Not you. Not your friend. Not your co-worker.
Okay, not really, but for a fraction of time, yes, all about me.
Flash back to May 2011, just four months after I lost (what felt like) everything. I was sad, easily triggered, desperate to be “normal,” lonely, traumatized, and just simply going day by day not having a clue what my future would be like.
I had just turned 20-years-old and trying to be a 20-year-old among “normal” people was hard. It was really hard. No one understood me and I could barely stand to be around anyone because I couldn’t handle listening to their “problems.”
There I was.
Standing among a few other 20-somethings minding my own business during one of my first social outings since my life shifted and “he” said it.
*Note: We won’t name names for the sake of being a decent human being.
He looked me straight in the eyes from across the room and said obnoxiously loud, “you know, we all have problems and it’s not all about you.”
My eyes dilated. I could feel the blood rushing to my head, I felt like I was on fire (literally). I wanted to scream so loud that aliens (if there is such a thing) could hear me.
How dare you. How absolutely dare you.
Who do you think you are?
He knew me. He knew what I had lost. And still. He had the audacity to say that to me.
Well, I obviously knew him too. And I knew he had his own troubles. Like we all do.
Hint: Hurt people hurt people.
Another hint: Hurt people don’t have to hurt people.
We all have lemons. And if you don’t then you should be damn thankful you don’t. But the point of this story is that when someone is handed a fresh lemon, it’s about them. End of story. Let them be in themselves.
It’s not about you. You can have your “you moments” at another time.
The point here isn’t to discuss “him.” Instead, I want to focus on his point. Seriously. He has a great point. “It’s not all about you.”
Well, it isn’t all about me. And it never will be. And I never want it to be.
Do you know how badly I wish I didn’t want those moments to be “about me?” Do you know how badly I wanted to be “normal?” Do you know how badly I wanted your “problems?” Do you know how badly I wanted to walk into a room and not feel like everyone was staring at me? Do you know how badly I wanted to feel like no one was talking about my “situation?”
When you’re in the survival stage, how dare anyone question you. How dare you ever feel bad for making something “about you.” How dare you feel anything but proud for making it another day.
And if you’re curious as to how I reacted.
I looked at him with those wide eyes.
I walked away.
Be proud of where you are in your journey.
And to the friends of those hurting, be present for the hurting. Be with them and let it be about them. If you’re hurting, tell someone else.
Your friend will be able to listen to your troubles and pain again one day, but just not today.