Mum and child from Finland, 2017
Introduction to anguish, suffering, agony, distress, torment, pain, ache, woe – how much can there be, how pain can be measured? Only by visible injuries and complaints?
We like to avoid feeling pain. To use alcohol to numb oneself, to have feeling of joy for a little while. Those who have been hurt in life, the most of us can begin to believe hurt is the only reality there is. To hurt is what people do, why is this happening to me, why do I hurt so much. Ill behavior tends to multiply. The more one gets hurt the more one seeks to hurt and get hurt. To what extent do we avoid hurt, how selfish are we in protecting our own skin? Could we avoid hurting others following the rule – treat your fellow-man the same way you want to be treated? Somehow it does not look that way. In this avoiding of hurt we act by, react, write, speak, behave, make and live. What kind of motivator pain is and how do we deal with pain, it seems to be a major issue and it is a crisis to have pain. We want to be painless, to live in oblivion kind of state where we do not remember pain until it hits. We may be careless and defiant in front of pain. To have pain because of being abandoned, forgotten, unloved, left behind is very normal. But when it happens as a child one becomes accustomed to it, like not expecting anything else, becomes insensitive. To avoid ultimately being hurt one prepares in mind for such incidents, anticipation of what will be. To expect to be hurt lessens the hurt experienced. It is difficult to explain any kind of pain experienced to someone else who has not experienced the same. Person who has not felt the same can only imagine. Stinging, pounding, throbbing, cutting, pointing, overwhelming, blinding, hurt hurting a body of mental or physical, depressing. To feel horribly agonizing hurt can make one cry and shout. We cry when hurt to let it out. Pain has to be let out for it to be released and eased. Long term pain is a sign of something is not well in your body. This is so self-evident and everyday practice.
Sadness is a sudden or a constant low, it can go on and on for how long? One can learn to tolerate and mould it to live with it, if there is no other alternative. Suicide is a complete end to intolerable pain and suffering, but it is passing pain on to others who stay alive, an escape of unsolvable problems. It is the difficulty in life, unavoidable to suffer, the most unaccepted feature of our existence, we don’t want to hurt. Who would want to accept pain, there must be a cure. Where pain is, what causes it, what can be done to it. Disabling and paralyzing ache gives reason to doubt there is an illness. Not to whine and sob about hurt is heroic. It can be honourable not to shout in agony when in labour. Honour in staying silent about one’s bad feelings and ache, heartache, headache and reasons why. Suffer silently not to let others have concern over you, stay humble and obedient. It is impolite to complain. What does it do when all of society follows this kind of golden rules of silence? To suffer alone, stay strong, it builds character and is respectable. Respectability, honour, integrity of a soldier.
Pain makes one’s body go down, take one’s head in one’s hands, close one’s eyes, fall down, stay in bed, go to see a doctor, take a pill, put a hot water bottle on aching tummy. I have wondered do genders react to pain differently, tolerate it in different ways? The more painful one’s life is the more one can take it, cope with it, understand it. Pain has to be understood. Levels of hurt, ways to hurt, how do I hurt and do I, how my face twitches, bends, my body moves in twists in pain.
We are very sensitive creatures, we can feel pain of someone else. That takes an empathetic person, kindness to place oneself to someone else’s position, feel what that other is feeling, going through. How must he feel? I am sorry for you. Caring is considered a feminine feature. It is a kind of weakness. To take sorrows of others to carry and comfort. Have we lost some of that or is it a task of nuns and nurses, psychologies and doctors? To professionalize caring makes it distant, machinized. We have to pay to get it. Which puts us in unequal position individually. There are people who are more valuable to be taken care of. To afford caring. What an insane thought, but it is realistic because it happens. We cannot afford caring. It is away from us, to be given a piece of affection is a lot to ask. It is no surprise prostitution is a profitable business. Sex is thought as a moment of affection even with a stranger and even having paid for it. Or is it just a release of pain and pressure in the balls.