We were at Sesame Place today, and while Maggie was having a meltdown and begging me to take her home to bed, we sat on a wall along the main road of the park. Both of the times that we were sitting on the wall, the same older lady was sitting just down from us. I could see her trying to either catch my eye to talk, or sneak peaks at us when she didn’t think I was looking. Then she stood up and came over to talk to me. I was waiting for some inquiries into Maggie’s behaviour, or for her to share a story about her sister’s grandson’s best friend who they were worried had autism. Or my favourite….”Have you heard of Jenny McCarthy?”
Instead, she initiated a therapy session.
I heard all about her son being left at the altar, and the mother of his child running off without the child, to go on their honeymoon with her new man. She asked my opinion on the woman’s mental illnesses, and shared most of her own life story with me. Her own mother had been killed in WWII, and she also helped to raise her husband’s three kids from his first marriage, because their mother had run off too, and she knew what it was like to live without a mother.
Nerdguy says that I am a good listener. He came along later with the kids, and he said that he could tell that I had been dumped on. I am not sure why people tell me their stories, because I don’t feel like I am a good listener. Truthfully, when I could see that she wanted to talk, I was trying not to engage her because I was busy having my own pity party as I watched “normal” families strolling by. I felt like I didn’t have anything left in me to support a single other person emotionally.
But then I heard her stories, and it made me think that the “normal” families that I see all have something. Either now or at some time in history. Just because everything looks good doesn’t mean it is. She was there with her son and her grandson to try and distract them from the fact that the woman they love had run out on them and abandoned her son. They looked like a “normal” family.
I also decided that I am glad that people like to talk to me. I find it draining at times because I absorb people’s problems and let them weigh on me. But if it is a gift that God has given me, and if I can use that gift to help someone to feel even just a bit better, then I am truly blessed.
I still don’t understand why people tell me their problems though.
Isn’t that what Facebook is for?