I am your typical, hypersensitive emo kid and I’m learning to love myself for being that. I truly do love being sensitive, impulsive, eccentric, quirky, hyperbolic in a comedic way, and digging deep enough so I can relate to others. I love that shit so much.
But I used to hate it. I used to hate being a crier, speaking too loudly without noticing, have a sharp tongue, expressing my weirdest interests and not noticing when someone is extremely creeped out. Being this way diagnosed me with lone wolf syndrome and “she’s fun to be around, but she’s also fucking crazy” disorder. Worst of all, criticism from my parents encouraged me to cling to the label of “you don’t know anything”, “you don’t know what you’re talking about,” and “you will never understand,.”. Even though these are common statements that parents say, usually not with the intent to offend their children, it hurt me EVERY time. It still hurts me. Who I am perceives the world in a unique way and it’s extremely unfair to dismiss someone’s experience because they are different than yours. There is nothing more painful to me than being invalidated.
It takes me to this existential edge because I am not the type of person that likes to dismiss what others say. It’s in my nature to be considerate of their view, to listen even when I vehemently disagree. I listen because it gives me an opportunity to learn. It gives me a chance to sit down and think about that person. “Why do they think that way? What causes them to believe this instead of that?” This is because I love learning; I treasure understanding. Because consideration is so precious to me, it scars me when my expressions get thrown in the trash when I hear, “You just don’t understand because you’re like this.” I immediately become shamed and suddenly I’m seeing all that I love about myself as something that needs to be destroyed. At least, that’s how I used to think and I regress into that feeling from time to time.
I’m working on detaching myself emotionally from offending words so I can read between the lines. When my parents say, “You don’t understand because you’re like this,” or “You’ve only been on this planet for two minutes,” it hurts every time, but I’ve learned to interpret that as them saying, “From my point of view, you are inexperienced in this field and I’m concerned you’re not understanding my point based on your responses. I feel you’re not acknowledging what I’m saying, so I want to let the conversation go.” God, what I would pay for my parents to have that kind of diction, but alas, free will and all. But I must remember when my emotions detect pain from that sort of critique, my thoughts tend to magnify that into invalidation. It feels sort of like a program I can’t rewrite. So instead of rewriting, I’m having to update the program instead. My emotions are a compass to my true nature, so I don’t want to shut them down; I just need to have them redirect me to a place where I can let the pain pass while reminding myself that my experience isn’t invalidated due to a difference in opinion. That is easier said than done because it is my greatest trigger. My parents have said things like this to me over and over and over again because their strong-willed daughter with ADHD was difficult to keep the reins on frequently. I was repeatedly shamed for being myself and I know deep down my parents didn’t want me to feel shame. They just wanted control and discipline.
I’m not a parent so I don’t know what it’s like having a raw, authentic, young life running around my house 24/7, but I do know human behavior. It can’t be controlled, just manipulated or encouraged. Behaviors are redirected or transformed when there is a reinforcer and/or a punishment. When I look back at the behaviors I remember having, the reinforcements and punishments echo to my present and sometimes I forget that this is an opportunity for wisdom, self-improvement, and self-trust because I get caught up in reliving the shame and the agony of self-hatred. But when that pain passes, I can let the scars of my invalidation heal, develop my own reinforcers, allow life to bring its own punishments (which not I’m calling “lessons), and go from there. I’m getting better at being flexible with myself and forgiving myself. I’ve already forgiven those in my past that may or may not have been part of my program of shame, which is especially important because I absolutely cannot blame others for my choices or my nature. We influence one another, but rarely do we have complete control. Rarely are any of us that powerful or powerless.
After some meditation and tarot readings today, I ran into this video that helped calm down a bit after an upsetting battle with my ego.
If whoever reads this has a program to update as well, I hope this video helps you the way it helped me.