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Please don't let me feel misunderstood. Thursday February 27, 2014

Do you yearn to feel understood? Do you sometimes find it a challenge to be true to yourself when you are misunderstood, perhaps feeling it's easier to simply be what everyone thinks you are, or ought to be?

I ache to be understood but rarely do I feel it. I often feel a primal need to protect myself and to live by the sad reflection of Elbert Hubbard: 'He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words.' Now there was a fellow who must have known what it was to feel Alone. And yet, the sad truth is, is that often trying to explain how one feels does indeed, lead to further loneliness.

Trying to explain feelings can lead a friend to go away and put your tears, depression or feelings down to X, Y or Z and yet for me, it never feels quite as simple as that. Can anyone know what you're feeling if every tear we've ever shed becomes part of what we weep for today? And can anyone know why so we're happy or excited, perhaps over something seemingly simple, when every tear, disappointment, sadness, laugh or joy is an integral part of who we are this moment? No. The answer has to be no. If a friend acknowledges this, I feel less alone. Often though, friends like to box up your sadness and pigeonhole it neatly and concisely.

I find this an interminable challenge; to open up or not to open up. I never seem to get the balance right and often feel it's easier to simply withdraw altogether and never reveal my true self to anyone, ever again.

I suppose the key then is to know ourselves and to learn to take care of our own feelings. This is dashed hard, no doubt about it. When I give a quiet, gentle nod of acceptance to how I'm feeling, however, I'm less needy for the understanding of others and it's less likely that I'll make the mistake of opening up to someone who can't understand. That in turn, can free us up to be ourselves, even if we are misunderstood.

A Moodscope user.

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Anonymous Thu, Feb 27th 2014 @ 8:49am

oh my goodness Suzy - this could have been written by me. Esp the bit about the tears of today being like the tears gathered up from all the years gone by - I feel sometimes I have a tsunami of sadness within, its like a backdrop of my life, and I wish it wasn't, yet its like a faultline running through... You can't just reason it away or put a different light on it. And like you, I yearn (good word) for someone to understand, to key into the complexity and pain of it. And like you, I sometimes take a risk but more often it backfires or I'm left feeling even more alone, and then I withdraw further. Your post really encouraged me, (not much comfort for you I'm afraid!). Sometimes when I read Moodscope blogs, I wish we Moodscopers could all meet for coffee :) but it does help knowing there are others out there who know how I feel. (was it you who wrote the "I feel" blog a few days ago? that also felt like it could have been written by me - spookily so). Thank you.

Mart Thu, Feb 27th 2014 @ 8:52am

Thanks for your personal musings today Suzy. Very interesting reading. Wishing you and all Moodscope users good mental health today.

Julia Thu, Feb 27th 2014 @ 9:07am

The quote is lovely Suzy. Silence says so much sometimes. I remember a so called friend (she isn't a friend any more and shouldn't have been then) saying to me once that I or one should not expect anyone else to understand how you are without you telling them.But she didn't understand that it can be impossible to explain how you feel and that acting silently is sometimes the only means of expression. As I say, she is no longer a friend.

EJS Thu, Feb 27th 2014 @ 9:22am

Thanks for this. I too often feel misunderstood and long for people to identify with me rather than try and change me. Sometimes I'm in so much pain I have to speak out otherwise I'll withdraw into myself (often with troubling consequences). Usually it's my husband I open up to and he usually doesn't understand what I'm talking about. I've learned, however, that even if people have an opposing view you can use that to see the "truth" of the situation. My low mood and negative thinking often skew everything and it's easy for me to be misunderstood. The point is that everyone I love might not see things from my point of view. I need to understand when I feel sure that it's my truth and not my mood swings talking.

Julia Thu, Feb 27th 2014 @ 10:08am

Yes exactly. I agree with this.

Exidia Thu, Feb 27th 2014 @ 11:04am

Oh Suzy, your post made me want to hug you, because I can never understand your personal pain, but I can stand alongside you and just be with you. I too struggle with feelings that I am unable to put into words, and your wish to be understood resonates deeply. Being in remission at the moment I can see that the sense of "just being" in solitude is probably better for me than trying to explain how I am to people who simply cannot understand.
And I'm raising my coffee cup to you all as I write; because I'm a tactile and visual person and like anonymous I'd love us all to meet right now !

Anonymous Thu, Feb 27th 2014 @ 2:37pm

I too face the same issue and end up in similar emotional pain. Seems like my story!

Anonymous Thu, Feb 27th 2014 @ 3:50pm

Exidia, could you please explain me what to be a a tactile and visual person is?
Thank you. Silvia A

Richard Thu, Feb 27th 2014 @ 4:14pm

We are meeting right now. This forum is better than chatting over coffee. We can sit in our pyjamas at home, take some "time out" at work, sit in the park and Moodscope on our mobiles. Since discovering this site, I have had more meaningful conversations with people I probably won't see face-to-face. We all have our good days and bad days and the chance to share thoughts is life-affirming. Peace & Love.

Anonymous Thu, Feb 27th 2014 @ 6:37pm

Bless you Suzy! My other half is very supportive when he thinks he can 'fix' me, when he can feed me, cajole me, nurture me even..but he doesn't understand that sometimes simply listening to me ranting about something or other is more helpful than giving me a list of options to 'solve' my predicament. We all need self worth, significance and security and like it or not, only faith in God, His Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit can give you this, so to expect another person to give you all that is going to leave you disappointed. Take care!

Anonymous Thu, Feb 27th 2014 @ 7:10pm

Cos' I'm just a soul who's intentions are good Oh Lord please don't let me be misunderstood The Animals Listen to the lyrics Thanks Suzy

jk Thu, Feb 27th 2014 @ 7:44pm

Beautifully Brilliant. Thank you. This writing has perfect timing and incite for me... AND it affirms the benefits of what I am learning with meditation; acknowledge (validate) the hurt and then let it go. In that the MEDITATION technique provided me control over my emotional response to subtle hurtful comments, "ornery-messaged" body language and the condescending manner in which loved ones behave towards me at times. I've accepted while they love me and are family they really aren't interested in being my friend. Awesome writing for the person of the described type who is identifying the role as parent of children-in-laws and adult children. They don't want you parenting (of course) and they don't want to have you as a "friend." So you can love your family, be there fore them and accept that there is just not a "friend" relationship... and it doesn't have to be a painfully disappointing issue.

Julia Thu, Feb 27th 2014 @ 7:44pm

I was going to mention this. I have been singing it all day in my head since reading Suzy's blog.

Anonymous Fri, Feb 28th 2014 @ 5:12pm

So painfully accurate, thank you for this post! I feel that those I share with easily put me into a category of sad, lonely, and helpless, and they quickly leave me without any support. I've been trying to build support resources within myself, educating myself, and avoiding the ignorance that surrounds depression and the depressed. It's very tragic, though, and almost traumatic for me as I am arm extrovert that typically seeks the need of human interaction and the only person I'm interacting with on a regular basis!

But enough sulking, I'm trying yo be positive and grateful. Thank you, again, for sharing an amazing post. It's great to know I'm not the only one thinking these thoughts or having these feelings.

Suzy Fri, Feb 28th 2014 @ 9:28pm

Thank you, all of you, for such open, honest and eloquent expressions. I love Anon's of 8.49am words: 'I feel I have a tsunami of sadness's like a fault line running through me...'
Beautifully put.
And yes, Anon of 5.12pm 28Feb... Where indeed would we be without our beloved cats... They understand us when no one else can! ;o)

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