Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Don't ask me how I feel, if you don't want to know! I am no longer in a place of pretending that everything is fine. If the world is falling down around me. if I've had a bad day, I'm going to tell you. If I'm running around in circles, I'll tell you that too.

For most of my life I was fine. My father died when I was twelve, I never shed a tear in public. I shed very few tears at all and no one saw me cry, absolutely no one. Two weeks later I had an accident in which I got my hand stuck underneath the wheel on a go cart going down a hill. By the time we got the cart stopped, half my finger was worn away, you could see the middle of the bone but I was fine.

I knew how to be fine. I knew how to keep up appearances. I knew how to be in control. The problem was I didn't know how to live. I only knew how to keep up the role that I was playing. I was, after all, fine.

When I participated in group therapy, we were supposed to start off each group by telling how we felt. It only had to be one word, not big explanations if you didn't want to make them, just one word. But "fine" was not allowed. Fine was defined as

Fucked Up

Group was about learning to get healthy and obviously that definition is about as far away from healthy as one can get.

To this day I think about that definition every time I hear someone say they are fine. And usually it applies pretty well to the person using or maybe I should say "misusing" the word. I've learned that people who are "fine" are game players and control freaks. They are committed to appearances and value them over people. They are everything that I don't want to be.

I am never going to fit that definition again. I spent the first thirty or so years of my life being "fine." Now I chose to be "real." And I'm going to stay "real." That means when you ask me how I feel, I'm going to tell you exactly how I feel.

"Real" people are the kind of people I value. They are the ones worthy enough to be trusted to be my friends. Real people do not manipulate their feelings to make themselves look good or others look bad. Real people believe that people are more important than money, fame, appearances.

Real people can be there to support their friends when they are in pain because they don't fear what that pain might trigger in themselves. Real people aren't afraid of feelings. They are confident that their feelings will help them find their path in life. Real people are not afraid to be themselves. Real people are not afraid to be the flawed human beings we are.


Marj aka Thriver said...

When I went down to the Ross trauma program in Dallas a year ago, I found they were very big on "feeling the feelings." They handed out a list of feeling words. I kept looking at the list. *blink* I'm smart...I'm a writer for crying out loud...but I didn't even know some of those words WERE feelings! Been workin' on that big time with my parts this past year.

Anonymous said...

I guess using your definition, I am a game player/control freak. But I am trying not to be; so I guess that is one of the rasons I am in therapy!

Rising Rainbow said...

marj aka thriver, I've seen a list that I reacted to the same way. What, these are ALL feelings? How could that be.

Kahless, sorry, I wasn't intending to call names. I wanted to express that those who play the game and wear the mask of "fine" with everyone in their lives, usually are not "real." They spend a lot of energy trying to control how others see them and how others act.

I believe that by learning to be "real" and not just "fine" is an important part of the therapy process.

And, there are varying degrees of everything, including contol freaks, and game players. LOL Boy do I know that from experience!!

keepers said...

Fine was the expected response in our home, in our school, in our church, no matter how we were in reality. We knew if we were anything other than fine we would pay for it dearly as soon as our family found out. We still struggle with this at times because we feel we must put up this front of being fine so as to not disappoint or bring up questions or even worse, get over it, it happened a long time ago. sorry for going on so.

peace and blessings