Hey Bit, it’s nice to see you again.
You know, there is what we do and how others perceive it. No one will ever be in your shoes. No one. No one will ever know really how it feels to be you, to have your life, your story, to live with your thoughts, in your mind and in your body. On that matter, each experience that we have is unique.
Though we are granted of something beautiful, which is communication. We can use words (or other means) to express how it feels in our heart. What our pain is. What our joys are. Unless we say it, unless we try, even if it creates miscommunication at first, people will always guess and assume how we are doing based on how they know us, based on the expectations they have for us, and so on. Which sometimes really hurt! Because we face suddenly the huge gap between how we feel deep inside and how they see us.
So many times my mom told me: “you are so strong! when you want something you know it and you fight for it”. Should be positive, right? Yet when I heard those words, it felt like being stabbed in the chest. I couldn’t help but seeing how much she didn’t realize the daily pain I was in at the time. How much it was costing me to do what would be a small task from her own perspective. She didn’t get it! She wanted to see in me what she wanted to see. It was part of her responsibility - projecting something on me -, and mine: not saying explicitely that I wasn’t okay, because I didn’t feel like I had that space to talk about it with her.
I hear and understand your need for validation and comfort. We all crave for that. But it can become unhealthy if it becomes a goal in itself. And especially if we consider unhealthy means to get there.
You don’t have to be paralyzed or physically hurt for people to acknowledge you and understand you. It may be what you’ve experienced in the past, but that doesn’t make it a general rule in life. What makes genuine validation possible to happen, is to give the keys to the people we love to understand us. To say: listen to me please, because I need you. It takaes vulnerbaility, once again. Being paralyzed would just be a detour. It wouldn’t even be a real way to express yourself. You would receive comfort for what they would see and what you think is legit/valid in terms of what is painful or not. But emotional pain is real. Mental health is real. Invisible struggles that take place in our mind are real. Though it requires us to make them visible if we want to be supported.
It’s tough. It’s not fair. It’s uncomfortable. But it’s so much worth it. As being paralyzed would only mask your real pain to them, once again. And you wouldn’t be satisfied for being comforted for something that has nothing to do with how you feel in your heart.