Girls Write Out
Friday, October 08, 2010

The other day I was watching Oprah on multiple personality disorder, and the psychologist who spoke said that the diagnosis was not totally accepted by the medical profession and it dawned on me how often this occurs. Fibromyalgia, Lyme Disease, Alcoholism, you name it.

What's fascinating to me about this subject is that unless we've experienced something ourselves, we often deny it to be true, and that makes for a very small world. I wish we could open ourselves up more and hear people's viewpoints without judging them, or worse yet, denying their experience.

I think as humans, we so quickly want to dismiss something we don't understand. Since the China airport was shut down by UFOs, I heard a story about an interracial couple in the 1960's who were "abducted" by aliens. Since they didn't want to be on anyone's radar as a mixed race couple in the sixties, their story was eerie. Especially the woman being put under hypnosis and drawing what we know as a certain solar system. It's creepy. I don't know it's true, it really makes no difference to me, but I think I owe her the respect to hear her story.

Sometimes, we get so caught up in our own "truths" we don't allow other people to have theirs, and while we don't have to necessarily believe it, I think it's important to give people the respect they deserve. This woman on Oprah experienced extreme trauma as a child, and while other people deal with it one way, she dealt with it another. Some people are more sensitive than others and it seems unfair to judge others by the way we are. Sheesh, you can tell me most anything to my face, and sadly, I've learned the hard way, other people are not like that. Is there someone out there you might do a better job of listening to?
posted at 1:31 PM  
  Comments (8)
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At 4:12 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

I agree, Kris. Unless we've suffered with a particular ailment, ourselves, it's easy to dismiss those who suffer with it. My big gripe is obesity being totally the fault of the obese person and that there's no such thing as an extenuating circumstance. Food allergies are laughed at if someone doesn't want to believe in them. But then, because of that, I'll fall for pretty much anything. I tend to believe someone is telling the truth unless they've proven themselves to be a liar.

As for UFOs, I just don't think about them.

At 4:37 PM, Blogger Timothy Fish said...

I think people tend to get creditability to too many people who ought to be dismissed outright. To accept their "truth" is to treat them as children rather than with respect. When I was a child of about three or four, I remember crossing over a bridge and saying we were crossing over the Mississippi River. My mother could've corrected me, but she didn't. Later, when I discovered that I had been incorrect, it hurt me that she hadn't. I'm not saying we should make it our mission to correct every cracked pot out there, but I believe it shows more respect when we tell them what we think than what it does when we hide our thoughts.

At 4:45 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Oh, absolutely, but I also don't dismiss someone as a cracked pot unless I have incontrovertible proof against what they are saying, because I have been disbelieved for something I knew to be true. To simply dismiss something you do not understand as untrue because you just do not understand it is the height of arrogance. I've fallen into arrogance too many times. I try not to do that as i get older and find that more things that I disbelieved were actually true.

At 5:43 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

If someone's a crackpot, what good would it do to tell them anything? They don't care what anyone else thinks, but I think the mental health crisis in this country is staggering. When I think of how young children are committing suicide nowadays, it kills me inside. I'll listen!!! If you feel like there's no hope out there, you come to me, I'll listen!!!

At 8:22 AM, Blogger mommyofmyne said...

Im not sure it is a partitular someone out there for me but anyone/everyone. Often I am quick to speak and give my opinion and that can really shut a conversation down. My intentions are so good and I just get excited and POP out come my thoughts...then later I feel really selfish for having just thrown them out there unwarranted in the middle of someone else talking. I think as humans we all could use to "be listened to" a little more. We all can do without the judging and criticisim from others....I do agree that it is very easy to condemn or dismiss something that we havent experienced for ourselves, often Im not sure I would want those experiences. We could learn so much from people if we really took the time to listen to their heart when they are speaking, me especially.

At 10:59 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Wow, that was well put. But there is also a place for speaking one's mind. Kris will listen, but she does speak her mind about how she feels--believe me! And that is so refreshing. But part of encouraging someone to speak her/his mind is to listen, as you said. Nonjudgmentally.

At 12:45 AM, Blogger Ruthie said...

My hubby and I were talking about this very subject this evening: being willing to really listen to what someone has to say. You hit it on the head, Kris, about the suicides lately. They stemmed from being bullied, reaching out for help, and giving up because no one seemed to listen.

I think the problem lies with society's de-valuation of the human person. Animals and plants, even the planet, have more value than human beings any more. So why should we listen to someone if they don't really matter in the scheme of things? What makes them so important that we should hear and try to understand what they are saying? We naturally place value on our own being, but often we are the only ones.

Even we Christians have fallen into that trap. It's so easy to not listen to someone who doesn't believe what we believe, or doesn't believe anything at all. God has told us to love our neighbors as we do ourselves. Since we value ourselves, we need to place just as high a value on those around us. They are special to God...He gave His Son to die for them. We can demonstrate God's love by loving and valuing and LISTENING to whomever we meet. Who knows? It might save someone's life some day.

Thus endeth my sermon for the day. ;-)

At 1:04 AM, Blogger Kristin said...

Ooh good sermon Ruthie. I cried reading People magazine about those beautiful kids and their lives cut short. IT just breaks my heart that we can so easily write people off who don't fit in. Isn't that all of us anyway?


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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