10 people discuss woeful scenarios that nobody cannot grasp unless they have experienced them personally.
Empathy is one of the greatest qualities a human can possess. Being able to connect to someone in their most vulnerable times, gives a kind of support that cannot be measured. However, in the case of certain situations, a person will never be able to fully understand the depth of it if they don't go through it themselves. This became very clear when u/The-Sonne asked the question, "What's a situation or condition that nobody understands until they're in it?" The responses touched upon topics like mental health struggles, loss and grief among others. Here are 10 responses that showcase how "you never know what someone is going through till you walk in their shoes."
Having someone close to you with a severe mental illness. It’s been really great seeing public opinion sway more to support and openness about mental illness, but you can really tell when someone hasn’t been around a severe psychiatric crisis. Mental health crises are not dramatic beautiful one-time moments where the person finally admits to getting help. It’s an ugly, long, cyclical grind that wears you down until you’re just completely numb and exhausted. It’s horrible, scary, and makes you feel trapped and powerless. It destroys relationships, families, financial security and sometimes physically harms people. Mania and psychosis are the most awful things I’ve ever had to witness. u/CanEatADozenEggs
Being in an emotionally and financially abusive marriage or other relationship. If anyone else whom I cared about was going through what I went through throughout my marriage, I would’ve told them to run. I didn’t realize how messed up my situation was until I finally broke free of it. I can’t believe I put up with what I put up with for as long as I put up with it. u/ghostmommie
So many. But one that speaks to me is anxiety. The word gets used a lot, and feeling anxious is something that all people experience on a normative level. That normative anxiety that "healthy" people experience is way too easily and often conflated with anxiety on a mental illness level. It's apples and oranges and absolutely awful. u/Cariboucarrot
Tinnitus. People don't understand when you explain to them it's quieter when the TV is on or music is playing than if it's dead quiet. u/spytez
Being in a situation where you have to choose to go 'No Contact' with a family member, especially a close family member like a parent or sibling. It's hard to explain to people whose families are not fucked up, and they usually insist on giving you well-meaning advice about how you should forgive and forget and how the family is very important and so on, but the part that they don't understand is that going 'No Contact' was a last-ditch effort after a lot of shit happened and that the parent/sibling you no longer talk to is not like their own parent or sibling and if they were you wouldn't have gone N.C. Their advice to reconnect comes from them thinking that they can't imagine not talking to their parent or sibling ever again, but their parent or sibling is not like ours. Believe me, we wish they were. u/Tough_Stretch
Depression. I think people think it’s just feeling a little sad but it’s so physical as well. Apart from that narcissistic abuse, it’s often so subtle and can take years to recover from u/Wittertainee
Insomnia. I’ve been diagnosed officially and it’s not the same as a poor night of sleep or being generally tired. Multiple days of barely any sleep really messes you up mentally and physically. One poor night is fine… when I’m on day three of terrible sleep, my mental and physical health takes a swan dive.u/IAmNotABritishSpy
Poverty. It can happen to anyone at any time regardless of how hard they work or how good of a person they are. Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as government handouts in the U.S. You have to endure a lot of complicated paperwork, inconvenient in-person appointments, hours-long phone calls, and 6-8+ week waits to get things like food stamps or Medicaid, and that’s IF you qualify. Most impoverished people don’t because they make just above the income cap. Now let’s say you’ve jumped through every hoop and got some help. You can lose it without warning because someone processed your info wrong, a new policy went into effect, OR they sent you an appointment reminder in the mail that didn’t reach you until AFTER it was scheduled. (True story) Can you call someone to get it fixed? Probably not. You’ll need to visit an office. But there’s only one in your entire state and it has inconsistent walk-in hours, so your SOL unless you go back multiple times at 7 a.m. (also a true story). I’m an able-bodied, college-educated, child-free woman with a car and I could barely get through it. Now imagine trying to navigate all of that with a disability, unreliable transportation, no childcare, limited internet access, or little English skills. TLDR: All poor people aren’t leeches. They’re mostly people like you just trying to do their best. u/PeligrosaPistola
Divorce. Everyone has an opinion, but I promise your whole outlook on it changes when you are actually experiencing it. I got married when I was 21 and then divorced by 25. I remember my ex telling everyone I cheated (I didn’t, he just couldn’t admit I divorced him because he was emotionally and mentally abusive). Of course, I lived in the south (USA) and in a small town, so the majority of people believed it unless they really knew me. I learned very quickly to no longer judge divorces or marital issues. There are always two sides to the story. u/AmberKF13
Being out of a job. All the employed boomers screaming "JUST GET A DAMN JOB, EVERYBODY'S HIRING, WORK AND SUFFER!!!"? I get it. I do. When I was in my prime with a rolling income my reaction to the unemployed and homeless devolved into such nonsense. It can happen to the best of us when times are good, thinking (erroneously) that those who struggle simply aren't trying. Especially when hearing about their video game exploits. And then I hit rock bottom. Actually, I'm not even sure if it was rock bottom but damn if it wasn't close enough for my taste. What a terrible, ego-ripping time. Felt a fool for all the judgmental shade I had instinctively thrown at my fellow man and woman. I realized that it can happen to anyone, and what's worse is you realize a career change is easier said than done for a myriad of reasons, the worst being a limited skill set you were never aware of. Throw kids and divorce into the mix and you begin to understand why suicide and unemployment go hand in hand. It's terrifying. And after all the day's worth of hustling and hitting brick walls trying to find a sliver of hope...of course, all I want to do is play video games. I was wrong. I understand now. Hugs to anyone going through this kind of hell. u/corplhicks