Don’t suffer alone

Sometimes you just wanna get all Bruce Lee on people

It’s hard to suffer in silence. As human beings we are just not wired that way. When I get hurt, the only thing that crosses my mind at that very moment and for many moments after that is to seek revenge. That’s the way of the world, right?

When someone disrespects you or your family there is retribution and someone is going to pay. That’s what I learned in corny old kung fu movies. It’s what I learned from Stanley and Blanche’s sadistic relationship in A Street Car Named Desire. It’s what I learned in history classes. It’s why we fight wars and impose our will on another human being. As humans we have a natural predisposition for vengeance when we are mistreated or when those whom we love are physically, verbally or emotionally harmed.

The truth is it’s just hard to walk away. It’s hard to say, “You hurt me, but I’m going to forgive you and forget that it ever happened.” In actuality, forgiveness is by far one of the hardest things to do because of our natural tendency to right a wrong, sometimes at all costs. Sometimes, that animosity towards another human being drives us to commit actions that we normally would never do and we cannot help it. We feel compelled to wallow in our loathing because we feel the guilt, the shame the violation of another person’s actions towards us or towards our loved ones.

Rosa Parks once asked the question, “Have you ever been hurt and the place tries to heal a bit, and you just pull the scar off of it over and over again?” That’s what enmity and revenge can do to a person. It gets under our skin; it permeates every aspect of our lives; it festers and aggravates us to the point that nothing else matters in the world except seeking our own justice.

I’ve felt that many times in my life. In hindsight I recall now how helpless, pitiful and pathetic I was when I felt wronged and needed reckoning. I spent every waking moment wondering how I can make another human being as miserable as I am. Nothing was going to get in my way. I was like Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon and all I wanted to do was get to O’Harra and Mr. Han for killing my sister. But in the process it nearly ruined every relationship I had and everything that was good in my life.

I’ve been there. I know how hard it is to swallow your pride, reassess life and move on in faith knowing that you have more to live for and you cannot be defined by one moment in your life when things just aren’t going your way. I also know that when someone is going through a tough time whether it’s in a marriage, a relationship with a troubled child, addiction, etc, the last thing the sufferer needs is someone telling them that they need to ‘take care of the problem’ or worse yet, forget about it and ignore the underlying issues.

For many years, my younger brother suffered in silence. He ended up taking the life of another human being as well as his own life. I know of dear friends and family members who have suffered many years from emotional and sometimes physical abuse. Some of them are too afraid to confront the issue. Others are taking a brave stand. And though it may take weeks, months or years to finally overcome the pain and suffering they have endured, I am confident that with the proper assistance and with continued support from family and friends, they will get through it.

Why do I bring this up? Because in the last year I’ve received many texts, phone calls or emails from people who are suffering and don’t know where to turn. I received a phone call just this evening from someone whom I love and care about very deeply. Life just seems like it is in constant turmoil right now because of poor and unhealthy choices and they have no clue where to turn and whom to ask for help.

I’m not qualified to help these individuals nor will I ever give them advice about how to proceed with picking up the pieces and moving forward. What counsel I do give is plain and simple:

1) Seek the advice of trained and qualified professionals – they are knowledgeable in identifying the issues you are having in your life and provide you with ways to cope with the hardship. They may not have all the answers. They may not have the right answers. But having someone to speak to, a third party that will listen to you without judging you or your actions is both comforting and liberating.

2) Mend your spirit – no matter what deity you worship or what dogma you conform to, exercising your faith by placing your heartache and pain in the hands of a spiritual being will help heal your soul. Forgiveness is a very tough pill to swallow. Having the spiritual and emotional fortitude to heal the pain and move forward will reinvigorate your soul and prepare you for the tougher times ahead.

3) Surround yourself with positive influences – Eliminate those who bring a negative aspect to your life. These people do more harm than good. Find good people to develop good, wholesome relationships with and who will encourage and empower you to be your absolute best.

I hope my friend and others who are suffering in silence will find the courage to speak out and seek help. No one should have to go through difficult times alone and I’m very grateful to friends and family who helped me to overcome my darkest moments in life thus far. I have been blessed with a loving, supportive and wonderful wife. I have loving, kind and honorable sons. I have siblings who love me despite my shortcomings and true friends whom I can call upon when times are tough. I honor you and pray that I will have the same insight and love to help others in their time of need.

8 thoughts on “Don’t suffer alone

  1. It’s hard to stand by and watch as your loved ones make decisions that you know will only lead them down those treacherous paths of addiction & heartache. As an aunt who lives over 15,000 miles from my nephews & neices I pray constantly that they will not succumb to the dysfunctional societal norms that teens & young adults face back home in Australia. I shudder every time I read one particular nephews Facebook postings about going out & partying on the weekend… & the jokes he makes with his mates of getting drunk & almost passing out in the clubs… blah-blah-blah… Ugh, killing me! This sweet kid is only 18!!!

    As a childless couple, my husband & I tread a very thin line with my siblings & friends when it comes to discussing their children with them. Pretty much, I’ve learnt that the only thing we’re allowed to say is that we love them & wish the best for them, because Lord help us if we try to broach with them the subject of their children’s actions. It’s not that I’m wanting to tell them how to raise their children, because I have no right – I know this. So I’m throwing this out there, hoping that someone can give me hints on how to address my concerns with my nephew – without offending his Mum & Dad. Or maybe it’s best that I just remain quiet and pray that God will send angels to rally round & protect my nephew from the dangerous path he’s started down…

  2. Sometimes suffering alone is all you have. You try and reach out but once someone hears you have a problem or are dealing with something out of their comfort zone then they leave you alone and act like you never said anything to them or avoid you like you have a disease. So you end up suffering more for reaching out and being ignored… Shut down, feeling like no one even cares. Sometimes I wonder to myself what do I have to say or do to get answers or get help? To feel like anyone cares? Cant pay for counseling. Nor do I wanna feel like I gotta pay someone to listen to me. Plus not an option wit the spouse. They make me feel weak and worse for even considering it. Try to consider religion counseling and advise but I’m not one of the people that are in the in crowd or a true need for the congregation. So not an option. So that’s why I suffer alone. Because no one cares.

    1. Hi Anonymous,
      Look it sounds like you’re in a very tough predicament there. It’s horrible when you start feeling so alienated, and there doesn’t seem to be anyone around to talk to. But take it from me, there’s always at least one person there for you. I totally feel where you’re coming from with how people can shut you out when they don’t know what to say… but don’t give up! Heck, if all you need is a listening ear then I’m here… No, I mean it. I’m willing to listen to you. The thing is, I feel like what you really want is to talk with someone that can guide you through whatever is going on with you right now. That, I’m not sure I can do for you, but I’m here and willing to listen, if all you need is a sounding board! Don’t give up, despite what you may currently think, there are people out there that care. I don’t want you to suffer alone. Feel free to drop me a message ok?

      1. That’s all it takes is for one person to listen. We don’t need to give advice, but listening makes a huge difference. No one should feel alone with great people like you around. On a separate note, a great way to ‘unload’ is to put your thoughts on paper or start a blog of your own. Believe me, there are kindred spirits who know and understand your plight. And if you are a religious person, I’ve found a lot of comfort in the fact that God always has a place in His heart, especially for those who are in need of comfort.

  3. All I know is, Satan is working overtime with his minions to make each of us feel alienated and alone cut off from others. This is why Connections is so important me. We need to stay connected. Don’t leave anyone out. Listen to that voice or impression that tells you to pick up the phone or send an email/text to someone. You never know if you are the lifeline that person needs to climb out of the the dark abyss that is depression.

  4. I found this in one of my books…
    If you are lonely, please know you can find comfort.
    If you are discouraged, please know you can find hope.
    If you are poor in spirit, please know you can be strengthened.
    If you feel you are broken, please know you can be mended

    1. There is so much truth in those simple lines of prose. There is ALWAYS someone ready to give comfort and assistance. Thanks so much for sharing.

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