I remember as a child laying in my bed and crying desperate tears, longing only for someone to come and ask me what was wrong, but instead all it got me was no supper. I remember as a preteen excitedly talking a mile a minute in an effort to get some form of affection, but all I got was a bellowed “Shut up.” I remember as a teenager exploding in rage in an attempt to receive recognition of any kind for my feelings, to let me know that they were valid, but what I got was a smack across the face. The message was clear; no feelings were valid.
I remember falling head over heels in love as a child, or so I thought, and telling my crush how I felt, hoping we would get married when we were older, but instead all I got was a glare before he ran away shouting, “Weirdo.” I remember my first boyfriend telling me that I should talk to him, that my emotions were valid; I cried and wept and screamed trying to convey my thoughts, but all I got was asked to leave. I remember in college sleeping with a guy, trying to show him I cared, hoping we would become a couple, but all I got was a note good-bye without a phone number. I remember my husband claiming I was too distant, so I tried showing him more love, wishing to save my marriage, but what I got was an unfaithful husband and divorce papers. The message was clear; no feelings were valid.
I remember falling on the playground and bursting into tears wanting someone to help me get back up, but instead all I got was the nickname “Whiny baby.” I remember yelling at my friend for not being my partner at camp when all I wanted was for her to play with me too, but all I got was a friend who no longer talked to me. I remember having a best friend in high school wanting her to be consider me her best friend too, but instead I got whispers about being too “clingy and strange” behind my back. I remember in college, my friends telling me that I needed to stop keeping everything inside so I started talking to them hoping to final have a way to talk about my problems, but what I got was one of them telling me “I don’t give a shit about you or your fucking problems,” and a group of friends no longer talking to me. The message was clear; no feelings are valid.
I see you standing in front of me telling me that I should talk to you, that I can trust you. But surely you must understand I know you don’t mean that. You want to seem caring, but without actually caring. I know this song and dance; I’ve experienced it my whole life. The message has always been clear; no feelings are valid.