2.18.2011

Validation

I don't know that I'm going to write about therapy a lot but I wanted to write this.
I have no idea how to wear validation.

I have struggled for a long time trying to minimize things that have shattered me. Because they were just these silly things that happened; it never occurred to me that if they were really silly I would have moved on years ago.
I have silenced my voice and confined my grief to behind closed doors. Because it never occurred to me that anyone would stick around or care to hear anything. I was after all just a petulant bad girl. Who could possibly care?
I have medicated myself with boys, food, alcohol and sarcasm and I have numbed myself so deeply I couldn't figure out how to ever feel anything again. Because it's not safe. It's scary and people go away and are never who they say they are anyway.
I have placed blame on shoulders that, while they hurt me deeply, the offense was not proportionate to the rage I applied to them. Because I have practiced saying it's no big deal for decades, and how could I break the news to those I tried to convince it was ok that it was not, in fact, ok at all?

Then I broke. It was too much. Being back there in that town. Seeing those places again and feeling let down and unimportant was too much. Even now, it's just too much.
I was already cracked and being tenuously held together by an intricate facade of  sarcasm and practiced deflection and the straw, that last straw, it was just too much.

I couldn't explain what happened. Even I could see the punishment wasn't fitting the crime. But I just kept breaking. Over and over in small cuts with every breath I was being shredded and I could no longer stand. I felt like I had to justify it, that when you looked at it up close it seems like just a silly little white girl drama being played out. But it was more and I felt so invalid in my panic and pain.

But at my first meeting with my therapist I felt validated. In the green room with a woman I'd never met and was frankly a little terrified of, I felt safe. She felt soft to me. She gave words to the tatters I presented to her in my tear soaked hands and she validated my feelings in a way I never thought of before. She gave name to the behaviors of grown ups that she said should have been better and she didn't dismiss the depth of the scars they had left.
It was like a long, deep breath of hope.

I went in prepared for there to be at least 6 weeks between appointments because of scheduling issues and she said no. She said I shouldn't have to wait and she made a choice that had to be inconvenient to her because it was best for me and it was refreshing to feel her take my seriously. It was startling to feel important enough to have someone go to that much trouble.


I spent the next day walking around in a cloud. Exhausted from feeling so much, and then talking about and also just sort of dumb struck because I have no idea how to wear validation.

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