Seeing Others As They Are

I remember sitting in my therapist’ office during one of our first visits together and we were diving deep into my past. When we were done, she sat back and said words that I’ll never forget. “Wow Evie, looking at you today you would never know that you went through all that”. She went on to ask how I survived it all. I said “I didn’t have any other choice”. 

Let that sink in. We judge people daily and we do not know what they have been through. We don’t know what they are currently going through. Recently a friend I greatly admire confided in me some family issues they are going through which I had no clue about.  To me her life seems semi epic and I admired her for being brave enough to do all the new things she has done just since I have known her. 

The point I am making by bringing this up is that lately so many things have been happening to so many different people that it hits closer and closer to home the meaning of those words. The perfect couple could actually be falling apart.  The picture of health could so vastly slip away. The list goes on and on. A  kid that is labeled “troubled” could just really be lonely and scared. These are reasons why I give people excessive amounts of chances. I don’t know if the picture I have of them is true or vastly different. 

From my own experience,  not judging people has sometimes brought positive things into my life. Biggest example is my ride or die best friend ever … She and I started out as enemies in kindergarten. All through school the bullying and excessive mental and sometimes physical encounters got worse and worse. But by the time I was in 7th grade I had decided the world is not what we see and only when we look closer do we see the realness in others. Something about my friend made me not want to fight with her any more. Come to find out her parents were basically dictating the bullying. They hated me as a small child because I was chubby. Yes, I was chubby as a kid – not fat, but that didn’t matter because her mother had decided I deserved to be bullied and therefore my friend did just that till she woke up as well. Until she saw me for who I really was and most of all saw who her parents were. I can say a little over 30 years we have been friends and like family. I am blessed!

That isn’t the only way this has manifested in my life. From age 4 till I was 16 my mom abused me. No one even imagined that was what was going on. See, I had a good mom, one that would defend me to no end when it came to other people hurting me. She was involved in all the things – Girl Scouts, 4-H, hauling my friends around when I was older. She was a teacher that everyone loved and respected. Then I had my grandparents. Surely if my mother was hurting me, they would have done something about it. I don’t know the full extent of the answers to why things happened as they did, how much everyone knew etc. The main thing to focus on is my life was not what everyone thought it was. I was no spoiled pampered child. When I up and tried to commit suicide the first time every one was shocked. I think my mom went through it as bad as I did, because she knew somewhere in there that it was not as shocking as everyone thought. She promised me everything would be better. She didn’t physically abuse me as much anymore but mentally it was all still there. I felt guilty for her driving every night to see me for group therapy. I wish I had succeeded in my attempt so I didn’t have to stress her out. I was judged so hard for that attempt. Nobody really asked why and I’m sure they didn’t really care. 

Through the years it has happened in many ways and not just to me. If you look up from your life you will see so many misjudged people. Good people that deserve to be heard and cared about. This holiday season try to see the people in your life as they are not who they seem to be. Be patient and kind. And most of all take care of yourself, it may be you that people aren’t seeing clearly as well. 

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