I am so hurt


#1

Hi Everyone,

As usual, I will start my post by saying ‘please no one suggest counscelling’

I have been very stressed lately with a good friend in the hospital who is 94 and appears to be dying yet still holds on. Then I find out a relative is in the hospital and this is a person who has NEVER missed a Sunday mass in his life, yet misses the whole point of God’s love. I have always had a big concern for his salvation since he is so bitter towards God and secretly always hoped he would have a conversion in his heart. Well… I don’t think this person is going to die anytime soon but he is 77 and has so many health problems he is starting to wish he could go. I have started to pray for him since if he does die, as selfish as this sounds, I think it would be easier on me if I knew he finally understood God’s love while still in this life

And to top it off, work has been crazy busy. My manager has asked me to take on some of her work and I have agreed because I am trying to be a good team player. The problem is, I never did her work before and have a lot of questions. It is VERY frustrating because she does not have time to give me clear directions which makes for a lot of misunderstandings. She is a good boss and understanding. It is no ones fault, just one of those things. And I thank God because I do believe He has given me strenght to handle it pretty well (considering how I usually handle things)

Well… I have been trying really hard to be a good Catholic to everyone lately. But I have been worn out and in need of attention. There is one man at work who is a christian (not Catholic) whose shoulder I have cried over the years. He is a good man (At least I though so until 2 days ago)

He is always cracking jokes. I will be crying n his shoulder and he will crack at joke. Well, 2 days ago, I needed attention and asked him if he had time to talk. He said no. Well later that day I saw him talking and joking with someone else. I though I was making a funny joke and walked over to his desk and said ‘Hey I though you didn’t have time to talk and joke’. And he said ‘Maybe it was worked related’ and I walk away and said ‘just go back to work’. I was joking in a manner that I often joke like with him.

Well, yesterday when I got into work, our eyes met and he said ‘CM, I need to talk to you’. I got so happy because I though he was going to come over and say ‘I have time to hear you now’. Like he often does. Then he just hurried away and went to talk to a big boss. So then I said to myself, ‘I probably misunderstood, he probably said ‘I can’t talk now’’.

3 minutes later, he sits at my on my desk and says in a VERY angry tone of voice ‘The way you talked to me yesterday really upset me. Out of all the people here I spend the most time talking to you and I have a lot of things to fisnish before I go on vacation in 2 days and you are just going to have to accept that I am not always available to talk’

Well, I got tears in my eyes and told him I was sorry and I was glad he came to me because that showed a certain level of trust. I then told him that if he is always going to make jokes, then jokes are going to come back to him and I was sorry that my joke came out the wrong way but he set the precedent that jokes are OK. Then he asked me to clear up what I meant so I said that when I talk about serious stuff with him, he will out of the blue make a joke so how am I suppose to know there are times when jokes are not funny.

But the worst is, he didnt pull me aside to tell me in private, he did it right at my desk for anyone who walked by to see. And he had SOOO much anger in his voice which is REALLY uncharacteristic of him. I went to the washroom and cried for half an hour. I was about to tell everyone I was going to go home. I prayed to God for strenght. I eventually went back to my desk. As obvious as it was that I had been crying no one said a thing. And I thank God that after 2 hours I finally got my head into work and head a productive day.

But it hurts because the night before, I talked on the phone to the relative in the hospital and he kept saying to me ‘I told the doctor cure me or kill me but don’t keep me here if you don’t know what is wrong with me’. And it HURTS to hear someone talk like that. And I was going into work really low because of that conversation the night before. And the first thing that happens is someone bites my head off. Ouch

And the worst is, I ALWAYS ask him if it is a good time to talk before saying anything and he just barges into my office and bites my head off without asking me if it was a good time and without having the decency to do it in private.

I have not spoken to him since and now he is on vacation. The reality is, I have almost made my mind up that if he doesn’t bring it up again neither will I. The truth is, he has been a good co-worker for over 4 years and this is REALLY uncharacteristic of him so I want to just let it go.

But man, the humiliation !

CM


#2

Well I wasn't there so commenting on the situation is hard, right now I only have your view on what happened. Now I don't mean to accuse you but I know a couple of people who tell me similar stories to this and seem to be in denial of what really happened. For instance that 'Hey I though you didn't have time to talk and joke.' may have come out with a bit more emotion or irritation than you remember it. Often times people try to cover up their feelings with joking comment but they soak through anyway through things like tone and body language.

It may also be the case that he simply feels you are pressuring and overburdening him with your problems, and doesn't know how to say to you because he is trying to be a good Christian. Do you have a relationship with this man outside of unloading problems on him and being a co-worker? If not have you considered that you may be pushing him to his limits?

Heck since your work load increased it is possible that his has as well and he is a bit over stressed himself and just had a bad moment.

I may not be any of the above things, and you may very well have done nothing wrong however there are usually two sides to every conflict and I suggest you at least try to imagine what he might be typing on these forums if he were describing the situation because I am sure it isn't "My friend wanted time, and when she made a humorous comment to me I decided to take offense and embarrass her in front of our co-workers!"

Either way, God is still God, you are still loved and the world continues to be filled with grumpy people. Please try to focus on former less you be dragged down to the level of the latter.


#3

I understand it's hurting you,and you have all right in the world to be upset. You did not do anything wrong,assuming you did tell the whole story,and I can't see why you would not have. Forget him,he is not worth your friendship. A friend is one who stands by your side even if he/she knows you will loose or be wrong. And the best friend you have is always with you,Jesus. God bless you.


#4

If I had to bet money, I'd guess his anger comes from a sense of "no good deed goes unpunished." I think that your accusation that "'Hey I though you didn't have time to talk and joke" was undoubtedly taken as a statement of entitlement. You were telling him that you had a right to his time, and you did it in front of everyone, too, dear one. The only other alternative is that when you ask for time and he doesn't have the energy, you want him to be so blunt as to say, "I may find some time to talk, but it is not going to be to you." I don't think you ought to put him on the spot like that.

I'm going to suggest you don't any right to complain when you are not allowed to monopolize this man's down time. There is a reason that people pay counsellors. It is because a steady diet of having someone in need cry on your shoulder is work. Coming from a co-worker or even from a close friend, it is a gift. No matter who gives it to you, you are not entitled to someone else's time and empathy. Your co-worker, meanwhile, is entitled to spend some of his work day talking to people who charge him up, rather than having it work the other way around.

The other thing to consider is that you may not be the only person in your office who is in need of his talking and joking, his ability to lighten the load. Do you have a right to expect that the other people you work with only get the scraps of his time that you don't happen to want? That's not a viable expectation. While it is totally understandable as an unexamined desire in a person who is hurting like you are, it is not fair.

I understand that you are feeling very needy, and that the idea that you had any sense of entitlement was a 1,000 miles from your mind. After all, you are giving and giving and giving, all day long. Keep in mind, though, that a need on your part does not imply an ironclad commitment on the part of anyone who gives you some help in coping with it. I have done that in my life, and it just drives people away. They can only take it so long, and the intensity wears them out.

You don't want to get counselling, this is fine. You probably don't have anything that amounts to a disease state. What you do have is a burden that you ought not expect to have one good Simon of Cyrene step up to help you with. Spread your need to unload and to be listened to around, to many people. Very often, not even a spouse can be your everything at a time like this. And try to be a listener, too, because surely you are not the only person in the office who is feeling the stress. Paying attention to others and forgetting your own problems for a while can actually be refreshing. (It will also help others from cringing, albeit with guilt, when they see you coming.)

Hang in there. You sound like a good soul. Just realize that you need to spread the wealth a bit, OK?

Apologize for putting him on the spot like that, too, and reiterate that you value his friendship, even though you let stress put words in your mouth. He deserves that much.


#5

[quote="cmscms, post:1, topic:231268"]
Hi Everyone,

...Then I find out a relative is in the hospital and this is a person who has NEVER missed a Sunday mass in his life, yet misses the whole point of God's love....

....But I have been worn out and in need of attention. There is one man at work who is a christian (not Catholic) whose shoulder I have cried over the years. He is a good man (At least I though so until 2 days ago)...

...I went to the washroom and cried for half an hour. I was about to tell everyone I was going to go home.....

[/quote]

Thank you for coming here and sharing your story. It sounds like you have a lot going on emotionally, I will pray for you.

I would encourage you to try and be positive about your relative, there is hope! Even though you might not see it. You mentioned that your relative never misses a Sunday Mass yet, misses the whole point about God 's love. I would encourage you to consider that you might not know your relative completely, and that there is hope! No one can completely know the condition of someones soul. There are things people beleive and feel that they never share with anyone. It is good that you are concerned for this person and love them but trust in Jesus that he is reaching out to your relative and that it will be received!

As for your co-worker, I can see why you are hurt from embarassment. That must have been hard. I must observe though that crying in the bathroom for 30 minutes and almost leaving work seems like quite the reaction. It seems like you are over stressed, I will pray for you. Perhaps the stress of all of this is too much for you?

You said not to suggest counseling so I won't. But please consider that you obviously are in "need of attention" those are your own words. Your coworker may be feeling overburdened by giving you attention and has been finding it hard to tell you and blew up at you unfortunately.

You need a certain level of attention and to vent that is clear. There is nothing wrong with you for needing attention! You are a beloved child of God and if that is a need for you then that is part of who you are! Possibly finding a Bible study or a group of friends would help? Maybe seek a spiritual director that you can talk to from time to time? I say this because if you have something clear and consistent that you can put on your calendar it might bring you peace of mind. You can tell yourself "I have an appointment with my spiritual director on Tuesday and I can talk about my concerns then." might help you relax a little bit more. Currently your plan of action seems to be hoping to grab this friend co-worker when/if they have time. While that is nice, it certainly is not filling your needs and it is not reliable. Ask Jesus to help you find a source of comfort and a place that can give you the attention that you seek. You are his child he loves you very much and knows your needs better then you do. God bless and hope this helps a little.


#6

I don't think it is quite fair of you to ask for support here yet also tell us that you don't want to hear about counseling! There is a place for turning to professionals when we have problems and struggles that are too big a burden for us, and for our dear friends! Maybe this man is a good work friend and you are bringing him spiritual problems and concerns that he feels unequipped to deal with. The situation with him leaving for vacation may have escalated things - you added stress to his life instead of being a friend for him at that time. Friendships work both ways - we are supposed to also add to our friends' lives, not merely suck out their wisdom and energy and good qualities when we need them.

You know, just because you need some help with a problem for a while, does not mean that you agree to years and years of psychoanalysis. A Catholic or Christian counselor has gone into that profession as a sort of mission - it's not just to make money - and they are trained to be able to help others sort through difficult phases of our lives. If you happened to have a cut that got infected, would you go to this work friend and ask him to check it out and make medical recommendations? Of course not - you'd go to a doctor who would know what would help you get well! There are many counselors who don't just go back into one's past endlessly, but really teach you how to better manage your life and emotions so you can have a better present and future.

At the least, why not make an appointment to see your priest? He may be able to give you some comfort about your relative, or advice from a spiritual standpoint that your friend may not have the same access to.

How is your prayer life? I don't hear you mentioning giving these burdens to Jesus, who is the best friend you will ever have! He is never unavailable and never grows tired of hearing our concerns.


#7

I think this may be a good time considering it is Lent to step up some spiritual direction with a good spiritual director. Instead of maybe giving up something you like to do - maybe you should learn to stop doing so much for other people CM. You cannot take the weight of the world on your shoulders and it expect it to do the same for you. God bless for trying but see if you can find one thing to say no to a day and stick to it. You may find yourself a bit empowered over Lent.


#8

Work relationships can be hard. It sounds like you are a compassionate caregiver to your loved one and his attitude is giving you stress. It may be worth talking to a priest about that, just once, not as a counseling relationship. I imagine that the issue of adults helping take care of older relatives and worrying about their physical and spiritual needs comes up a lot. Maybe your church has addressed these issues in an article or something else you could read and get support. Then your older friend being ill also is very hard.

As for your coworker, it sounds like generally you both have a good relationship but he was going on vacation and I know that the couple days before a vacation were always a bad time for me. Trying to anticipate whatever might come up and make sure someone was covering and even remembering all of the simple things, like remembering to leave out of office messages on my phone and computer, was stressful. I would never know what might set my boss or coworkers off if I didn't get it done, or arrange for someone else to do it. Maybe you were both unusually stressed and things will be better when he gets back from vacation, and you can have a chance to talk this out. Maybe you need a vacation also if you have the time, even if you can't go anywhere. Does your work have programs for people who care for relatives, such as part-time schedules?

I personally found it very VERY frustrating when I was given work to do and I didn't understand how to do it. I'm not giving advice, but that was one of the things that made me most strongly want to get another job. Which in this economy is probably not good advice anyway, but it's bad if the alternative is chronic stress. I'd feel helpless and fear what would happen if I made a mistake. Will your manager listen if you talk about this?

Also I get the feeling you may be worried about your job security, that being a good team player under stress is something you feel you can't avoid. That is emotionally difficult if it's the case. I guess I don't know if it would be really a bad idea to talk this out with your manager, or just something she doesn't seem to want.


#9

From my own experience, I had a friend who was sooooo needy with all her problems with kids, spouse, etc..... it just wore me out. I told a mutual friend about it and she felt the same way. We have to be careful about these kinds of relationships especially because they are supposed to be professional first. I think this man is also worn out. Maybe you can give him some time and space even after he comes back from vacation. Then take the opportunity to talk to him about his time off without unloading anything. Make it about him this time. Hang in there.


#10

Hey CM, it sounds like you're both very stressed. I wouldn't let this episode ruin a good friendship. I will remember you in my rosary tonight, God bless you!


#11

Thanks for all your replies.

As for my friend at work, I TOTALLY see his point on how my joke came out at the wrong moment and I am willing to work on my time requirements with him. And because he was a good co-worker/friend for over 4 years, I DO want to practice the spirit of forgiveness with him.

When he does come back from work, I do want to pull him aside and talk to put closure on this. I just want to take the time he is away to come up with the right words.

I want to thank him for coming to me with it because I do think it is a sign of respect. After all, he could have complained to my boss and escalated it. I want to admit to him that I do see how I should not do things like that. I also want to ask him if in the future it would be possible to ask me to step aside privately.

I also think what is upsetting me the most is I am scared he thinks I did it out of malice. I did it mainly out of not thinking first.

As for seeing a priest or a spiritual director. Trust me, I have looked all over town and there are no good ones where I live. So I don't think that is an option at all.

I do go to a bible study but it is more of a 'Teachings of the Catholic Church study'. The type of conversations there are more of a 'What does the church teach about this'. Human problems and struggles can no go so deep there.

I am not going to lie, I still feel very shooken up from it. The tone of voice he used was so full of anger (which is very uncharacteristic of this man). I am just still really hurt.

CM


#12

There’s a lot of stress in your workplace right now, which is undoubtedly why both of you have been out of character. The chances are that his emotions will have calmed down a great deal by the time you get to talk to him, too. He might still be angry when you talk to him, but since you’re showing your soft underbelly about it (so to speak), I doubt he will refuse to reconcile. If you go to him contrite, I think you will be fine.

The poster who suggested prayer made a good suggestion. I have also learned the hard way that the path to forgiving yourself is to forgive the person who hurt you. If you stop alternately accusing and making excuses for yourself, and just accept that you need God’s mercy and grace to do anything whatsoever, then you can give the same to a person who has wronged you but might also have a grievance against you. Mercy all around is the best way to go. Or, as the Gospel reads,“the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.” (from Luke 6: 27-38)

You might like this, too, from St. John Chrysostom:

“….I have shown you five paths of repentance: condemnation of your own sins, forgiveness of our neighbor’s sins against us, prayer, almsgiving and humility. Do not be idle, then, but walk daily in all these paths; they are easy, and you cannot plead your poverty. For, though you live out your life amid great need, you can always set aside your wrath, be humble, pray diligently and condemn your own sins; poverty is no hindrance. Poverty is not an obstacle to our carrying out the Lord’s bidding, even when it comes to that path of repentance which involves giving money (almsgiving, I mean). The widow proved that when she put her two mites into the box! Now that we have learned how to heal these wounds of ours, let us apply the cures. Then, when we have regained genuine health, we can approach the holy table with confidence, go gloriously to meet Christ, the king of glory, and attain the eternal blessings through the grace, mercy and kindness of Jesus Christ, our Lord.”

Great stuff to kick off Lent. You’re ready to let God make you into a saint, so do not be anxious. If you are willing that He succeed, He’ll not let anyone or anything stop him, not even you! (Hang on tight!)


#13

[quote="EasterJoy, post:12, topic:231268"]
I have also learned the hard way that the path to forgiving yourself is to forgive the person who hurt you. If you stop alternately accusing and making excuses for yourself, and just accept that you need God's mercy and grace to do anything whatsoever, then you can give the same to a person who has wronged you but might also have a grievance against you. Mercy all around is the best way to go. Or, as the Gospel reads,"the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you." (from Luke 6: 27-38)

[/quote]

Hi EasterJoy,

Thanks for your post and I really and not trying to be dense here, but I am not sure I exactly understand your advice. Are you saying that my statement to the effect 'I hope he understands it was not malice just simply not thinking' is making an excuse for myself?

Is there some way I am 'accusing and making excuses for myself?'

I agree I need God's grace because with out it, I would not be able to respect this man's time. I can also see that God did give me strenght in the sense that after I came out of the washroom I was able to have a productive day Thursday and Friday. I also was able to be patient and not aks him for closure when I knew he had to finish things before he left.

And, I do think I can easily forgive this man. He will be an easy man to forgive because he has a 4 your history of being a good guy. I don't want to 'cut him off' so to speak because of this one incident

CM


#14

Part of the problem today is instead of seeking out a relationship in person, i.e. in real life, we run to message boards of all different sorts and seek out what can only be found with a personal encounter with another human being.

Being on call for someone who seems constantly in crisis over every little thing is annoying. To be frank, I tend to avoid be-friending other women because of this very problem.

Message boards only perpetuate this problem because someone can cast a big enough net to snag one or two people and feed this, usually subtle, desire for more and more attention.


#15

[quote="Imryl, post:14, topic:231268"]
Part of the problem today is instead of seeking out a relationship in person, i.e. in real life, we run to message boards of all different sorts and seek out what can only be found with a personal encounter with another human being.

Being on call for someone who seems constantly in crisis over every little thing is annoying. To be frank, I tend to avoid be-friending other women because of this very problem.

Message boards only perpetuate this problem because someone can cast a big enough net to snag one or two people and feed this, usually subtle, desire for more and more attention.

[/quote]

While I agree that it is a problem to let "virtual" relationships take the place of relationships with people you can connect with in the flesh, I don't agree that communication via the written word is an entirely impersonal encounter.

I don't think the OP sounds like an attention hound. She is in a difficult period, and she legitimately needs human contact. I think she posted here because she sensed she had herself all tied up in knots, and wanted some perspective. At any rate, if she came looking for 100% "there-there, you poor thing", she didn't get that.

I agree that there are people who seem unaware that they've let themselves come to expect unacceptably high level of maintenance. I don't know that I'd be willing to make a blanket indictment of women over that, though. Besides, if you only give what you have to give, people can figure that out and decide if that is enough or else move on. If, instead of getting annoyed, you just draw a line at what you are and are not willing to supply, they figure it out. I think the OPs friend at work intended to draw his line. They're just still in the process of working that out amiably.


#16

Imryl, If all of CMs posts over the years were “poor me” I might agree with you - but they are not. Some are but - but many are helpful and positive and uplifting - it is important to remember that many of us on here have almost developed another set of relationships on here separate from the ones in real life due to the anonymity because it is safer. Sometimes in situations it is easier to dicuss things anonymously that are harder to discuss with people in real life especially when you end up moving as many times as I will end up having moved in the next few years.


#17

[quote="Imryl, post:14, topic:231268"]
Part of the problem today is instead of seeking out a relationship in person, i.e. in real life, we run to message boards of all different sorts and seek out what can only be found with a personal encounter with another human being.

Being on call for someone who seems constantly in crisis over every little thing is annoying. To be frank, I tend to avoid be-friending other women because of this very problem.

Message boards only perpetuate this problem because someone can cast a big enough net to snag one or two people and feed this, usually subtle, desire for more and more attention.

[/quote]

With all due respect lmryl, I have no idea what your point is. You are saying it is bad for me to seek out advice over the internet? Yet you gave some. My original post was not complaining about internet friends. It was looking for help to mend things with a valued co-worker. I am willing to take responsibility for my actions and learn how to stop but I need a bit of mercy along the way. I need to know people are labelling me as bad but holding me accountable for my actions and suggesting ways to stop wrong behaviour

And yes I agree people who are constantly in crisis are annoying. Yet over the years, I have tried VERY hard to respect his time. This is a slip up in a friendship I am trying to men in God's way.

And I really don't think anyone has posted anything to feed this at all. Most have pointed out the other person's point of view which my friend at this point is not capable of doing calmly

CM


#18

[quote="joanofarc2008, post:16, topic:231268"]
Imryl, If all of CMs posts over the years were "poor me" I might agree with you - but they are not. Some are but - but many are helpful and positive and uplifting - it is important to remember that many of us on here have almost developed another set of relationships on here separate from the ones in real life due to the anonymity because it is safer. Sometimes in situations it is easier to dicuss things anonymously that are harder to discuss with people in real life especially when you end up moving as many times as I will end up having moved in the next few years.

[/quote]

Thank you for telling me some of my posts are uplifting. It made my day :)


#19

[quote="cmscms, post:18, topic:231268"]
Thank you for telling me some of my posts are uplifting. It made my day :)

[/quote]

Just pointing out the truth - if we can't do that then we aren't being charitable, friendly, or Christ-like. God bless and I hope you have a better work week this week that the last one. I may suggest also keeping a rosary in your desk in case it isn't. If it gets crazy - take five minutes and pray a decade.


#20

[quote="cmscms, post:17, topic:231268"]
With all due respect lmryl, I have no idea what your point is. You are saying it is bad for me to seek out advice over the internet? Yet you gave some. My original post was not complaining about internet friends. It was looking for help to mend things with a valued co-worker. I am willing to take responsibility for my actions and learn how to stop but I need a bit of mercy along the way. I need to know people are labelling me as bad but holding me accountable for my actions and suggesting ways to stop wrong behaviour

And yes I agree people who are constantly in crisis are annoying. Yet over the years, I have tried VERY hard to respect his time. This is a slip up in a friendship I am trying to men in God's way.

And I really don't think anyone has posted anything to feed this at all. Most have pointed out the other person's point of view which my friend at this point is not capable of doing calmly

CM

[/quote]

Still, Imryl's point that the internet can lure us into letting ourselves off the hook in terms of having difficult conversations with the people who know us in real time is well-taken. I don't think it applies to you, I stand by my objection that Imryl's point was broader than I'd like personally, but I'll still concede that the danger of self-indulgence and self-pity in virtual relationship is a real one. It is a worthwhile point.


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