Validation

Really Real Mental Health Post

I like being validated.

Everything from likes and comments on these posts to the words my therapist says to the validation sticker for the parking garage.

Yesterday in therapy I was talking about the way I write about my situations now, versus how I used to write.  I felt that when I used to write I was whining, and looking for pity, and complaining about how my life was worse than everyone and looking for someone to fix it because I couldn’t figure out how to fix it myself.  And now, I’m writing for me but also, I’m  writing to show people that this is what is out there, this is how I feel and what I’ve been through and am going through and I know others have been through it or are going through and maybe we all need to know we aren’t alone.

What I didn’t realize was that I thought that my way of interacting before, wasn’t as valid.  It took a good long while in my therapists office, and lots of me trying to fill the silence when I couldn’t answer her questions, before I realized just how much I was judging myself for where I was a few years ago.

As much as I’ve grown this past 2 years, and as much as I talk about where I am now versus where I was then, what I tend to miss is that I’m spending a lot of time putting down and invalidating the experiences of 2 and 3 and 5 years ago, me.

Oh look, here come the tears while I’m writing, I guess I hit on something I needed to work out.

My way of interacting with the world, my cries of HELP ME, this is HORRIBLE, were absolutely valid and real.  My reality was more than I felt I could bear, because really, we were living in a constant state of everything being on fire and we couldn’t figure out how to put out the fires and we had no idea how to climb out of the flames to even start.

It took Parker dying for me to get numb to the flames around me so I could climb out of them.

I spend a lot of time wondering if I’m doing this right, because I spent so long doing so much wrong.  But, I really think I’m just judging myself against the wrong set of standards.  I talk about survival mode a lot.  I’m judging myself then, against what I know now, and invalidating who I was then, because of who I am now.

I’m so afraid of going back to who I was, but honestly, I was still pretty amazing.  I did not have things easy but I always got back up.  I always went back to finding reasons to smile and find the best in people and situations.

And that’s one of the things that has stuck with me throughout everything.

Thanks for hearing me.

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