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Saturday January 12th 2019


Chronic Snarkopolist: Healing with Vulnerability, Sharing, and Reciprocity

Post Published: 13 October 2010
Category: chronic autoimmune conditions column, Chronic Snarkopolist, Column
This post currently has 12 responses. Leave a comment

Hello my loves! Thank you so much for being in my life!

I have said so many times to my friends – sharing your stories heals. And I have meant it.  Sharing our deep pains with others helps us to go inside and lift out the pain and hold it up.  When we bear witness to each other’s pain and trauma suddenly most of what we live with is more livable.  Sometimes we must only say, “Thank you for sharing.”

Sometimes it is the depth of pain is more than words can fix but the beauty of the world is that within us all is a whole being who knows it can be expressed. Illness is something we deal with but emotional health and wholeness of being is something that is ours.  When we listen and love and share we are healing each other.

I have said this numerous times. And yet I am my most vulnerable when I am sharing.  Mostly because it is so easy for the other person to not care or not reciprocate or to take what love I have given and not listen to me.  And it HAS HAPPENED!! I have listened and loved and given to people and then they have refreshed themselves and walked away.  And that stings! It does!

But we cannot let this dissuade us from moving forward with our loving. We cannot. I have spoken with too many discouraged people lately.  We must carry on our loving and listening and sharing.  We must carry on being vulnerable and asking for help!

Finally I caved – I sought out a beautiful friend whom I deeply cherish.  I said, “I am deeply hurting, can we talk on the phone? My pain is too big for an e-mail.”  And she said, “YES!”  And we talked and I cried and poured out my pain.”  And it was so healing.  I needed her.

Being able to talk and share and heal is SO POWERFUL.  More so is allow ourselves to be brave enough to do both the talking and the releasing of our pain.

What I gathered from these conversations is both sharing and healing and reciprocity. We need these things. We also need the courage to ask people to help us – to be there for us. This is so hard for me. I am so stoic sometimes when I am with people. I might be able to bleed all over a page, but it is HARD for me to look people in the face and ask them to be with me.  It is hard for me to tell people my problems. I am usually the listener. Sometimes I will share, especially in small bite sized amounts. But rarely will I pour out real issues with a listener.

Yet – it is necessary for me to be vulnerable and ask for help. It is hard for me to be sad and hurting and when I reach out and someone reaches back to me and holds me it is so healing. I feel so completely understood.

The best people to understand me are people who have walked this path. We get it. We get each other.  Yet- we are sometimes the worst at reaching out when we are hurting. We have become so stoic and so used to being strong that we forget to reach out. It is time for us to reach out and reach back – healing each other with our love. Getting each other – supporting each other. And most important for people to  allow it – really allow and be brave and vulnerable with people. Trusting that if I reach out someone will be there to reach back.

Upon occasion someone will use you. Sometimes people will drain you. Sometimes people will forget what reciprocity means and leave before you have shared with them. It happens. Move on. Look for who counts. There is always someone there who counts. I realize that sometimes the people who zing our hearts the most are the ones who remind us of our past pain. Those are the ones who remind us the most of our fears or past traumas.

When someone creates a special sense of guilt and pain in me I realize I am reliving the past. And it helps me say to myself “No- I am in the present now. This situation and person is NOT necessary to me. I don’t need to relive this any longer.” Yet- somehow those pains call to us like our personal siren.  And the people who most give us that special guilt-ache feel so much like home. It is a groove that yearns to be filled. But really it is an empty spot where we are learning to be safe to heal without filling it again with guilt and despair.

Instead – I am learning to fill these aches with love and be healed by the understanding of my friends.  I am learning to show these pains to my friends and say, “This hurts.” And allow them to say, “Yes- that is awful, I’m sure it is tender, let me kiss the boo boo for you. Let me bear witness to your pain.”  I am learning how significant it is.

It is so easy to tell you that we SHOULD be doing it. It is so much harder to be brave and do it. Sharing stories heals. Trusting that someone actually gives a damn is so much harder.  What do you think? Does someone give a damn about you and your stories? Have you shared and been ignored?  Has someone taken advantage of you and do you feel afraid to share again?  How do you heal from that and move on? Tell me! I want to know!

I’ll see you the same place next week! Kiss kiss!

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12 Responses to “Chronic Snarkopolist: Healing with Vulnerability, Sharing, and Reciprocity”

  1. Monica says:

    Hi Melissa,

    Having grown up in a emotionally hindering environment, it is difficult to share and ask for help for fear of rejection or not being heard or feeling like a stick in the mud for being different.

    Through years of testing the waters before coming out of the trauma closet, I am not as afraid of being open and honest with my feelings, whether I’m up or down, with the caveat of knowing the door might get slammed in my face again.

    As long as one is true and honest with oneself, then everything else always falls into place. This is what I have learned over time.

    Love, compassion and kindness exist in all of us. I try to remember that when I think I’m dealing with someone who doesn’t give a damn, because then it softens the blow to my ego but allows me to continue to be loving, compassionate and kind.

    Love you bunches,
    ☮ ♥

    • Melissa Travis says:

      Thank you for this lovely reply! You are always so thoughtful when you respond!! Yes- Definitely learning to test the waters and come out of the trauma closet!! – Love how you put that!!!!

      I’m glad you have shared your past – bc they are similar — the whole learning how thing is coming late for me.. but I’m doing it!!!

      You’re fab- thanks so much for being wonderful.

  2. Lindy says:

    Sweetie you are so brave & my heart sister – it seems so simple you showed up & took your place in my heart. No matter how ugly the pain, there is beauty on the other side for those brave enough to come out the other side. I’m here & your pain & loss are safe with me.

    • Melissa Travis says:

      You are such a beautiful and brave woman. Thank you for the kind words!! We are all in this together! Thank you for the love and for the comment!!

  3. Lolly says:

    Melly Mel,

    I have listened and been there for so many those even around me but when I need help I don’t like to ask or I am ignored because I am supposed to be the strong one who will get by so I tend to suffer in silence.

    People so like to talk about themselves but whenever you want to say anything about yourself they either change the subject or totally fucking blank you and that pisses me off so much.Or they really don’t get it at all and there is no use trying to fucking explain it.

    I’m sorry that you too find it hard to open up and ask for help because you are the one normally doing the helping or listening or shoulder to cry on. i get it I know exactly how you feel and feel pissed off that when the shoe is on the other foot no one wants to walk or smelly sneakers. If you have one or two good friends that are there for you when and if you need them then don’t let that go.

    From now i ought to say thanks for sharing but not fucking caring.


    • Melissa Travis says:

      Hey my beautiful Lolly-Lol!!
      We’re doing it! We’re in this together! It is so strange isn’t it. How we’re givers. But you know what– I’m telling you — once in a while – we’ll slip and find each other!!! And THESE are the moments I live for!! 🙂 I love finding these rare joys in each other. WE’RE HERE TOGETHER!

      Adore you– heart of gold and I’m grateful for finding you!

  4. Linda B Reed says:

    Such a wonderful article…thank you so much for sharing!!! 🙂

    • Melissa Travis says:

      Hi Linda –
      Thanks for writing! And thank you so much for the kind compliments!!! Let me know more of your views ok!! I want to hear them!

  5. Michelene says:

    Thank you so much for writing this article. It is truly how I am feeling right now. I’m always the listener and I feel like I can be bothersome to people/friends at times. Thank you.

    • Melissa Travis says:

      Hi Michelene –
      Thank you so much for the kind compliments!! I’m so sorry that you often feel the the unheard who listens. It sucks when we don’t RECEIVE what we GIVE. The scales cannot balance themselves.

      GIANT HUGS. It is important for us here to care and share so at least we are healing each other. I SO HOPE this rights itself in our real life. People can be selfish… but you know what– we’re in the market to MAKE BETTER FRIENDS WHO CAN SUPPORT US TOO!

  6. Lindy says:

    You are so generous with your love that it is a gift & a blessing to us all.

  7. Lolly says:

    Melly mel I just heart you with your big heart and wise words.


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