While waiting to get my hair cut, I overheard a kid complaining. His mother said, “It’s just a haircut. It doesn’t hurt.” He responded, “Yes, it does!” The barber turned off the clippers, looked at them and said, “I know why it hurts. I’m so sorry. Let me get another pair.” I smiled as I realized that his actions taught me a lesson—by continuing to speak up this little boy prevented a needless uncomfortable experience. This child did not allow his mother’s doubt to convince him that his assessment was incorrect.
How many times has someone’s reaction to your feelings made you question if those feelings were valid? How many times has someone led you to wonder if you were being more sensitive than the situation called for? Do you ignore your feelings and hope that the pain resolves itself? Or do you continue to acknowledge your discomfort like this little boy had the wisdom to do?
You are not responsible for convincing others that your pain is valid. You are not obligated to prove the depth of your hurt. You are not required to persuade anyone that your experiences have left you with triggers. You are responsible for advocating for yourself. Being an advocate for yourself means standing up for what you know is your truth. Those who support you will support you. You do not have to prove or assure others of what you know to be true. You simply need to walk in your truth.
Become your advocate. Be intentional with your recovery and progress. When life hands you a challenge, you have every right to acknowledge what you feel as you select a logical course of action to push you forward.