There is a very certain, very poignant reality in realizing you are alone. Rather– there is a certain, poignant reality in thinking you are alone. That sense of isolation is nothing more than a mental block. We can’t be detached from other people in a literal sense, only mental (we’re all cut from the same cloth at the end of the day). But neither of those matter as much as emotional detachment does, and that feeling usually stems from two things: our apprehension to reach into the depths of ourselves to be able to empathize with others and the shame we feel when those others dismiss our feelings and experiences. It’s a perpetual cycle.
It is a horrendous thing, how quickly we write off other people. I see now that the times in which I have struggled most have been when I felt something that someone told me I couldn’t. Someone deemed that thing unworthy of feeling bad for and inadvertently (or not) made me feel as though I was unworthy for feeling it. You know what happens when you let people do that to you? You don’t work through your experiences. You let them stay with you. You throw them on top of the already heaping pile of a shit storm life has you perched on; you sculpt it into another pillar and forget about it. It’s only after enough are built that you realize you’re trapped.
The pain scale is not the human scale. Things are not painful, people are not painful. Circumstances are not painful and experiences aren’t either. We assign the meaning. It’s what we take from them, how we cope or don’t, how we connect or don’t, whether we grow or don’t. Disregarding it all together does nothing but intensify the consequence of having done so in the first place.
It’s wrong to tell someone that their reality is invalid because it doesn’t affect you. It isn’t about what someone is going through, it’s the fact that they’re going through it. And seeing someone else’s experience as being incomparably stupid to your own is small. And selfish.
Whether or not you’ve suffered worse than someone is not your call to make. And regardless, such an assertion should not affect your decision to respect people anyway. Likewise, just because other people are suffering under circumstances that logic would deem less fortunate than yours, it doesn’t mean you can’t be hurting either. Yeah, there are people who are starving and broken and facing huge obstacles, but that doesn’t mean you can’t feel what you feel as well. Other people’s suffering will not make you better, not in any sense.
And what’s more is that though it’s hard because emotional pain is not quantifiable, nothing really is at the end of the day. There is only one thing that validates your feelings and that’s if you feel them. Your sexuality, your experiences, your love for someone despite it being one-sided, your opinions, your mistakes, your shame, your passion and whatever little bit of faith keeps you going is yours, it does not need to be valid to others because our lives are not for the consumption of others to pick and analyze. They’re for us to live.