I truly believe that the feelings we are experiencing now and our feelings of the past are valid and deserve to be heard. Those feelings also deserve to be listened to by someone who is caring and understanding.
I unfortunately was in a relationship where my feelings were made out to be invalid and quite often I was made to feel small and inadequate for the way I felt. I can remember expressing how I felt and being told that my thoughts were essentially meaningless in the grand scheme of things and to just get over it. My ex never understood how I felt, and what I think was even worse was that he never even took the time to try and understand, and on the rare times that he did, it was an exhausting battle to get to that point. Opening up to someone who only criticized my feelings made me feel inferior, made me feel like my feelings were invalid and that I was worthless.
From that relationship, I realized several things. I realized after too long that I was a victim of an emotionally abusive relationship and that I needed to surround myself with people who were there for me, even if they didn’t understand. I needed to be around people who listened without judgement, even if they didn’t have the right words to say. From that day forward, I vowed to never make anyone feel the way he made me feel. So I make sure that even if I don’t understand someone’s point of view, that I ask questions, I engage, but most of all, I listen. I know how painful it is to feel like you and your feelings are not good enough, and I never want to make someone feel the way I was manipulated to feel for 3 years.
Since that relationship, I have truly discovered the power of listening. I now open myself up to people who I know will listen, try their best to understand and make me feel valid. There were people all along willing to listen and provide care and love for me, but I was too beaten down mentally and so badly drained that I was fearful of opening up to others. I was afraid of being judged even further for how I felt, so I hid things from the very people I should have reached out to. But that is what stigma does to you, it creates this roadblock that holds you back. I know not all of my problems are the worst things in the world, I know someone else out there has it worse than I do, I know there are some things I should brush off and let go, but I also know that all of those feelings are important to me. So having someone shut your feelings down and tell you that your feelings are less than important, truly hurts your soul and makes you afraid to open up again in the future.
Some of us are struggling more than others, but I believe that because each of us is struggling in our own way, we deserve to be heard, we deserve to get help, we deserve to have supporting and understanding people around us that help put our situation in perspective, we deserve to be listened to.
I hope that no matter what people have told you in the past, whether that was to “suck it up” “get over it”, “that is stupid that you feel that way” or something worse, that today you hear me when I say that your feelings are valid and deserve to be heard. Unfortunately some people won’t understand, but keep seeking out those that are willing to listen, because those people are the ones who will help you to grow and find love, strength and beauty in yourself.
Exactly a year later after I walked away from my ex, my current boyfriend asked me to be his girlfriend and one of the first things he said after he asked me was, “Your feelings are valid”. He spoke those words without me even saying anything to prompt it. He gave me permission to speak my mind and continues to reassure me that all of my feelings, big and small are valid and he truly hears me. Thinking of how my life has changed brings tears to my eyes. Surround yourself with love and validation from yourself and from others, the rest will follow.
Be Beautifully Simply You