling effects. The books cannot tell or describe HOW we are feeling or HOW we got here and with a mental health illness.
People make assumptions about what is going on in our heads based on this knowledge. Knowledge believed to be sound with great intentions of helping. Remember, this knowledge is limited and typically based on generally accepted biases.
People assume and never think to ask what is going on. What is going on with you right now? Why not? Because they believe they “know” what is going on in our minds. They believe they have similar minds and comprehend.
How can you know if I don’t know? No one asks us. They assume and then tell us what we should do. Buck up and keep your chin up! My favourite, “I struggle with that too.” That phrase is a knife into our psyches. Our being. This is a statement based on assumptions. Is your struggle debilitating? Does it affect your life, your conscious, and your relationships daily?
That phrase, “I struggle with that too,” is the dismissal of our struggle, our inner turmoil and to a degree our sanity. We hear, “you are weak.” We understand it as, “I don’t understand why you can’t overcome this simple struggle.”
That is why we don’t talk. That is why we don’t share. We don’t want to be told that it is not a big problem. We don’t want to hear you have the same struggles. We don’t want to hear other people have it worse. We just want you to listen to the conflict that is affecting us at that time. It is about us, not about you.
We are trying to share our pain. OUR PAIN! Not yours. OUR PAIN. Our STRUGGLES and not yours. It’s ironic because you asked what was bothering us and you turn it back to you.
That is why we close the door. That is why we don’t share. Our struggles are not that important. Our struggles are childish and not a big deal. That is what we hear.
The issue here is that it is a big deal to US. It is OUR PAIN and OUR STRUGGLE. It affects us. We must live with it. We built up a great deal of courage to talk to you. Then, it is simply dismissed with a simple, well-intentioned comment. Poof! Therefore, we close and lock the door again. Each time the door is closed, a bigger lock is added. More locks are added with time. No Entry. Keep out.
It is very lonely behind the heavily locked barricaded closed door. The locks are essential because they protect us from the outside. Yet the locks keep us inside, alone. Alone with our thoughts.
It’s OUR PAIN. That pain is worse than other people’s PAIN because it is MY PAIN. I have to live with that PAIN. It’s my life, my struggle. That is why you need to listen. Do not try to solve or compare my PAIN or STRUGGLE with yours or others. It’s mine to bear, and I need help.