Too Much Pain :(

So, I’m watching “Rocketman” this morning and I just start crying.  You have this prodigy, who’s talent is incredibly rare, but whose life was full of pain for decades.

I hate all the pain I see in people.  And I see it everyday.

I have students who hug on me, follow me, confide in me and I wonder where their family is.  Their friends.  How did they get to this point in their life without the comfort, love, and support they so desperately need?

Then, I talk about horrible things in my classes:  rape, child sexual abuse, domestic violence, bullying.  And I NEVER, EVER give any of these lectures without at least 5 students reaching out to me afterwards to tell me they’d be a victim of the topic.  EVER.

How many students do this?

I hear stories from students about being sexually abused by a family member when they were as young as 3.  Or raped as a high schooler, but not being able to tell anyone because they felt the shame was theirs.  Or students who grew up with violent parents, and who tried to shield their siblings from the worst of it.  Or women who left an abuser after years because they realized it was either that, or facing the possibility that their next beating could be their last.  Or guys who have told me they are gay, but had to put on this ‘tough’ persona in front of family and friends, because they knew if they didn’t, they would be bullied and ostracized by those they cared for the most.

So many people out there are in pain.  So many have stories we can’t imagine.  And here’s the thing:  until we start really seeing people, and not shying away from actual connection; until we start asking the WHY behind behavior instead of just punishing it or judging it; until we ask people how they are and truly stop to listen;  until we look at a kid and see they need a hug instead of discipline;  until we drop our own masks and show that it’s ok to not be ok, things are never going to change.

How is it we live in what’s supposed to be this connected world, yet people are more lonely and disconnected than ever?  How can we let so many people suffer in silence?  And why can’t we say the simple words of  “I care?”

Maybe this needs to be reversed.

Kristi xoxo

Author: Kristi

Just a bipolar Professor working to end the stigma of mental illness.

3 thoughts on “Too Much Pain :(”

  1. As you know, I fit almost every negative experience you listed above. Where was my family? They were beating me or tearing me down. Where were my friends? I was too afraid to confide in anyone. As a child and for a long time as an adult. Somewhere deep inside me there was a persevering trait. As I grew, people like you came in to my life and made it ok to start processing these horrible things I experienced. People like you planted seeds. You planted my seeds in 1996 and they didn’t truly take root until 2008. I am lucky to still be alive considering I was in an abusive marriage from 2000-2007. Separated in 07 and divorce finalized in 08. For me, the sun and water on those seeds you planted didn’t occur until 1) I went to war and lost teammates right in front of me and 2) I got pregnant and knew I needed to heal to become a parent my child wouldn’t fear. Your Ollie stories helped me there too. I looked up to you, even though I had only known you 1 semester at a really bad time of my life AND hadn’t seen you for over 2 decades. You make an impact. You are a blessing to so many because you’ve always been approachable. You’ve always eluded to your own mental health struggles even if you didn’t fully embrace them and share them. People could just sense it I think. I’m so glad you are trying to end the stigma because you have the power to do so in your part of the world at least. The best part is you are helping to mold generations of people that are going forth and doing the same. Yesterday I had a homeless lady I’ve been working with cry and thank me for saving her life. She said if I hadn’t stepped in when I did and genuinely cared, she would have taken her life 21 days earlier. Now she has hope and wants to live. She sees a happy future. You did that Kristi! Your influence is why I found my calling. Your influence is why I am open about my struggles and why I connect so openly to my own clients. Your hands are in my ability to save others as much as they were in your influences that saved me so long ago. I absolutely love you. My mentor. My friend. Thank you.

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  2. Amy…you give me WAY too much credit!! You are an amazing woman and you would have been doing the same as you are: saving lives, making lives better, and being an advocate for those who need it most!! Thank you for your sweet words, and hearing them makes me feel like I'm doing the right thing!! Love you!! xoxoxo

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