Saturday, November 7, 2015

Believe me

I wish that people would believe each other.  Sure, some people are not truthful, but I wish that the people who know me well enough to trust me would believe me.

There's an article, "I’m the one who will believe you – the transformative power of trusting our kids’ emotions" by Alissa Marquess  at  That article says instead of telling your kids to calm down when they get upset, acknowledege their feelings and be present with them.

In writing this article, Alissa Marquess took the ideas from Men Just Don't Trust Women" by Damon Young at and applied the ideas to parenting.

Damon Young said that when his wife is upset about something, before she even tells him what it is, he thinks, "she is probably over-reacting."

In my experience, it's not just because she's a woman, it's because she's his wife.  What I see is that people think that their spouses, significant others, and offspring couldn't possibly know something they don't know.  It's as if the people close to us must have the same pool of knowledge they have, so if they come up with something that doesn't fit with our pool of knowledge, it must be that they are making it up, not that they know something we don't know.

Damon Young says that a similar phenomenon occurs with racism: "only "facts" that have been carefully vetted and verified by other Whites and certain 'acceptable' Blacks are to be believed."

To  me, this ties in with how people treat people with chronic illness.  In the article "28 Things Spoonies Wish Others Would Stop Saying to Them" at, Elisabeth Brentano lists the things that everyone with chronic illness has heard many times:
  • Stop being a hypochondriac.
  • If you eat all organic foods and a balanced diet, you won’t need to take medications.
  • Get more exercise.
  • Why don't you want to go out?
  • You don't look sick.
  • Have you tried thinking positively?
There are many articles like this. Just google "what not to say to someone with chronic illness" and you'll get lists of the thing people say to us all the time. 

When I was in fifth grade, they took the girls aside to teach us about what to expect with the arrival of puberty.  They just told us what would happen to us.  They did not tell us what would happen to the boys.  Similarly, they took the boys aside to them and told them what would happen to them.  Anyhow, they showed us a movie and gave us a booklet.  The booklet explained that while some women complain of cramps, no physical cause has been found for such symptoms.  It explained that the cramps are probably caused by the stress of worrying that you might have cramps, so if you just relax and don't worry about it, you'll be fine. 

Then when I was in sixth grade, the doctors announced they had discovered a physical cause, so now cramps were real after all. 

So that's the medical profession for you: don't believe the women until the male doctors validate what they say.

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