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September 09, 2008

Comments

Amy

I think it is the society in which we live. I am in a childbirth class - in most societies, this in not even a concept since girls see their sisters, cousins, neighbors, etc. give birth.... In Western societies a lot more things are "private" so we have to be taught how do what should be natural. & we keep things to ourselves that we should feel comfortable in sharing.

Penny

I suppose it depends on the type of friendshp, for me. If I had a friend and I tended to be more of her mentor, I might not tell her. If she was someone I leaned on like a big sister, I am sure I would. Perhaps your buddy sees you more as a fun person to hang with and didn't want to change that to a relationship from where you were both at the same "place" - hard to explain what I mean. She might want to keep the relationship fun instead of having it turn into her being sick and you being sympathetic. Dunno.

N, NP

I have a friend like yours, and she'd be the FIRST place I'd go with such a problem, before my sister or my daughter. And I know the same is true for her -- it's happened.

Marlene

Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't...it all seems pursuant to the situation at hand...sometimes it is just nice to have a mental diversion and not talk about my problems at all.

Lisa D.

My best friend totally clammed up last year when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She didn't even tell me about it until the day before she was going into surgery. I am still puzzled by it, but until I'm there myself, I can't begin to get inside her head. I'm glad your friend is okay!

Nancy

I'm like some others....sometimes I do and sometimes I don't....depends on my mood. My husband says I talk too much because I always want to get everybody's opinion. Nancy in WI

MichelleB

I'm in the sometimes I do, sometimes I don't category, too. I think, as I've gotten older, and come to depend on my friends more, I do tell them more.

quiltdivajulie

Awesome questions...

I think our choice to speak or be silent has a lot to do with the societal admonitions for women to 'be strong' ~ admitting that we need help, of any kind, indicates weakness (which is wrong, wrong, wrong). Also, fear causes us to do draw in... there are so many elements involved.

We have an adult son with a mental disability and we spent years making excuses and being withdrawn ~ now we are far more open with those close to us and we are, in many cases, advocates for mental health. This approach is healthier and far easier ~ but, even now, the knee jerk reaction is still to hold back (at least a nano-second) until we assess the situation.

I'm so glad your friend's results came back 'ok' ~ Guessing that her choice to remain silent was more about her than about any of her friendships/relationships. Perhaps she was afraid that speaking the words aloud would make it real or worse...

tami

When my mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer she didn't tell me until the day she went into surgery. I think she told her sisters, but didn't want to worry my sister and I. My sister was one month post op for breast cancer which I didn't hear about until 3 days before her surgery. I did talk to friends when my mother was going through chemotherapy treatments and when we were told the cancer was back and she only had about a week more to live, but now, a year and a half after her death, I feel like I am depressing to be around and am a burden to my friends because it still is such a fresh wound.
I think a lot of us were raised to be worried about what others think and not bother other people. I know I was.

Molly

I think people wrestle with feeling foolish(because what if its nothing) and not wanting to have their friends worry(what if its something) so the best they know to do is wait til they are sure of what they are dealing with. I'm so glad that it was nothing in your friend's case! Give her a big hug!!

Donna

What a thought provoking post. You know, I think I have done both. It really depends on what the situation is. In your friend's case, I think I would solicit all the encouragement I could find but we are all so different. I know that I have also kept my "secrets" to myself when I should have shared them. As you said, maybe voicing the "secrets" makes them become more real while keeping them quiet can keep us in denial. Either way, what a great outcome for your friend.

Miss Jean

FIrst of all, I'm glad your friend is fine. That's the important fact. My friend went through the same thing last year. But she told just me, not even her Mom. Things turned out fine for her, also, and I felt on one hand privileged that she would pick me to share with. On the other I felt she should have told her family, also.

Me, I hold a lot of things in. That's how I was raised. When my hubby had a stroke three years ago, I didn't go around talking about it all the time with my circle of friends. Trouble is they never asked, either. They were not there for the emotional support I needed. Should I have phoned? Should they have called? Who knows. But our relationships aren't the same as they were.

Susan Ramey Cleveland

Thank God your friend is ok. When such a thing happens to me, and it has several times, I tell everybody and ask them to pray for me. God gave me my friends and family so that we could support and encourage each other in good times and bad, so that's what I do. I wish your friend could have had that. But everyone deals with troubles in her own way. Maybe that's the way that made your friend feel like she was in control. Perhaps the sympathy that she knew she'd get from everyone was too much for her to deal with at the moment. But you are a good friend to feel the way you do. Your friends are lucky (me included). --Susan

Susan Ramey Cleveland

Thank God your friend is ok. When such a thing happens to me, and it has several times, I tell everybody and ask them to pray for me. God gave me my friends and family so that we could support and encourage each other in good times and bad, so that's what I do. I wish your friend could have had that. But everyone deals with troubles in her own way. Maybe that's the way that made your friend feel like she was in control. Perhaps the sympathy that she knew she'd get from everyone was too much for her to deal with at the moment. But you are a good friend to feel the way you do. Your friends are lucky (me included). --Susan

pam

Sometimes its just easier to wait it out on your own. I confess that that's the kind of person I am. Not because I don't love my friends or my family, I just didn't want my relationships to be about that. I didn't feel it was a slight. I'm glad that your friend is fine. Phew. Life can be so scary.

Pesky Patti

A little over a year ago I was diagnosed with CLL - a type of leukemia that has no cure. It is a wait and watch game for me as they don't try any treatments until certain symptoms or drastic blood counts change. I told an aunt and all of my friends. But my mother, now 86 years old, does not know. On the outside, I look and act the same and other than being tired most all of the time, I can still function ok. Mom has had a history of depressions and a couple of nervous breakdowns and since there is nothing she can do for me, why burden her with the stress? Although, she doesn't understand why I am so "lazy" and I would like to just blurt it out to her! :-)
Good news for your friend. I went through that about 3 years ago! It is very scary, especially if you have a history of it in your family.
Thanks for your post and an excuse to dump a little bit!!

Anne K.

So glad things turned out OK for your friend. I guess we all deal with things as we need to. As for me, I would have relied immediately and unabashedly on the support of several close girlfriends. Not the whole kit 'n caboodle of girlfriends, but the two or three who I know would be there for me, because I've been there for them, too.

Witoka

I am so happy to hear your friend is ok. It happened to me and I didnt tell anyone except my husband and daughter, not even my mom or dad. I dont know why I didn't tell anyone, I guess I didnt want to hear any negative thoughts or anyone feeling sorry for me. I really can't say why. But it turned out ok for me too. I did tell God and talked alot to Him!

Floss

My DH is like you and wants to tell everyone that will listen, while I need to keep it to myself for a bit, until I can get my own head around it, then I can share it with others. I need to think about it without other input otherwise I feel awash in a sea of emotions that may not be mine. Does that make sense? When I am ready I tell my friends and want there support.

Ailsa

I am variable how I deal with things, sometimes I talk to anyone and everyone, sometimes I keep things to myself. Something happened to me as a teenager that I've only told one person and that wasn't my husband or my parents!! We all handle things differently.

jeorg

my mom withheld that information from the entire family for a year telling us that it was for her to deal with. i remember all of us being so angry about it because so many things could have happened... and yet she had refused to let any of us help, know, or just be there for her.

i can understand waiting until you have the results, but not to say anything...

Caryn

I would be exactly like your friend and it would be no reflection on my bestest friends. There have been one or two times in my life when I had an issue I was concerned about and didn't even tell my husband until after I made a Dr.'s appt - let alone anyone else. I think its the type of thing that if I verbalize it it makes it real.

Debbie

I'm so glad your friend is okay. I'm the type that doesn't tell anyone. I had skin cancer last year. I only told one person. And that was because I had to have someone drive me home from the surgery since my husband was away. I love my friends, but I'd rather share my joy than my misery. Plus, I'm a horrible patient!

Ginny Worden

Sorry Nicole, that your friend felt she had to go through such an ordeal alone. I have 2 friends, that are my support, comfort and sounding board, and without them there would have been times when I doubt my sanity would have survived. We need our family members, but we also need our friends, for their support, love and laughter.Take care, and hopefully if there ever is a next time, your friend will realize that you will help her when she really needs it.

Perry

I am the type of person to keep things like that to myself. I hate to burden a friend with something of that nature and I did the same thing to a good friend of mine when I had breast cancer. I didn't tell her about it until it was all over. There was nothing she could do and that was not what I wanted our conversations to be about. If she had needed to talk to you about it, she would have. She didn't burden you with her problem because of her high regard for you is my opinion.

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