OK, this is sort of a more serious post for me. I’ll be upfront, it’s a friend-of-a-friend story, so how much of it you want to believe, I’ll leave up to you.
So this is a story of two young women, who’ll we’ll call Abby and Betty.
Abby had a rough time growing up. Her parents devoiced when she was around four and her father left the state. Her mother got involved with someone who was a real arsehole to Abby and after a number of years, Abby decided she didn’t have to put up with it and left home while she was still in her teens. She then got herself into a fair bit of trouble, I think the phrase “falling in with a bad crowd” is one that is used in this situation. She ended up pulling herself out of it, making a real effort to get her life under control and she succeeded.
Betty on the other hand, came from a middle-class family that didn’t struggle financially, she had a supportive and loving family and really didn’t have any drama’s more that you would expect any person who grew up in such an environment to have.
Betty and Abby ended up working in the same place and despite their different backgrounds, they became close friends. Here the story skips ahead a bit. Abby had gotten back in contact with her biological father and they had bonded really well, but unfortunately, a little over a year he unexpectedly passed away and as you could imagine, Abby took it hard. Three months after this, Betty’s cat that she had since she was a child died and Betty was really, really upset.
So Abby and some other friends took Betty to the pub that night for some drink based comfort, but Betty was near hysterical over the loss of her cat. Some of their mutual friends were feeling a little uncomfortable about this as they knew Abby was still upset about the death of her father.
At one stage, when they had a moment alone, one of the mutual friends asked Abby if she was ok with what was happening and Abby asked him what he meant. He explained that he felt a little strange about trying to comfort Betty, knowing Abby had recently suffered a greater loss. Abby just explained it this way.
“What you have to understand is that this is the worse thing that has happened to Betty. She has never had any other pets dies, let alone a friend or family member die. She has had no chance to build up the defences that would help her deal with this. What she is going though now may be a small thing to some people but it is the worse thing she has ever had to deal with. Right now she is going through the most upsetting thing of her life to this point. And she is my friend and I want to be here for her.”
I hope I never forget this story. It can be easy to sometimes to dismiss an event without thinking of the emotional impact that it can have on an individual. I’ve told this story to a few times to friends, mainly when they have been upset about something but going through that stage of feeling the need to apologise for being upset. I guess I tell them this story because I don’t think their being upset over something small is silly, I am more concerned about the fact they are upset and that I want to be there for my friends when they are going through a hard time…