Frequency isn’t pain relief

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Common pain doesn’t become less painful for the sole fact that it is common. Splinters are a common complaint, but that doesn’t mean they don’t hurt, now does it? Broken bones are common injuries, but they hurt too. The common cold (clue given in the name) is possibly the most universal ailment, but knowing everyone goes through it doesn’t make your symptoms magically disappear. Losing a loved one is immensely painful, but almost 2 people die each second.

As a society, we never disregard physical pain simply because of its frequency alone; so why then do we do this so often with emotional, mental and spiritual pain?
One example of a significant source of emotional pain is divorce. There is little stigma surrounding divorce in the secular world anymore, it is very common. As heartache from divorce becomes more frequent, for some reason we often forget that it still hurts. Divorce is so common and even acceptable in society, it seems as though mankind is losing the ability to empathise with those affected. I’m talking about the divorcees involved of course, but my heart goes out to their children in particular.

A man named Jon Acuff posted this on Facebook:
Sometimes the frequency of divorce makes us forget the heartache of it. It’s such an ordinary thing these days that we tend to rush right by the extraordinary pain it causes.
If you grew up with divorced parents, are going through a divorce or are divorced, I’m sorry for all the times that I didn’t understand how hard that experience can be. It might be common, but it’s never easy.
I appreciate his words so much. That he admits his lack of understanding of the pain we feel. So often I’ve felt undermined by my friends and family. Unless you have experienced divorce, I don’t think you can ever understand how much it sucks. But, that doesn’t mean that those of us who know what it’s like are ‘coping just fine’. I appreciate that it’s difficult to empathise with something you’ve never experienced, but try as best as you can. And if all else fails, it’s better to assume the worse in this situation.

Don’t gloss over someone’s pain just because they look like they’re coping. How much can you really see from someone’s physical appearance? Cuts can be easily hidden with long sleeves. The pouches under someone’s eyes from sleep loss can be hidden with makeup. The runny nose and watery eyes can be blamed on allergies. The weight loss or gain from stress can be hidden with clothes. A lot of people lie about when they’re upset. There are many reasons for this, and if I’m honest I’d have to say I’ve lied about it before. You may not want to have people worrying about you, you may not want them interfering, maybe you don’t trust other people not to share the information. The reason most sad to me is that you believe they won’t understand, so what’s the point of saying anything. This reason shouldn’t exist. I agree that no-one except you and God know exactly how you feel, but that doesn’t mean that no-one else can help.

To everyone who hasn’t experienced divorce, be mindful of those who have. Be there for them. Try to notice as best you can when they’re upset and even if you can’t see it, just check up on them from time to time. Make sure they know you can be trusted, because I don’t think there’s anything worse in the world than having turmoil in your life and having no-one you trust enough to share it with. Most of all, have as much empathy as you can.Be careful not to confuse empathy with sympathy, although both are needed in these situations. You may not be able to imagine your parents divorcing or divorcing your spouse, but I can tell you – it probably sucks more than you think. Just because divorce is common doesn’t mean it isn’t heartbreaking. God created a union called marriage, meant to be a permanent bond between two people who love each other. Two become one. Any kind of separation is bound to be painful. Any relationship designed by God isn’t ever meant to be broken. But it still happens – and usually, agony ensues.

2 thoughts on “Frequency isn’t pain relief

  1. Thanks Lori! It’s very tricky, especially when people try to say it’s for the best. While the two people may not be fighting so much anymore if they are divorced, separating isn’t the only solution to that issue.

    Like

  2. Right again! Divorce affects everyone surrounding it, as well as the two being divorced. And more than just those two people as well. It’s really a form of a death except the people are still walking around seeing each other.

    Liked by 1 person

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