When The Filter Fails…

Olsons2013 / TiffanyAOlson.com

Fall 2013


Something is amiss… my ability to have a normal conversation with others seems to have up and vanished. I’m pretty sure it began several months into cancer treatment. It took me a while to figure out what I was doing and now here I am, fully aware that my conversation skills are awkward at best and yet I continue on this weird road with no real plan as to how to break free from this cycle.

Time spent alone seems to have been quite a theme of this whole cancer experience and as a result when I get around people I feel like I have lost touch with how to interact as a normal human being. This is the deal, I have found myself over the last several months interjecting things into conversations that are neither relevant or helpful. You and I can be discussing the weather and I will say something like, “when I was in cancer treatment last year it was hot,” or “when I was bald last year I wore hats when it was cold.”  My insecurity bone is in overdrive and on steroids.

What’s worse is that I know when the words are coming out of my mouth that it is the wrong thing to say. But this does not seem to phase me and I keep on talking. What’s even better is that I am also a fairly discerning person, so I can see the veil of awkwardness fall over the eyes of the person I am speaking to. I can see the uncomfortable shifting of the feet or wriggling in the chair and yet I persist in my stream of irrelevant words. I mentioned it to Mr. Wonderful a while back and he said that he had noticed it in my conversations as well and confirmed my tendency to allow my current state of insecurity to dominate and alienate others. That was a fun little chat. Not.

A random stranger or new aquaintance doesn’t care why my hair is short, it actually looks fairly normal at this point but there is something inside me that desperately wants the world to know that I didn’t choose this. I don’t feel like me, I don’t look like me and I never will again. The truth is that my filter has never been that great anyway but now that it has completely shut down, I am even making myself uncomfortable.

I am praying that as the days pass and life continues to move forward that my interactions with others become normal again. Please tell me that I am not alone in this. That you too have had seasons where you feel so desperate to connect that you actually end up pushing away those you are trying to connect with. Also, if you happen to be in a conversation with me and I abruptly begin taking the conversation in a weird direction, gently put your arms around me, tell me you love me and that in time, maybe not in my time, but in time, all will be righted.

Have a Fabulous Day My Friends.

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  1. ❤️

  2. I haven’t walked your journey but my hunch is that when deep hard things enter our lives, we are changed in deep ways. It’s not fun but it’s good. You are not quite comfortable in the new normal and yet the old doesn’t fit either. I’m convinced we need grace for ourselves in these ordeals and hopefully, having walked it, can better offer grace to others!

  3. Michelle mccoy says

    Oh girl, you are not alone and I’m so glad I’m not the only one that feels exactly this way. I feel like I’m always having to justify to strangers why I look this way, and that this is not really the real me. And yes, then it makes them awkward and they don’t know what to say. When really I’m not expecting them to have the right words. I really hope time heals as they say. And you know your heart and what a beautiful person you are. I love you my angel.

    • So glad we are on this road together sweet girl! You inspire me, encourage me and make me want to get out there and kill it. You are an amazing woman and I am proud to call you friend. Prayers for all the upcoming treatments. I love you! Tiff

  4. Judy Gederos says

    I would love to hug you, anytime, anywhere! Please know I think of you often and love your reads!!! Have a wonderful day my girl!

  5. Well Tiffany, I think your other friends have hit it on the head. We aren’t what we once were and we don’t fit where we are today. But Tiffany, with all my heart I know that you are loved bunches by our Father God and a little old lady that lives in Empire. Cancer interrupted your life. I would love to have coffee with you and I wouldn’t care if you talked about anything. I just love being with you.

  6. Bless your , Tiffany. I think we can all relate to the “let everyone know I didn’t choose this” feeling, and the prominent “insecurity bone”. I’m sure the cancer experience amplifies it tremendously. Quite a road you’re walking! Keep it up!

    Thanks for sharing your journey.

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