Countless times I run smack against this “look” by someone who, I thought, was asking an authentic, caring question of, “How are you? How are things with your Mom?” I thought they truly wanted to know. But when I began answering, not only did their eyes glaze over, they’d check their phone. When I was in the process of answering their question, I couldn't tell if the expression on their face was judgment, boredom or gas.
Whether it was alcoholism (at the time I was married to an alcoholic), or my mother with Alzheimer’s, everyone has an opinion about my situation (yes, just like assholes if you've heard that joke). And most likely, a judgmental expression went right along with their opinion... that went right along with their un-decantered Cabernet and brie cheese.
When I was in the initial throes of either scenario, I felt the need to defend myself. It took me years to GET that A) most people don't care, and B) most people don't care. EXCEPT those you can call a friend. A good Biblical expression worth remembering is, "Do not cast your pearls before swine." I'm no expert on the Bible, but I believe that is a portion of the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 7:6.
In any event, I've found there are 3 types of people in your life:
1) Those who help you in difficult times.
2) Those who left you in difficult times, and
3) Those who put you in difficult times.
If you run across these assholes in #2 and #3, specifically opinionated individuals who have no idea the sewage you are currently doing the backstroke in with caregiving, let 'em go. Be kind and civil, but let 'em go. Get to the end of the pool, touch the wall, do your fancy flip, push off, and keep swimming. Have the courage or discernment to either say, “Everything is fine. Great to see you…” and walk away, or, know you can trust who is asking and answer that significant question truthfully of how you or your loved one are doing.
Just beware and be aware for the next time. No one in this caregiving world needs or deserves that "look" of judgment. And if it is gas, you don't need to stick around for the odoriferous aftermath of that either.
What Is True For Me: There are as many assholes as opinions. Differentiate the difference and keep your life simple and toxin free.
Disclaimer: The quote herein from Pinterest is listed as an “unknown” author. The photograph is from the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck NY, and the second quote is from Jesus... I doubt He will sue me for copyright infringement. It's just not his nature.