Highlight reel vs. cutting room floor

I read a post, a while ago, on another Autism blog Facebook page that said “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”

This got me thinking…..

We all know that one someone.  Everything seems to go right for him.  She seems to have all the breaks.  If you ask “How did you get here?” he replies “I am just lucky, I guess.”  If you ask “What did you do?” she replies “Nothing much, I just tried.”

My guess is these folks share their successes more than their challenges.  They share their “highlight reel” and not what winds up on the cutting room floor.  We all know them.  Whether they realize what they share or not, we know them.   But remember, we do not know what they had to do to get that vacation, new car, fancy shoes or smiling child.  Maybe they saved for years, used birthday money, or put in years of hard work.

I don’t blame them for not posting their challenges, the dark side of life.  Really, most of us, in real life, don’t want to hear how bad your life is.  We want to hear the good things.  The parties, the triumphs, the milestones.  We want to celebrate and feel good.

We, the ASD parents, the special needs parents, the “different child” parents, however, do.  We want to hear the dark, the dismal, the bad.  We want to know we are not alone.  I do not like reading that someone had a bad day, someone’s child was mistreated or someone was made to feel inferior.  I do like feeling that I am not alone in the world. 

Knowing that others have some of the same experiences as me helps me stay focused, helps me realize my child is not alone.  I do not compare my life to others and think that I/we are better off or more fortunate or worse off or less fortunate.  We are different.  Your life is yours and my life is mine.

My support comes primarily from family and friends that have known me for years.  Those that I trust to share my feelings with and I know will understand and not judge me.  But they do not have the same experiences as me.  Yes they are parents, yes they can relate to some of it.  But not the big stuff.  Not the heart breaking, not the terrifying. 

I also get support from you….yes, you reading this.  Knowing you are there, reading, commenting, “liking” and sharing the big and small, the good and bad of my life.  It is a different, less personal support.  We don’t know each other, we have never met, but the support is just as helpful.  At times, more helpful, because you do live the same life; at least closely enough that you really do get it.

As I talk about good things, things that happened to me, successes of my children, small triumphs and probably even an occasional vacation photo know that I will also talk about the “bad” things; the challenges, battles, concerns and fears. 

I am not comforted (or annoyed) by anyone’s highlight reel.  I know that behind the smiles and pretty pictures are tears and battles.  We each fight them; our own battles, our own way, in our own time.  Please share the good things life brings you.  But please do not be afraid to share the hard stuff too.  You never know where you might find a kind word, emotional support, good advice or a funny comment.

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2 responses to “Highlight reel vs. cutting room floor

  1. I love this! Love, love, love it! It is so simple, yet so profound. And yes, I think I am guilty of it in my own way. I always compare (it is more just my manner of thinking than a character flaw) but if I insist upon doing so I think I should do comparisons that are more based in reality than just the “highlight reel”!

    Great post!

  2. Well put! we need to hear about others time in the trenches bc then we don’t feel so isolated ❤

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