Monday, July 21, 2008

Indifference

I am indifferent. At least that is what I have been labeled. So, let me ask you this: do indifferent people experience anger and hurt? Do they spend days or weeks (or months or years) considering how to fix someone else’s hurt even though they know it is an impossible task? Do they awaken feeling unrested from a nighttime of grief? Do they consider ceasing to do what they love most to pacify someone else’s needs? Do they measure their words and weigh the cost of speaking from their heart? Do they think about little else than the one who has been hurt by their "indifference"?

How does one adequately respond to such a claim? It feels like a huge bind, because to say, “No, I’m not” appears to dismiss the importance of the feelings of the other. It also feels like justifying or trying to excuse the indifference that did not exist in the first place. And, to not respond only seems to indicate or prove that indifference does exist.

I am tired. I am exhausted from years of challenging relationships. It appears, however, that if I am not meeting the expectations of someone else (even unspoken and/or unknown expectations) then I am indifferent. I am tired. I am angry. I am hurt. Is that what you call indifferent? If so, then that’s me.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've found that people will call you indifferent when your feelings are different from theirs and they don't agree or are just unable to accept any but their own. So you can tell them that it is not that you are indifferent - only that your feelings are in difference from theirs.

rebecca

Anonymous said...

Oh, and, while I'm wading into the depths in the dark, as women we sooo beat ourselves whenever we don't meet the expectations of someone else - just be who you are and realize that you don't have to be anyone else. And anyone who expects you to be the only one to change and "meet expectations" isn't worth the time or the pain. And they will NEVER understand your sacrifices or your pain.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you are not "reacting" to a certain behavior the way you used to, maybe you are taking care of you. I read somewhere that the opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference. Used in this context, maybe you are just protecting the other persons feelings, at the expense of your own. I have been indiffent to protect my own feelings. Maybe they just wanted to call you something hurtful to get a reaction. {{Hugs}}

Kate I said...

Interesting question! It piqued my interest because I've also recently been accused of not caring. For me, it's not indifference that I feel but more a matter of coming to realize just what's my "stuff" and what's not, and withdrawing from the "what's not".

I've made it clear that I can't affort the luxury of getting into anything which pulls me down into any negativity (accusations, defensiveness, anger)...I not only don't want to be there anymore, but for my health, I really can't. Worry and anxiety have taken their toll over the years and I simply can't do it anymore.

Defensiveness feels to me like a huge waste of energy. It doesn't solve anything and usually doesn't change anyone's mind. When we've stated our case and the other person still want's to push it, I think all we can do is pull back from the confrontation. If I pull back, there's nothing to push against.

I've come to a very interesting place (for me anyway) of being able to love but not be involved in the drama. When we stop playing the game with others, they feel that we've withdrawn or become indifferent when really, we've finally become wise about our own self care.

I'm not sure if that made any sense or not but just thought I'd throw it out there!

Hope said...

My gut instinct is that someone is trying to guilt you into doing, saying, being who they want you to be and if you don't cooperate then they label you as indifferent. They know your achilles heel.
I think a person could become indifferent from the weariness of not being true to themselves and instead bending themselves out of shape to make someone else happy. The only problem is that people who cry indifferent are usually never happy and keep on changing the rules. I would be tired too.

I have no idea if this is anywhere close to the truth for you. I haven't read the other comments before I wrote this as I wanted to simply write from my gut.

Don't let someone else define you. Don't give them that power.

Ted Marshall said...

Oh sweetie, hugs from across the ocean. Anyone LESS indifferent than you I can't imagine. This person knows that in their heart.
Can you mend it with words? I don't know. You demonstrate with your actions and emotions that you're not indifferent. But there comes a point when you have to protect yourself and give attention to yourself.
You'll be much in my thoughts. xx

Kayce aka lucy said...

well, the comments to this post are certainly anything but indifferent! thank you all for your thoughtful, passionate and supportive comments. you have given me much food for thought and i will return to comment more fully in a couple of days.

peace.

Dianna Woolley said...

Dear Lucy - I have read your comment of today several times. I can feel your frustration, anguish, and anger. I support your need to verbalize those feelings. Whomever has given you this label may be expressing a real hurt of their own unknowingly caused by your actions or inactions. I suspect that you will make peace, fully knowing that things done or left undone cannot be changed but can always be forgiven by both of the persons or even if just by you.

In the meantime, I notice with GREAT interest that you have changed the heading to your blog.....

xoxoxo

Anonymous said...

(((Lucy))) Is it possible that the one who has called you indifferent is totally unaware of what you are experiencing? When you ask "how does one respond?", you give yourself two choices: saying, no I am not, or not responding at all. Is there a way that you could communicate to this person the types of questions you ask in your first paragraph? Maybe during the weeks and months that you are considering how to help them with their hurts, they are oblivious to the fact that you are even thinking about it; maybe while you are weighing your words in your heart so you won't hurt them, they just experience it as silence. You are a wonderful writer. Maybe you could write what's on your heart and give it to them to read, as a way of opening the door to some heart-to-heart talks...

l.b. said...

bingo, gabrielle! my heart (if it could) would nod yes, yes, yes. accusations (or finger pointing) cause most of us to shrink back with shame. people who accuse usually have an atrophied muscle somewhere inside and their communication skills are downright flabby. they want intimacy but are clueless as to how to achieve and/or sustain it.

love, on the other hand, is a language that confesses disappointments, hurts, misunderstandings, frustrations, etc. but from a center of strength which is God ... a center that honors oneself and the other ... a center that invites reconciliation.

one does not grow a rosebush by flogging it someone once said.

hurt begetting hurt begetting more hurt leaves on a legacy of ... well, hurt. that is tiresome, indeed.

Country Parson said...

Lucy,
I think there is a kind of healthy indifference that does not have to imply anything negative or hurtful. It's the sort of indifference that prevents being sucked into another's gaming. Remember the old book "Games People Play"? A certain kind of loving indifference gives room for the games to cease and authentic relationships to begin, or begin again. So, here's to indifference, at least of a certain kind.
CP

Karen said...

What a horrible thing to say to someone--especially to someone who is so clearly NOT indifferent. I've been reading all the comments (which were incredibly thoughtful!), and I agree with Gabrielle--it may not be something you can say face to face, but it could be written.

I am so sorry you are being caused pain...sending loving thoughts your way.

Kayce aka lucy said...

thank you all for your thoughtful comments. i am feeling much better as i continue to decide what part of this i must own and of what i must let go. peace.