So it's no secret that I've been having a couple of rough weeks. Lots of stuff that's gone south, lots of issues, two kids who have special needs and the at school needs aren't being dealt with appropriately, - which affects the out of school needs etc., etc.
It's almost been funny to me - kind of in the "What else, now?" mindset.
And twice, I've been taken to task with the remark that I have "First World Problems" and I should just shut up and quit complaining.
The entire concept of "First World Problems" and the issues that this entails really chaps me.
Look. I get it. No one died this week. I've had weeks like that. My appliances are all functional, and their corresponding a/c/heat/water/gas/power are all functional - I've had weeks like that, too. No one ran into traffic in an attempt to end their life because issues were so stressful - I've had a week like that, too. I didn't have a car accident - done that - and no one was hospitalized - had that before, as well.
No one was arrested. No time in court, no lawsuits filed - all in all, by those standards, it's been quiet.
Circumstances being what they were, the last couple of weeks have been super draining, exhausting and frustrating. Add on flooding rains, a broken down car ($1800 repair bill), a potential hurricane headed my way (which may change and go out to sea but yet...) I have a meeting today to rewrite a 504 and an appointment to work on another set of accommodations. I'm doing what I can, when I can, to try to help situations. But it's still a sucky time.
Telling someone that their truly valid concerns are First World Issues is really a shitty thing to do.
First of all, it implies that only people in "Third World Countries" are allowed to be unhappy about anything. Which opens up an entire other set of issues that I am deeply unqualified to go into. More important that that - are people who live in privileged countries never allowed to be unhappy, upset, feel like things aren't going their way?
Telling someone that they have "First World Problems" implies that you think they are spoiled. "Who are you to complain, when other people have it so much worse?" isn't helpful at all, and in fact, can be hurtful. Far better to tell someone you have compassion for their issues - and shut up after that.
This isn't the Pain Olympics.
There's no gold medal given for the person who has the WORST LIFE EVER. My bad day can be a bad day, and your day can be a bad day, and we can have compassion for each other, and empathy and sympathy and helpfulness -
all without invalidating anyone.