As you walk around and look at people, realize that you’re not just looking at some soul-less robot, but someone who has been on earth for a while – at least if you’re out and about watching adults. Below, I’ll describe someone I know very well that has Multiple Sclerosis and not many people know it. Each of those people you see every day has a history – they have things about them that you don’t know about. They have many things deep within the onion layers that make up who they are. The movie unbreakable has a great scene in it where the superhero brushes up against some people and is able to see in their inner onion layers. Here’s the trailer. Then watch the movie – it’s good :).
I bring this up because I was eating lunch in our work cafeteria today. The lunches there aren’t quite what they used to be in the past for me, but nevertheless, I observed those I was interacting with and it was a little uncanny. I observed one of the lunch ladies who was facing uncertainty in her life and having to hold it in. Another lady looked back at me as I saw some of her inner onion layers – the scars she’d felt from a rough upbringing. Yet when I went in line with my food, she greeted me with a smile anyway, not knowing that I could see that about her.
I observed other people as well. Older people in the company. One is going through a terrible divorce and battle with his wife over the kids. How can I tell? I observe the demeanor, the being on the phone constantly, leaving in and out of work. He’s one of my co-workers, so I asked if everything was OK. He opened up about what I already knew. It made me appreciate how lucky I am to have such a reasonable person in Heidi around me who is willing to work with me.
The Disease of Multiple-Sclerosis That One Close To Me Has
Speaking of Heidi, most people don’t know that she has Multiple-Sclerosis – a debilitating disease of the nervous system. Most people don’t know that Heidi takes a medicine every day called Tecfidera. Most people don’t know that the damn medicine makes her want to vomit each time she takes it and it gives her hot flashes, but it is the only defense against the disease for her – that and a positive attitude and healthy living. She’s vomited many times on given days – and that vomiting is one of my greatest fears, yet she’s vomited more in the last year than I have in my life time. Most people don’t know that the medicine costs thousands of dollars each month to support her and that my ability to provide insurance for her has been a lifesaver for her.
Most people don’t know that Heidi stood by me when I had the Kidney Stone that almost took my life back in September 2010. She stood by me while I lost my mind with the pain and was unable to control myself. Most people don’t know that before that, she waited on me while I laid on my back for weeks after lower back surgery.
Most people don’t know Heidi’s strength and grounding stability that she provides me. I actually have had much revealed this year to me about Heidi I didn’t realize. In addition, most people don’t know the gut wrenching pain I’ve felt this year as I truly wrestle with where I belong in life and the other deep soul experience I’ve had this year that continues on with me even with the disconnect.
Most people don’t see experiences from my younger years at home that I try to forget. Most people just think I’m an aspergers syndrome person and perhaps an ass-hole for what I’ve done this year and on the surface, yes I am… Most people don’t know how deeply I’m able to care about someone – to the point I lose my mind wondering what to do. I’d take a bullet in a second for certain people at the drop of a hat. It is oscillation back and forth at its highest level for me.
So for most people who see me or Heidi, they just see two people. They don’t see the complexities. They don’t understand how I’m able to provide insurance for her for her disease and our two kids and they don’t see how she’d lose that if I ever split up from her – and that matters to me. She could get insurance on her own, marry someone else and get it, sure, but it’d be a lot more expensive than what I’m able to give her through my work. It makes the decision really hard as I care and respect her a great deal. There are complexities like this that people are NEVER going to ask me about because we are each alone in our own worlds and we can’t understand other people unless we get past ourselves and really dig deep to talk to them.
Think About the Things Under People’s Hoods
It’s not easy for me to write like this. Part of life is the serious stuff :) Part of life is the fun stuff too, but without the serious stuff, life becomes a delusional adventure. This is personal details about my life, but this is what is happening in people’s lives. Things like this are happening to people on my team at work – not like the specific things I’m going through, but things that are their own challenges.
It’s not easy to take time to see what is underneath people. As I did it during lunch today, I was reiterated a gift I have – and that is to understand the inner workings of people and the things going on in their life – almost intuitively and very much more so if I get to know them. I know the struggles, fears, and masks that people wear. For better or worse, if I know someone reasonably well, they cannot hide their mind from me. Only one has truly challenged me in this area. Even people I don’t know, I can feel and sense what is going on in their life pretty effortlessly.
This can be a curse in a way. Because there are some people I know that are like this picture right here. They are pulsating and feeling things deep underneath that are stretching them. I know because I feel it to. This picture is my mind and I am being stretched in a way I’ve never thought possible. The best advice I feel is that you can only send out love, support, and care while listening to them. I send all the warmth, love, and care I can muster from my whole soul to anyone who is feeling like this below.
There’s things about everyone – don’t just talk to someone like they are a robot – realize they have experiences, scars, regrets, secret love, and anything else under the sun you can think of. Take some time to think about this in your interactions in others that perhaps some compassion and empathy will help us get along better and understand each other more. Because it’s this deep stuff – this is what makes us all who we are!
- We Are All Onions
- Year In Review, 2014
- Listen to Other People
- Thoughts After 1 Year On My Own