September 6, 2018

Everyone has different details but we’re all going through something

One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone diminishes their pain or trauma because other people have it worse.

Remember that horrible response people gave (do they still give it) to people’s complaints or issues? First world problems.

I’m going through some pretty huge upheavals right now with the end of my marriage and moving into a new place and not having much furniture. Putting my kids in new schools, suddenly having to do a school run every day, it’s been hard.

Yes, other people have it harder. I may be incredibly tight for cash right now, more week than money, but I have food in my fridge. No one is trying to kill me. My neighbourhood is safe.

But that doesn’t change the fact that in one week my beloved cat died in my arms, I moved my kids not only out of their community but across to the far end of London. Their dad didn’t come with us. They are learning to do without for now.

My neighbour, whom I met yesterday, just arrived in Canada, suffering from depression, not knowing much English and not sure how to register her kids in school. She was clearly nervous and unsure and trying to do her best but is definitely overwhelmed.

I’ve just learned about some people who ended up homeless without warning because they were late with rent. Belongings thrown out. A chain reaction starts which puts them deeper into the hole, maybe never recovering.

Their details don’t lessen my details. I don’t suddenly have less trauma because theirs is worse. I maybe have perspective. My problems feel more solvable even.

But I choose not to invalidate my experiences because other people have it worse. We are all going through something and how we feel about that thing (or things) is valid.

An act of self love you can perform today is allowing yourself to just feel and be without invalidating your experience. You pain is real. Your trauma is valid. And so is mine.

Now let’s hug it out.