The validity of pain

Sometimes I feel like I don’t deserve to feel. Like I haven’t earned the right to be upset, or grieve or feel loss or pain or hurt.

I always feel like my pain isn’t valid. Or that it isn’t big enough or real enough, or anything like that. I always look for others to validate my pain so that I actually know that it’s real, or worthy enough of feeling.

I know that that’s wrong and that everyone experiences things differently, regardless of how “big” or “small” it is. It’s not fair to myself to disallow the recognition of my pain and trauma. It’s not fair to downplay and diminish everything that I’ve been through. It only makes it hurt more.

You shouldn’t allow anyone else to determine how you get to feel. I think a lot of us are made to feel wrong for feeling. People generally just don’t want to deal with it. And we’re taught from pretty early on to shut it down and ignore how we feel.

But that never works. Because even though we ignore it and try to look the other way…it doesn’t actually go anywhere.

I hate having to hide myself for other peoples benefit. I wish it was safer to feel, to talk…to exist honestly.

It’s a hard mindset to break free from. Actually feeling is…terrifying. And then having to determine what’s worth it, what’s not worth it…what’s “not good enough” and I should just get over it…and what’s so big that I don’t even want to feel it…? It all feels impossible sometimes.

But I think step 1 is just giving yourself permission. Permission to feel honestly, and permission to not let others influence what they think isn’t a big deal.

You don’t have to earn the right to feel. You’re allowed to feel whatever it is that you feel, without feeling guilty about it.

Your pain is valid. Your experiences are valid. You’re allowed to exist honestly.

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