Friday, June 7, 2013

Other People And Your Own Experiences

I really felt the need to just address this topic because I think it's one that really defines my life but most of all, it really defines having this surgery. This surgery is one experience that really marks a change in the way that I've thought and the way that I've done things.

I'm sure this is something that has been said by many, many intelligent people but I'm going to say it for myself. My experiences define myself and that's it. Right? But also, nobody will really and truly understand what I'm going through. Just because somebody went through the exact same thing (losing a loved one, going through this awful surgery, falling in love, having a child, etc) it doesn't mean that they understand anything about YOUR circumstance. I emphasize 'your' because your circumstance, my circumstance is incredibly different from each other. Why? Well, I've experienced things in my life that you haven't and vice versa. Thus, I'm going to react differently from you. I'm also going to have different people around me when that event is going on. I'm going to behave differently. I'm going to have different ways to handling things. 

That being said, I'm going to just say that it's all true for me. And I really do want to say thank you to all my fellow jaw surgery bloggers and jaw surgery survivors how much I appreciate your own experience. In some ways, or in most ways, they are the same. The same pain, the same numbness, and the same exhausting reaction. It made me feel less 'alone' in the world. However, at the end of the day, when I sat alone in my bed by myself, I was alone. I didn't have a friend to discuss things . . . I was too afraid to talk to anybody. I didn't have anybody who really knew what it was like in my life while going through jaw surgery and the same goes for everybody else. Some who go through this surgery are much older than me. Some people are in college. Some go to work. Some are in high school like me. Some have very supportive people surrounding them. Some do not. Some deal well with pain. Some don't. And I could list of all of these different factors and if I were to do that, I know that everyone is different. 

And sometimes, there were also times when people, myself included, when we wanted to talk about what we were feeling with somebody who have never had jaw surgery. You know, somebody who would just listen. But after a while, I didn't want that anymore. I knew deep down that the person I was complaining to or even just talking to wasn't going to get what I was going through. It takes someone very special for somebody to react the way we want them to, yes? Well, that's my point. When I talk to people, I want them to engage with me in a well-mannered, respectable way. Especially when I'm distressed, emotional, and lost in the world. I don't want anybody to talk down to me. I just want some discussion that isn't going to make me more emotional. But that doesn't mean I'm going to get that and not only that, but I was asking for a lot. I was being selfish. So I figured, my blog would be a great way to express how I felt and it has.

I have said in multiple blog posts that my best friend moved away . . . a few thousand miles. And who knows if she reads this blog at all, but if she does, then that's fine. There were times when I really wanted to tell her how I felt . . . and I'm pretty sure everyone has felt that way in their life. You want to tell someone desperately but you cannot find the strength to do so. I knew that she was going to be supportive in every manner she possibly could. I love her for that. I knew she was also going to try and be careful about what she said and again, I love her for that. But I knew that discussing this with her at that time, or right now for that matter, wasn't going to help me. I wouldn't feel as satisfied because I didn't feel like I was getting what I needed. I don't even know what I needed. Maybe it was comfort and some reassurance. But I think it was also something like, "You know what? Kendahl, it's totally okay for you to feel this way. You should be angry. You should be sad. You should be upset." I didn't want to hear that it was 'going to be okay' because I feel like that was the generic response. Even for me. I would stereotypically say, "It's all down hill from here." But really? I found out yesterday that it wasn't down hill. I still have surgeries to do. I still have to deal with things that I dealt with before this surgery. I just wanted somebody to say, "Be angry. Be upset. Complain. Why? Because that's a natural response. But you know what? This is a part of life and you will just learn how to juggle it all. I'm not going to say that it's going to be okay but I will say that this is a learning experience and you will grow from it." That's all I wanted and I guess I just got it from myself. 

I was afraid to say anything about how I was feeling to people who 'knew' me because I knew that nobody really knew me 100% like I knew myself. I know that music is my sanctuary. I know that I'm self-conscious. I know that I'm sarcastic. I know that I hate braces but at the same time, I've learned to deal with them. I hate that I'm very much different from this day in age's 'normal'. But I also love it. I happen to be a very critical person. I judge those around me, just like people judge me. It's something everybody does, whether we mean to or not. I also happen to be blunt sometimes. I know why I am this way . . . well most of it anyway. I know how I react to things. So in reality, I know what's best for me in most cases. And yes, that's not the case for everybody and every case for me, and that's why I wanted somebody to talk to. But I shouldn't have expected much from people. That sounds cynical. Hell, I'm a cynical person. But there are moments when people show me that we can be good-hearted people. But you know . . . if I don't put expectations on people I don't feel the need to feel betrayed or rejected or hurt. It's almost as if I know the answers for myself but I really just wanted a second answer--a second opinion and really, I rarely ever got one. 

In reality, nobody is going to understand what I'm going through. Especially with something this big. And I try hard not to say, "Oh, I know what that's like" or "Been there, done that". I prefer that I would say that only during casual instances not personal ones. 

I think at the end of the day, I've learned that I am alone but at the same time, I can learn to rely on people and just know that people are willing to listen and that alone should be okay. I am going to move on and move past this experience along with my new surgery and I am going to continue to reflect on my own on this blog.

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