Friday, November 21, 2008

When Talking Honestly Might NOT Be Good

I'm ok with talking honestly to God. I figure He knows anyway. And God is pretty dependable. He is who He is, and He does not change.

It is people I have a problem with.

And it is with people who talk honestly about you without asking your permission that I have a real problem with.

I think there is a balance between hiding things and being transparent. There has to be.

But, my sister-in-law just wrote a letter to the whole family and informed them all that life is pretty stressful right now because of my brother's events, and because Ellie and her husband are having trouble and are separated at this time.

Thanks.

We hadn't told the whole extended family yet. Do they all need to know? I'm not sure.

And things are going better. In fact, it is likely that he will be moving back home within a few weeks here.

I didn't appreciate that at all.

There has to be a balance between transparency and privacy. And I would assume that in news like this, someone should have the choice of what is told.

But.... life goes on...

Now I get to answer more questions, and answering questions takes so much energy!

6 comments:

Cindy said...

So sorry...

Sometimes they just do not understand...

Becky Aguirre said...

Yeah, sorry about that...not exactly how you'd prefer the news to get around...you probably feel like you are losing control of the situation somewhat...I guess you just have to keep giving it back to God!

I relate to it taking "so much energy" to answer questions...maybe a "stock" answer that you pretty much tell everyone would help?

Alan & Beth McManus said...

I agree with Becky. Can you write up a general answer to fire back to anyone who writes you? Something like, "Thank you for your concern. My husband has been getting counseling for some issues and we have been mutually helped by our pastor. We are doing much better now." Then just ignore any more probing questions. They don't need to know right now and you don't need the drain on your emotional and physical resources right now.

Praying.

Bethie

E. T. Tenna said...

Mmmm...for what it's worth, I also think Becky's advice is great. It's a time to ration the energy and use it where's it's needed most. I think I'll remember that advice! As an intense and introspective person I think I probably often give people more than they really want anyway. I guess stock answers aren't rude; they can help differentiate those intensely interested and those just connecting in a more surface way...learned something today through your blog's post. Thanks! And...praying, though this is a couple days after you posted.

Ellie said...

Yeah, I think that is what I am coming to - a stock answer.... but people still want me to listen to their concern... and I know they are concerned, and to see us hurting hurts them... but for me to hear that hurt is difficult for me... Confusing, isn't it?

Hurt with/for me, but don't talk to me about it. Just say, "I really love you and will be praying for you and know God is bigger than this, so I have hope." Anything else, such as "I'm so sorry - you poor person, oh, I feel so bad for your kids, it hurts me so much to hear...." This dumps their pain on me, and I have enough, thank-you!

Maybe I am not charitable, but I have enough to deal with without people's expressions of sympathy and pain. I need love, yes, but a love which looks up to a God who can, not one which comforts with human words and emotions.

But yes, I am developing a stock answer, and I wrote the stock answer to people who recieved that letter.

"I'm sorry you heard the news in (sister-in-law's) letter. She has not talked to me does not have all the information correct. We are struggling with some issues, but we are not separated. My husband in away getting some needed rest and some counselling. Things are going well, and we are recieving help. It is true that we plan to take a few months sabbatical from work to rest and renew and possibly get some training which will be useful in what we are doing. Thank-you for your prayers for us at this time."

I figured it is truthful to say we are not separated... That usually means divorced or on the way. We aren't. We are currently not living in the same location, but temporarily while we work together on getting together. Hey, I think I spend more time now talking to my husband in any given day than I used to when he was sleeping here!

And I suspect he will be back here pretty soon. I plan on evaluating that in a few days.

Becky Aguirre said...

If that kind of thing is really getting to you, like it's happening a lot, then I think you could probably come up with another "stock" answer that validates their concern and their desire to care for you, but basically puts up a boundary that politely guards yourself from the emotional involvement...how about that?