No matter what your story is, know that your story matters.
I think it is easy to feel like our story is insignificant because we learn that someone has gone through something worse, and so ours becomes unworthy to tell. I know I sometimes struggle with that, especially when I read the stories of others and feel like what I have gone through maybe wasn’t so bad. It’s also easy to struggle through a situation that someone else also experienced but experienced in a different way, and so they didn’t experience the same struggle as you, which makes you question if maybe you are overreacting. I recently saw a post directed towards me that invalidated my experience and it made me begin to second guess if my feelings about the situation were even justified.
But then the universe felt my pain and confusion, and I came across another post on a fellow mental health page that reminded me that my trauma matters, even if someone else’s trauma was worse or if some people don’t understand my trauma or even if that someone who led to my trauma, doesn’t believe that the trauma was real. But what I went through was real, caused me real pain and hurt me deeply, causing me sleepless nights and feelings of not being able to recover. I realized after reading this message that was given to me, that we all have a story, and we all perceive those stories differently, but the most important thing is to recognize your own feelings towards your story. The thing about it being your story is that it is yours, no one else’s. No one else can tell you that your story isn’t valid, if you perceive it to be so. No one can say your story isn’t sad enough, or traumatic enough or even good or happy enough. No one can say that because no one experienced it quite like you did. It wasn’t until seeing both a negative and a positive post about my experience that I realized how damaged I still am from the pain I’ve experienced. I spent years being shut down, talked down to and belittled when all I wanted to be was heard, I was let down time and time again and words were said to me with hollow meaning, making the promises made to me easier to break with every passing day and I opened up about my struggle with suicidal thoughts only to be told that getting help was useless.
I realized how valid my story was when I realized this week how much fear I still have in me to speak up and speak my truth for fear of there being retaliation on the other side, even though I know my current situation is so much healthier. I become paralyzed, without a voice and broken down. I become fearful, overwhelmed, powerless and I feel hatred towards the universe for giving me that experience that broke down my soul and keeps hurting me to this day. Even though there has been so much growth in my life, the damage of trauma is just that – damaging.
But although I have been deeply reminded of the pain, emotional abuse and manipulation I experienced, I can find comfort in realizing that I am not powerless anymore, because the power once had over me is being removed, piece by piece. I was able to see that my story, just like yours, is valid, and although replaying memories has been painful, it has been freeing for me to feel confident in myself and in my story. I realized that although most days I feel recovered, I am still in recovery and mental health and traumatic recovery is not a linear process, it goes up and down and back and forth and some days can be horrible. I realized these things and I found solace in the fact that I can recognize my pain and forgive myself on this recovery journey for giving him even an ounce of power again.
Someone else’s pain may have been worse, but that doesn’t make my pain any less valid. It doesn’t make yours any less valid either. The more we believe that our story is insignificant, the less we share, the less we help other people, and the less we help ourselves. What we have to remember and what I was lucky enough to realize after reading that post is that there is someone out there who is going through something similar to you, and to that person, that struggle is something important and damaging. If we hold back for fear of our trauma not being “traumatic enough”, we will never validate ourselves or allow others to see that there are people out there struggling through the same scenario. We need to ensure we create a community where all voices and all stories are welcome. Some may be more damaging than others, but we also have to remember that everything is perception and everyone perceives situations differently.
I want you to know today that your trauma is your trauma. It may seem small or meaningless but if it damaged you, I hope you find the confidence to speak your truth for your own benefit of getting it off your chest and getting the help you deserve. Once I fully realized that my story was valid and that I am still struggling from the trauma, I felt freedom and I felt like I could jump back on this recovery train, with a fresh start and an opportunity to tell my story with more vigor and strength.
So I have to thank the universe, I have to thank the trauma of my past, because it has given me a fire like no other and showed me that I am more powerful and strong than a negative post. It has given me the strength to share my truth with all of you. It has given me the strength to struggle and stand back up, it has given me a loving support system.
I know more struggles will come my way, and I know more struggles are destined for you too, it is just part of this thing called life. But never forget that your story matters and that your experience is valid. Speak your truth into the world, feel the feeling and then let it go. Let the universe take on the rest, and continue to be strong, knowing that your experience will lead to growth, and with growth comes opportunity for an even more beautiful life.
Be Beautifully Simply You