Dr. Happiness's word of the day: Validation and why I have none of it.

When I was growing up we moved around constantly, my mom had different husbands, we went to different schools, had different step-brothers and sisters but I remember always having to adjust, be okay with it. I don’t remember ever talking to anyone important to me about how that made me feel. I had to live with my mom mostly, except thankfully for the retreats to my grandparents houses. I don’t blame my sister for leaving to live with her dad at times, I'm glad she did for her sanity, but I couldn’t really. I had to stick it out I suppose. I probably couldn’t have if I wanted too because of the responsibility I felt for my mom. But I never remember anyone sitting me down and asking me how any of it made me feel. In opposite, I was made to feel like I had to take care of everyone else. My family relies on denial, which means no one ever gets to validate how they feel, everything is suppose to be fine all the time. And if you do feel anything? Well, you had better not even think you feel worse about something than someone else. There is only so much grief/sadness to go around and you aren’t getting all the sad chips, my friend.

My sense of not knowing if it’s okay to feel a certain way, or want certain things, feeling selfish is because I wasn't allowed to feel sad or allowed to feel anything but okay. I had to adapt (i.e. be a caretaker of mom, sister, husband, etc.). She thinks I was not surrounded by a lot of people that make me feel okay to be unhappy.

She also made me see another connection. As I said, my life growing up was chaotic. Different houses, marriages, etc. so not only do I never settle, but I sometimes settle just to tell myself I don’t want to be like it was. Subconsciously, she said some of what made me attracted to theMan was for living in same house his whole life, same parents, etc. although I’m sure he found it sorta exciting I didn’t.

I also don’t let myself get attached too much because I expect everything to change suddenly at a moment’s notice. Why I can move every year with no regrets, why I can shut myself off from people once I decide they are out of my life.

I am also extremely tolerant of people and situations and I don’t know when I shouldn’t be because I’ve always had to adapt. Again-boundaries. Thus, staying in a shitty job for 4 years because I felt like it was irresponsible of me to quit, like my mom does.

She said she can envision how everything in my life was always crazy and dramatic, and I would shrink away in the corner so I wasn’t apart of the problem. But in turn, I was not given attention.

But the good thing is that I can see why and when I’m doing things. She thinks I’m definitely moving in the right direction and I’m growing. Interesting stuff. Especially the validation part. I never made that connection before, but I think it’s true. My sister reads this so maybe she can remember a time mom said it was okay that we felt sad about all of our chaotic life changes, etc. I sure don’t.

I’m so glad I didn’t cancel this appointment! I even learned another thing...I like hot tea with no sugar! Hallelejah!


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