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I would like to say I understand what you’re going through right now, but I can’t. Honestly, you may not even know how to make sense of it yourself. On your best days, it feels like some sort of sadistic dream. Something you remember in full detail, yet it feels like it didn’t really happen to you. On your worst, you can’t find the words or the methods to express every dark emotion dwelling within you. Maybe that looks like you can’t get out of your bed. Maybe it looks like you sit alone and shut everyone else out. Maybe it looks like you put on a face and pretend that everything in your life is fine-when it’s anything but fine.
These days, all you know is the deep-rooted pain. You try to find methods of escape, but at best they serve as distractions, and when you’re back to the world you live in, it doesn’t feel the same anymore. It feels distorted, like you don’t belong in it’s safe arms like you once did.
But you don’t want to say a word to anyone about it. Not really.
Sometimes, you think about it. Sometimes, you just wish someone would ask you, not because you want to relive it, but because you are hurting and broken, and just want someone to be there. To let you talk about it. To let you heal in some small way, even if it’s just a conversation.
But you bite your tongue until it bleeds. Because you tell yourself, “What I am dealing with is bad, but others have had it worse.” You don’t want to make a mountain out of a molehill. You don’t want to bring up your pain because compared to others, it can feel so small. Like you were lucky, even. “Well, this happened, but at least this didn’t happen.” You tell yourself that your pain is nothing compared to others, so you keep it in. You struggle with it, alone.
I’m here to tell you, your pain is valid. Your suffering is worth consolation. Your brokenness does not translate to worthlessness.
You are a human. You are alive. You are resilient and brave, even if you don’t believe this yourself. The fact that you’re here right now counts for something. You went through something terrible and you came out the other side alive. Maybe shaken, or even shattered, but you are here.
You shouldn’t feel as though your pain is worth nothing simply because you know other stories that seem worse by comparison. This is not a game. There should be no “Trauma Olympics” where only the worst suffering is documented, consoled, and helped to heal. You are important. You are loved.
Your pain is valid.
But if you are under the impression that you don’t deserve to have someone be there for you simply because you believe your pain is not high enough on a scale to warrant attention, I want you to know that’s not true. If you are broken, suffering, or hurting- then you are allowed to feel that way. You are allowed to do what you should do, with the exception directly hurting another person, to heal and move forward.
Maybe that means you write it out. Maybe that means you run to your family or friends and tell them what you’re struggling with. Maybe it means going to see a therapist. Maybe that means praying. Maybe it means speaking out to people to offer your own hand. Maybe it means staying quiet for awhile.
Whatever it means for you to move forward, heal, process, and feel whole again, you are allowed to do it.
You shouldn’t feel like a burden to others. You shouldn’t be afraid that the weight of your struggle will crush them- because the people that love you will want to help you carry that weight. You should know that you are worth the time and love and attention to help you mend in one way or another.
I can’t tell you I understand your pain. I can’t promise to do the all the right things to fix it. All I can do is offer my shoulder, my ear, and my open arms if you need them, or want them. Maybe you don’t want them today, and that’s okay too. Because you are worth it. You are loved. You are not a burden. It isn’t your fault.
Your pain is valid. Don’t let the world tell you anything different.