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Just Clearing Something Up

Here's a thing I've been thinking I should mention. A number of you have been experiencing moderate to serious crises in your lives, as we humans do. You've had conflicts with family members, or you have family members who are very ill, or you have recently lost someone. I wrestle with how to respond to this information, because there is a general belief among a lot of "us" that it's shallow and meaningless to make the "anything I can do to help" offer, especially when one hasn't had much recent contact with the person in crisis. At the same time, I do sincerely feel a desire to offer support, and I end up struggling with the issue.

Generally, I conclude that it's better to keep my mouth (keyboard?) shut, and just stand by. I do regret that so many of "us" have had such negative experiences that an "anything I can do to help" email or phone call is met with such cynicism. It is my sincerest hope that you folks know I will do anything I can to help. You do know that, right?

If you don’t, then here it is: you folks who know me in RL are dear to me, and if you are having a hard time, and it's in my power to assist or comfort in any way, I will do it gladly. Cooking meals for you, watching pets while you're out of town, an evening of herbal tea and DVDs, some massage, or just an ear. If I can possibly carve out the time and energy, it's my pleasure to help. In perpetuity.

Please refer back to this post the next time you are in crisis. Thank you.

Comments

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
eac
Sep. 6th, 2007 03:35 pm (UTC)
It is my sincerest hope that you folks know I will do anything I can to help. You do know that, right?

Yep. You may note that I did actually call you in Michigan even knowing that there was nothing you could do.

Also, I'm not one of the cynical in this respect. Some people do spill over into the "my tragedy is your tragedy" thing, which I find distasteful, but most people are genuinely offering an ear or other help, though.
fenriss
Sep. 6th, 2007 03:45 pm (UTC)
I guess some people do that. It's bewildering, and it never crosses my mind. Because, honestly, I have plenty of my own tragedy, so I don't need to go stealing anyone else's.

One thing: I never voice my opinion regarding your mom, you know. I figure you know what I think about certain behaviors of hers, and when you bring her up, I am not the person you want to hear from. Am I right about that? Because I just assume you know I am supportive of you.

Right?
eac
Sep. 6th, 2007 04:04 pm (UTC)
Oh, yes.

There are other situations in which I wouldn't mind your perspective (for example, IS it outrageous to think your cousin will babysit your 2.5 year old for an entire weekend?), but my issues with my mom are well established. The only time I'd want you to point it out is if you think I'm not realizing it...

(Anonymous)
Sep. 6th, 2007 05:03 pm (UTC)
For the record, it is NOT appropriate to assume your cousin can care for your toddler for an entire weekend. You can count my vote among the many others who said as much.

And I'm pretty ticked at your mom for her acusation about your stamina. But you already knew that.

And, btw, I am grateful that I'm someone you feel you can call when you need a sympathetic ear. That's an honor, and I would never betray that trust.
(Anonymous)
Sep. 6th, 2007 05:04 pm (UTC)
um... I'm not logged in, It's Fenriss :)
boadiccea
Sep. 6th, 2007 03:58 pm (UTC)
Wow - it never occurred to me that folks might not happily receive a "anything I can do to help" message from you or anyone else, regardless of how long it's been since you've seen or talked to them last.

You know I'll call you if I need you, and have done. :) And the reverse applies: I expect you to call me if you ever need anything. You know I'd drop anything and help you. In, as you say, perpetuity.

*love*
mercurialgirl
Sep. 6th, 2007 04:08 pm (UTC)
You are, without question, the Patron Saint of Comfort and Support.

*love and appreciation!*
sexybebe
Sep. 6th, 2007 04:15 pm (UTC)
Awww much love, I invite you and your man to a passion party at my house on the 15th. I am going to invite eleanor too.
fenriss
Sep. 8th, 2007 12:00 am (UTC)
Hey, sweetie. Thank you for the invitation! We have a birthday we need to go to that day, but we'll try to make it if we can.
pastor_saturn
Sep. 6th, 2007 04:28 pm (UTC)
Likewise, I'm sure! :)
joanarkham
Sep. 6th, 2007 04:57 pm (UTC)
Well...on the one hand I have known/seen people who are attracted to other's drama. So I know where that comes from.

BUT

When I say "anything I can do to help" I mean it, and I know you do too.
panthergirl
Sep. 6th, 2007 05:16 pm (UTC)
I can't imagine offering help and not meaning to do what one can, so it never occurred to me that it would be taken any other way than directly. Thanks as usual for a different perspective.
parchmentheart
Sep. 6th, 2007 05:26 pm (UTC)
I understand what you are saying. Sometimes all I can offer is "hugs", but I do mean them. I find it sad that some people find words of encouragement offensive or shallow, but maybe that is a defense mechanism in itself too.
I think sometimes when people are in crisis they don't have big-picture vision and it's good to hear voices of encouragement outside of the narrow focus that one can get down into.
fenriss
Sep. 8th, 2007 12:03 am (UTC)
Sometimes all I can offer is "hugs", but I do mean them.

Me too. Sometimes offering hugs is all you can do. And I know it makes me feel better when people do that for me. It doesn't seem frivolous at all when I am the recipient, so it's hard for me to imagine why people get grumpy and suspicious about it, but I guess some folks do.
ashbet
Sep. 6th, 2007 07:22 pm (UTC)
For the record (as well), I genuinely appreciate it when my friends offer to help or to listen or to just be there if I need them, and it truly does mean the world to me to know that I'm loved and cared for, even if it's not the right time for me to reach out or ask for help. Knowing that the help is THERE if I need it is sometimes all I need.

**hugs to you**

-- A <3
fenriss
Sep. 8th, 2007 12:05 am (UTC)
Hugs to you too, hon. Thanks for weighing in on this. You are, of course, one of the people I was wondering whether I should offer hugs to. I didn'[t want to seem like I was making an empty gesture.

So ****HUGS****!!!! You've been in my thoughts. Hope you and yours are holding up, and healing well.
minniethemoocha
Sep. 7th, 2007 05:29 am (UTC)
What's odd is that I wrote the private reply to you (I posted then deleted so only you could read it) before I even read this.
johnnyslaughter
Sep. 7th, 2007 07:44 am (UTC)
IS IT SCOTTISH WEEKEND OR NO ?
At the risk of poor taste, I'm planning to attend the " Hen Faire," In my family tartan, in a wheelchair,
left leg ellevated ( DOCTORS ORDERS ). Aye it takes balls to try thah, but I'll try no to show off too mouch.
The 8'th & 9'th o september is Scottish weekend ?
fenriss
Sep. 7th, 2007 03:30 pm (UTC)
Re: IS IT SCOTTISH WEEKEND OR NO ?
Yep! I believe the 8th and 9th is it. Regrettably Eric and I will not be in attendance this weekend, but have a blast, please. And I think it's tremendously badass that you're gonna try it, don't you strain yourself!
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )