“My parents had the mentality that if you ignore a problem, it will go away on its own. I guess they thought this would spare us all heartache or something, not knowing when things were bad and having to deal with it, it’s easier to ignore and pretend. For example, I was very close to my grandfather, who was rushed to the hospital the day before I was leaving for France with my church youth group. I was told that everything would be fine, this happens sometimes, and that I didn’t need to visit him at the hospital; I should prepare and leave for my trip. On the day we arrived, the priest said that my parents called him. My grandfather died, and they wondered if they should wait to tell me so I could have a nice trip.
“He said that was a bad idea and agreed to tell me. I was heartbroken and shocked. I found out, years later, that he was very ill and his death was not really a surprise. I’ll never forgive that I didn’t get to say goodbye.
“Now as adults, my siblings and I have a hard time asking for help, admitting when something is wrong, and being honest with our emotions. We don’t want to bother anyone or be a ‘burden,’ etc. when we’re sad or in pain. I know this causes more harm in the long run because a problem won’t magically disappear if you ignore it; sometimes it gets worse. But still, after years of therapy, I still put on a smile and then cry once I get home alone.”
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