Originally Posted by FullofLove1052
I'm soooo bad about saying, "No, nothing's wrong. I'm fine." Then, I'll wake him up at 3 in the morning, so we can talk about what "wasn't" wrong 12 hours ago.
I think the same is happening now only it's months later, and it's like that original yes, no, I'm fine, or extension of an invite to dinner, really meant no or yes, but I wanted you to pick up on that or read between the lines. Subliminal messages. I think we'd have better luck with the morse code. And people say women are complicated! Ha.
People should not use the word "fine" for so many different things. I think it originally meant (in addition to "the opposite of coarse", as with ground coffee beans) that things are neither extremely well nor are they extremely unwell. But now it gets used as kind of a go-to word for when someone wants to shut down a question without really answering. For example, in the most benign iteration I can think of as an example is when you see someone in the hall way at work and go, "How are you" and they say "Fine" meaning "I acknowledge that you said "How are you". You don't expect me to tell you how I really am, do you?" and it's understood between both parties that this is exactly what "fine" means and they don't get in trouble about it because they're not emotionally involved to a significant degree (I'm operating with the set-theory that everything is a "relationship" and if you're saying "How are you" to a person then you are emotionally involved with them to some degree, however casual or ephemeral that involvement may be). But, when it's a relationship that affects your life on multiple levels on an every-day, long-term basis (whatever those things mean to a particular person), asking them "How are you" or "is everything ok" or "is there something wrong", deserves more than just an "I'm fine". Even if you ARE really "fine" according to the definition I gave above (because I own the definition of the word "fine", you already knew that, right?), I think it's healthy and partnerly to ask the other person what was it that made them wonder?
Story time: Not too long after Spouse (I keep typing "Soupse") starting seeing their Other, they started becoming withdrawn and when I asked what was the matter, they said "It isn't you. Other has been asking me the same thing." I let it go but when it didn't get better I checked back again and it was something having to do with work.
I take these things at face value because i trust them, but I'm not sure "fine" would be enough. No, I'm sure "fine" wouldn't be enough. Even if you don't know what's bugging you, you're better off saying "yes, I'm pre-occupied with something right now, I need to think about it more before I talk about it." This seems like stuff you learn in therapy, but I never had therapy (except briefly when I was in high school but I was forced to go, I didn't want to go), I figured it out by myself. My mother had a tendency to say things to me like "you're not SUPPOSED to know this, but you HAVE to know this" (or "do this", etc.) and that mindset kind of leaked into other areas, such as saying what you really think instead of what you think other people will be ok with (which makes a lot of people on the internet dislike me, but in real life it has been labeled "charisma" and "you-should-try-doing-stand-up-comedy - which I have tried, and don't suck at, but I can't keep up the energy required to make a "thing" out of it).
When you say you're "fine" but you really mean "leave me alone", you send a message that messes with a person's perception of reality. As a doctor, you must know a little about how the brain struggles to make sense of sensory input any way it can, for example when prisoners were brought to Auschwitz their brains at first couldn't make sense of it all and they rationalized, "this can't possibly be what it looks like" (I've read lots of stories from Holocaust survivors) which is a way that the mind PROTECTS ITSELF from bad things. If you tell someone you're "fine, really, nothing's wrong" and something IS wrong, you're teaching that person to interpret your demeanor a certain way:
"if you love me, you'd know how i feel"
"if you love me, you'd tell me how you feel"
I hope that you can not only sort this thing out intellectually so that you can accomplish "personal growth" and all the new-agey-indigo-crystal crap, but also that you actually are able to apply your new insights to your life in a practical way - that you not just come to appreciate what makes you all tick, but to be able to modify the way those things affect your life in ways that you would prefer they don't. I'm not sure I'm being clear. It's like, when someone declares that they "are" a certain way because of their upbringing, and make it seem like they have no other choice. Yes, you DO have a choice, you don't HAVE to be a doctor just because your dad was one. Oops, that was not the way I meant it. Cab driver! You don't HAVE to be a cab driver just because your father was one. Or, "my father was an abusive alcoholic. that's why I'm in a co-dependent relationship". Well, I guess we better close the shop, sell the farm, and hit the road. Nothing to see here, move along.
Well that was a lot longer than I intended...