No monopoly of pain

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Sean returns to his semi-detached house
dad is bellowing in front of the football
tells Sean about that rising actor
who turned out to be a faggot
It’s all over the news and dad jeers
while mum laughs and nods
Sean forces a smile, blending in, always blending in
closes his eyes and recalls Luke’s face when his lips part

Sarah gets the children ready for bed
bed time story, smells their lovely heads
fixes dinner as he’ll be home soon
opens a bottle of wine and braces herself
Will he be all smiles or in one of his moods?
The anxiety of not knowing is suffocating
Sarah blinks incessantly while unconsciously
tracing the outline of her fading bruises with her fingers

Isabel lives a privileged lifestyle
mum is a casting agent, dad a lawyer
nothing is good enough for their princess
exclusive schools, private tutors – only the best
Isabel wants no career but lots of children
free to be whatever they wish, unburdened
Yet she cannot fail her parent’s high expectations
and dreams in silence in her gilded cage

Mark gets home from his soul-crushing job
is greeted by the whiny nasal tones
of the wife who despises him
constantly reproaches him for his mediocrity
a son who doesn’t speak or even looks at him
When did my own flesh and blood
turn into a stranger wonders Mark,
is it when my wife starting hating me?

4 different examples, I only scratched the surface – there could be hundreds.
Who’s to say which pain is greatest?
Who suffers the most?
There isn’t a monopoly of pain and suffering. We are all made of different stuff but we all have the capacity to bleed and hurt.
This was inspired by a very interesting and lengthy conversation with someone who was of the opinion that there is a “degree” of pain, that it can be measured on a scale, that certain situations are worse than others, regardless of the type of people involved.
He didn’t manage to convince me: some survive bullying, rape, emotional or physical abuse…while others don’t. Different situations, different people, some fall and break at the first hurdle while others manage to fight and overcome horrific events.
Who has the ability to judge? Who even has the right?

Image credit: nataliadeprina.deviantart.com

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18 thoughts on “No monopoly of pain

  1. Given how quickly and with little to no facts, certain people assume the authority to be judge and jury… one would believe that there’s a lot of qualified judges out there.
    Of course, when viewed through their own lens…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Go to the doctor’s office – or hospital – in pain and what’s the first thing they ask? What degree is the pain – on a scale from 1 to 10. They prescribe medication based on where you are on that scale and how the medication reportedly works. We are indoctrinated with rating pain on a scale. I’m not totally surprised it happens elsewhere.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Everybody has differing pain thresholds, be it physical or psychological. I agree, nobody has the right to judge, not even if they believe they’ve walked in the other’s shoes.

    Thank you for a wonderful post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mental anguish is mental anguish is mental anguish. Its subjective and up to the person going through it. I’m glad you wrote this. It doesn’t matter if someone’s pain feels petty to us, we should try to lift our brothers and sisters up no matter what.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, it’s not an easy read and it wasn’t easy to write either… but I needed to. I do feel we need so much more kindness in this world, people are not necessarily unkind but they forget, they’re busy, etc…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I wonder if it’s possible to walk in the shoes of another. I have noticed we have exactly the same colored eyes – an unusual color – so maybe we both come from another world and that’s why we can read each others minds. Either way, you wrote this before I did, little sister, and you did it justice. It is still beyond me why you would not believe you are a wordsmith (or as I was tempted to say a bleedin wordsmith!!!) but you are, and I’m by no means the only one who thinks so. Why do you think so many people hold you up into the light? Because they believe in YOU. And you give them reason for that. Like here, and so many other examples. Ah but this is a good message because too often people forget, what it feels like to be alive in another person’s body and each to their own, their burden carry.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it’s incredibly hard to walk in the shoes of another. Incredibly, hence why it’s important not to judge. Judging is human nature but we should at least try not to.
      As for the unusual eyes, maybe we ARE from another world, it would explain a lot. Out of curiosity, have you ever done the personality test Myers-Briggs? I did years ago and was so relieved to find I’m INFJ because it explained SO much and it brought me understanding on many levels.
      Thank you for your lovely kind words, I won’t repeat again how superior you are (shhh, I’m not saying it really) so I’ll only say that I know some people enjoy my writing and I enjoy writing so that’s all that matters.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know I’m IN but not sure if I’m FJ I can’t remember but something similar I’m pretty sure. When I was doing my poxy MA in Psychotherapy I was the only one in my class who was INFJ or whatever it was, because everyone else was E and also had far higher IQ’s and math skills than me, I was the interloper. I really think the Myers-Briggs makes sense not just gobbledygoop but really makes sense. Hated being a psychotherapist though too many of my own issues wasn’t able to keep the pandora’s box closed sufficiently.

        Like

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