Merry Sunshine can’t continue to smile


Dear Amy: I am the kind of person that always puts on a brave face — no matter what I’m going through.

The past two years have been very difficult for me.

I’ve suffered financially, physically, and emotionally.

Through it all I’m always there for others — encouraging them and offering a helping hand or a shoulder to lean on.

I am currently going through something very difficult, and I just don’t have the strength to smile through it.

I also don’t have the strength for people to trauma dump on me or to continuously want to know what’s wrong with me since I’m not making myself available to help them through their issues.

How do I politely tell people to please leave me alone while I work through this?

— Exhausted

Dear Exhausted: It is completely natural for you to want to retreat. And if privacy is what you need — then that is what you should have.

However — I hope you could imagine the possibility of receiving support from some of the very people you seek to avoid.

If they are trauma vampires, then definitely back away. But some of the people in your life who have been taking from you might be grateful to be offered the opportunity to give back. You will never know their capabilities until you reveal your own vulnerability.


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