After saying them what felt like one too many times yesterday, I finally said this: “I say ‘thank you’ a lot because I don’t feel it truly conveys what it means to me what you have done for me.”
I think that’s the problem with “thank you”. We teach our kids it is only polite to use those words for everything. Don’t get me wrong – we should do that. Manners is something that we seem to be losing. But those two little words – thank you – seem so insignificant when someone does something you truly are grateful for. Saying “thank you” for something bigger than the person handing you a fork seems like the meaning is lost – the gratitude is lost – the heartfelt thanks is lost.
So how do I compensate for it? I say it too much. I spend time saying “no, seriously – thank you”. Because most of us were taught to reply to a ‘thank you’ with a ‘you’re welcome’ or less formally a ‘no problem’ or ‘no worries’. But when it is something more than a loan of a pencil, you do worry that they don’t understand how much it meant to you.
This weekend, the drama with my brother came to a head.
He brought it to Facebook making sure that his status was tagged with my name on it so that I would be forced to see it. SIL and others commented on it – or gave it a big “LIKE IT”.
I was pissed that he saw no reason why I should be mad or upset with him. So I called him.
Mr Family First didn’t answer his phone because…..drum roll…..he was watching a football game on TV. A fact that set me off even more than I would have normally been. It escalated fast. I told him at one point that if he doesn’t want to understand my life or where I’m coming from, he should just go away – lose my number, unfriend me – whatever it takes, I don’t need this shit. He flipped out and started on me saying I wasn’t part of the family – thought I was better than them, and proceeded to speak on behalf of my other brother, SILs and parents. When he hit the parents, I hung up.
He said enough to hit a few of my triggers – a few of my own fears. I was not in a good place.
I had a good friend pull me out of my head for a while and drag me out and away from it. Pings from my parents kept dragging me back into it especially on the way back. G took care of me. I talked to my mom who wanted to make sure I knew that little bro called them immediately after I hung up to share his side of the story because he was sure I was calling them too. Guess we are 5 yr olds running to tell on the other. My mom read him the riot act. He called back later just to have my dad do it again.
While it was good to know I had support for what was happening, I hated and still hate that they were dragged into this by him. HATE it. I fight my own battles even if it is with a brother. I don’t need allies because in this situation, I’m right.
When I woke up yesterday after little sleep, I was mentally in a bad place. I was up but that was it. A friend basically started bossing me around. Damn Spanish Inquisition. While I was in the space of just letting it be, he pestered me to get out and do something. Then when my little bro actually sent something to me in a weird sort of apology, he pestered me to reply.
Later, talking to another friend, I got more support in it all. By the time my afternoon was done, I was actually in a good mood. I was joking and goofy and more me than I had felt most of the weekend.
So saying “thank you” to people for that seems hollow. It doesn’t convey the gratitude for what they gave me. There is a very cynical saying that goes “have no expectations; have no disappointments”. I have learned when it comes to stuff like this that I don’t expect people to help me. I just soak it in – deal with it alone – and put on a happy face so that those around me aren’t effected too much. To have people step up and not let me just soak it in – well, that’s unexpected and out of the norm for me.
The simple “thanks for lending me hand to help pull me out of this mentally bad place” seems not enough of a thank you. It is in this moment that I feel words fail me, and I have to simply trust that the receiver of my eight million “thank you’s” understands that I’m not being annoying – just trying to convey my feelings using two little words that are used for everything.
3 Comments Add yours
I know what you mean. Even though you mean it every time you say it, “thank you” doesn’t always carry the weight you want. When I want to express sincere gratitude, I always either say “I truly appreciate you” or qualify the “thank you” by following with what I am thanking them for, e.g., “for being a supportive and compassionate friend.”
Sorry you had to deal with family drama. That’s the worst. *Hugs*
I do wish there was a good way of differentiating between ‘polite thank you’ and ‘I really, really mean thank you’.
I think though that the people who deserve the latter are probably sensitive enough to appreciate what you mean when you try to say it.