I’ve heard this phrase plenty of times. “You can talk to me.” “You can tell me what’s going on.”
No, I can’t.
It’s not that simple.
First you have to realize that there have been plenty of people who have said those phrases to me, only to realize that they didn’t actually want to know. They only had one choice after that, and that was to just quit communicating with me.
You see, what’s going on with me, the things that go through my head, are scary.
I’ve had people just quit responding. I’ve had people say that they couldn’t handle it. I’ve also had people tell me that they never wanted to know it after expressly telling me that they did.
My mind is a scary place. I don’t even want to be there. People still insist though, and people still leave making me more guarded each time.
Trust is important for anyone suffering with a mental illness. We don’t give trust easily because it can lead to us being burned in the future, and when that trust is built, it’s extremely important to us. When we trust someone with that kind of information about ourselves, you need to understand that we are putting ourselves out there. We are giving up our deepest darkest secrets in hope of some kind of understanding.
We aren’t looking for you to fix us, we’re just looking for someone to walk beside us.
Before you make the statement “you can tell me”, or something like it, you need to think long and hard about what that means. What it means to you, and what it may mean to the person you are saying it to.
It’s okay to set healthy boundries, but you need to do that before, and not after the fact. Once it’s out, it’s out. There is no taking it back and when you try to it’s only going to cause harm to the person.