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Why wont people talk about emotions and feelings?

(11 Posts)
IntotheNittyGritty Fri 15-Jul-11 07:29:05

OK, Silly question, but if you have been given a bad diagnosis by a doctor or specialist, you need to be able to talk to your friends, family etc. However, I am finding that no one wants to talk about what is going to happen. It is as though if you dont talk then nothing bad will happen.

I try to have discussions, talk about what next etc., but everyone just shuts down.

I am also finding that people are just avoiding the subject completely, no longer asking how I am (as a general question like we all do) or involve me in anything, because they have decided I might not be fit enough to cope. I dont have anything contagious and they cant catch the disease.

I need friends and people around to be able to stay strong but I am really struggling with the brick wall people have built up. I have been honest about the diagnosis, was I supposed to just lie and pretend everything is OK.

Jode82 Fri 15-Jul-11 10:29:27

I'm so sorry to hear that. Maybe they just don't know what to say or don't think you want to talk about it? I often find that if I'm really upset about something and need to talk (I had a miscarriage last year and had the same sort of response) then I would just start talking and force them into conversation about it, when I was ready to do that. You might find that it breaks the silence?

Hope it all gets sorted out, and sending best wishes for whatever it is that is wrong. I am sure that other mums on here would be more than willing to share experiences if you wanted to talk on here? Jx

HeyYouJimmy Fri 15-Jul-11 13:54:22

I find more that if it's a terminal thing, then some folk don't seem to want to be reminded about or confronted with their own mortality, so they don't talk about it.

HeyYouJimmy Fri 15-Jul-11 13:57:33

Do you want to talk about what you've been diagnosed with or do you want to just keep it to youself OP? If you want to talk, fire away, there's not much that frightens me, and YES, I'll talk about death too. It's a fundamental part of life after all.

Elibean Fri 15-Jul-11 16:16:58

Its a nightmare when people just can't cope with whatever is happening to you, I think. I'm so sorry you're experiencing that on top of health problems.

I've been lucky in that I've usually been able to find one or two people who aren't either too scared or too clueless to hear me when I've been through 'big' stuff (life threatening illness being one, all sorts of other losses being others) but isolation can really be almost the worst part of going through major life changes sometimes sad

Do you have anyone close to you able to hear you, and talk openly about how they feel? Or failing anyone close, just someone? I got myself some counselling when I felt I couldn't talk to anyone else without either feeling responsible for them, or having my feelings minimized and tidied up for me...

You are absolutely right to need people around you right now. It may be that some of them may just need to hear how awful it feels on the other side of their brick walls, or reassuring that you don't need them to feel 'fine' or 'strong' all the time either...but some probably just won't be able to cope. It might depend on what they've experienced in their own lives already - loss of control terrifies us till we've been through it, I think.

faintpositive Fri 15-Jul-11 16:25:30

This made me chuckle, its so true.
It funny the lengths people will go to to avoid any conversation as well!

Ive been for coffee with a friend this afternoon and she never mentioned, not once my recent loss. Soooo me being me said to her "hmm, im feeling much better after all my giblets fell out last week" (i had mc no 6)

She looked horrified and shocked! But then she kinda smiled and that bought the convo up. She didnt want to tak about it i could tell, but i just needed to mention it, get it out of the way then normal service can be resumed.

Personally i have no problem talking to folk about bad shit that has happened to them. I find it only takes one or two subtle questions (sensitive) to open up flood gates. Im happy to listen, to hug and pass chocolate & tissues, its no problem to me and im always up for a good little cry, it sooths the soul tbh.

For many its hard and uncomfortable, i cna also understand that.

LoveBeingAbleToNamechange Fri 15-Jul-11 16:30:52

It's because they are scared they can't stay strong. I knew my dad was going to die and all I wanted to do was cry in his arms but I couldn't because it wouldn't be fair.

You have to tell them what you want, they would be devestated to think they weren't supporting you as you wished.

I bought a book about how to support someone who is dying, in the end I didn't get to read it through in time but it's on the free section on here if you or anyone else wants it.

It must be really frustrating for you .

hiddenhome Fri 15-Jul-11 17:31:05

When my late dh was terminally ill, his family didn't want to know. One of his sisters and his brother completely refused to talk about it and wouldn't even visit. dh was really angry about it and it made his last few weeks a bit miserable, although he did have one other sister who did visit (she was a nurse).

My BIL even turned me away at the door when I went to their house to ask for help once when dh was having a suicidal episode and I couldn't handle him.

They came to the funeral though, that pissed me off angry

They're just cowards imo. Illness is something that we all have to face up to eventually and it's cruel and selfish to abandon sick people just when they need others.

wicketkeeper Mon 18-Jul-11 21:02:45

Absolutely not a silly question Nitty (or do you prefer Gritty?). We were warned when our DS died that we would 'find out who our friends were'. So true, and so sad.

So, if you're having no luck with the 'real' people in your life, give us 'virtual' people a try.

IntotheNittyGritty Thu 21-Jul-11 22:38:44

THanks wicketkeeper. It is true about finding out who your true friends are! The people who have been most helpful are those that I had considered as acquaintances rather than friends. A lot of my friends have said they will help in anyway, but I havent seen anything of them, but the people who have been most helpful have just automatically done things for me without asking, ie bringing shopping, bringing meals, cutting my grass.

I am feeling OK about it now, I feel I have a new support group building around me which has really helped. It just took time to develop and people are now starting to ask questions which is also helping because it means now I can talk to them.

Elibean Thu 21-Jul-11 23:25:14

Glad to hear the new support system is building, Nitty.
I wonder if aquaintances find it a little easier, being less close iyswim. I know I talked much more easily with my 90+ yr old gran than I did with my own mother, when I was ill and in treatment.
Hurrah for the practical people who are bringing the meals/cutting the grass!

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