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mirror girl  Rockwell

I discovered something about myself last week that was a little unsettling.

Most of the people on staff at TW or in rehearsal don't know about my recent medical adventures.  I didn't want every single person I work with to have a stake in my health, or have to answer questions to start every conversation.  I am guessing it's a pretty open secret given the scar*, and that some people do know, but I have been grateful that I've been able to guard my privacy.

But in dealing with people last week I discovered something not so attractive about myself.  I wanted everyone to cut me slack for my medical issues, even though most people didn't know about them, and I still didn't want to tell them.  It's completely unrealistic, and rather self-centered.  I wanted everyone to just sense that I had recently had a hard time and adjust.

It makes me wonder how many people walk around with some major issues happening in their life that we don't know about, wishing that someone would just cut them some slack.  It makes me think that I should probably try to cut everyone slack, all the time.

Which leads wonderfully into this post I've seen linked by several of my friends today by [info]fragbert:

 And I am grateful for every one of you here, and the support you've provided.


*I still think the scar is impossible to miss, and I expect most people to notice it and maybe ask.  Most people don't ask, whether or not that means they don't notice, I can't say.  Those folks that have asked are luckily all people I am close enough to and trust enough to tell.  So far no one has asked that I don't feel comfortable telling, that will be an interesting bridge to cross if it happens.

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But in dealing with people last week I discovered something not so attractive about myself. I wanted everyone to cut me slack for my medical issues, even though most people didn't know about them, and I still didn't want to tell them. It's completely unrealistic, and rather self-centered. I wanted everyone to just sense that I had recently had a hard time and adjust.
Oh my God, I have totally done that. Usually when I'm having some annoying family stress that I don't want to talk about.

I think it's a really human thing to do, everyone has issues they don't want to discuss. Though it is good to know I'm not alone in this.

It definitely gives you some perspective! I had spun my car off the road during an ice storm at college. Luckily it was almost end of term, but when I drove home, I couldn't go over 50 mph, because it was starting to shimmy and I could tell other drivers were getting pissed off, even though I wasn't in the fast lane. It was good for me, since normally I'm the driver mentally ranting about how some people can't even drive the freaking speed limit, but it was an eye opener that sometimes there might be a good reason, other than the person's an idiot! Goes the same with personal things people are going through, that they may not want to share, but still impacts them and draws their attention, so they may not be able to give 100% to something else.

As for the scar, while some people may notice and be curious, if they aren't people you're comfortable with, you can make a joke about it as most would be more curious than anything. That scar could be the result of a random spork really should be careful! ;)

This perspective was really good for me. Not that I didn't know this on some level, I think, but being in the middle of it and being really aware is eye-opening. It's a good reminder that you can't ever assume what's happening in someone else's head.

If I don't want to tell someone the whole story I can always fall back on the "bar fight" answer. Though a spork accident is awesome, I'm going to have to figure out how to work that in.


I've been there... I was there this past spring... I think I'm still there...

It wasn't for the same issue, but I have an inkling of how you feel... If you want to talk or someone to just yell at, I'm around.


Thanks. Knowing I'm not the only person who's ever felt like this is helpful, even if the specifics are different.

While Mom was sick and in the weeks after she died, even though I was relatively private about all of it, I wore my antagonism like a giant chip on my shoulder... I was daring people to screw with me and, at the same time, begging for them to give me a little slack, all without saying a word.

It's hard, but when you begin to realize that you're doing it, you're on your way back to fully healing.

With everything that happened with your mom your reaction makes sense. I would hope that people around you recognized that something was up and gave you space. I hope I would recognize the same thing.

I'm at least controlling my quick annoyance at the world better. But I keep having revenge fantasies that someone (especially this annoying director) will say something about getting a cue correct being life or death so I can self-righteously declare that they know nothing about life or death. It's fun to think about but would be evil to do.

I've had very few people who already didn't know about The Scar ask me about it. What surprised me most was when I returned to work -- other than the perfunctory "How are you feeling?", nothing. Not that I wanted to stand there with a placard declaring "Look What Happened To Me!", but yeah, part of me wanted some acknowledgment, even though I didn't really talk about it beforehand.

Yes, exactly this. As I was prepping my current show a different piece was rehearsing in the same building and I knew nearly all the people in the cast. I said hello to everyone and had longer chats with some, and none of them said a word about it, which felt strange. It's been such a huge part of my life recently, how can they not notice?

At the same time, the guy behind the counter at my comic book store asked. It is a weird thing.

I had a waitress literally clap for joy when she noticed The Scar. She then pulled down her collar to show me hers. Now I didn't know her from a hole in the wall, but the look of relief on her face was priceless! We swapped basic stories -- I think she was the one who told me to put Vitamin E oil on it to lessen the redness (I didn't, btw). I didn't realize how relieved I was to have talked with her until after we'd left the restaurant.

Speaking of which, mine has faded considerably. It's still there, though, but the surgeon was correct -- they place it in the fold of your neck so it's not very noticeable unless you're purposely staring at it.

Yeah, the HR person at Klutz took one look at me, asked really intelligent questions, then showed me her scar. We chatted for 20-30 minutes. No one has clapped yet, but the chance to talk to someone else who has experienced the same things you have is a relief.

I can see that the scar is going to totally fade into the fold of my neck once it loses the redness. And I know it's not as noticable to other folks as I think it is. I hadn't heard the Vitamen E oil, but I have been using Mederma. My general doc mentioned some type of silicon strips but I haven't researched that yet.

I've had numerous surgeries growing up, and those types of scars are easily covered up as they were heart and back surgeries. I also have had numerous eyes and ear surgeries as well. However, I can't hide my disability, so I deal with answering questions about it all the time, and it isn't something that bothers me so much, as it isn't really a medical problem, but a disability as I require adaptations in order to complete things in every-day life. I answer questions all the time, as I don't find any question dumb, but your circumstance is a whole 'nother matter, as it was a medical-related issue that required surgery. There rae just some folks who tend to be a bit too caring when they know someone who just underwent a surgical procedure or a health "scare".

Everyone handles these different in different ways, and it all depends on the person's comfort, and there are cases where we just have to say, "I am not comfortable answering that question as it is private." etc.

Glad you are doing well though!


I've been keeping things quiet because a few of my co-workers are the gushy type who would be overly concerned. None of them have asked yet, I'll just have to practice my "I don't want to talk about it".

I think everyone feels this way, the difference is that those of us with self-control don't run around telling everyone the problems. But believe me I understand - most women in the first trimester of pregnancy have this feeling. I'm tired and nauseated and can't concentrate and yet have to keep it a secret from everyone with which I work for several weeks - good times. So don't feel as though this is a flaw you have, if you did run around blurting it out, that would be a flaw IMHO.

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