Illustration by Maria Gracheva
This is what it comes down to, growing up as a woman, and on top of that growing up in a family that's abusive. You get trained to care for everyone but yourself, and every argument you try to present, every time you try to explain how you feel, gets thrown back in your face, "You don't care for me, look what you're doing to me, you're bringing this on yourself, you're selfish," and on and on and on. Now, the problem with these statements is, they are confusing. When you're a little girl and you feel something and you express it, you're told the purpose of you expressing yourself is not to share the emotions you feel but to adjust to and reflect the emotions of others around you, to suppress what YOU feel in order to sense what THEY feel and to behave accordingly, and if you dare to contradict that and still express yourself, you get blamed for being insensitive and selfish AS THOUGH TO FEEL EMOTIONS IS WRONG.
And so the seed is planted and it grows and gets nurtured by family and then by society, and then we women end up depressed and we don't know why, and it all comes back to our childhood where instead of being allowed to be human, to feel shit when we feel shit, we were told to suppress it in order to feel the emotions of others. This is a clever blame misplacement that we're not even aware of when we grow up, and then it gets solidified and it's often too late to change, or the change is so painful that we opt for silence. We opt for loneliness. And sometimes we opt for suicide. It's easier for us this way, but then even after death we're called selfish, as if taking our life somehow is our final act of hurting those around us JUST BECAUSE WE DID WHAT WE FELT LIKE DOING.
This is, perhaps, the worst wound one can inflict on a human being, impress on them that they are wrong simply for living, because living is feeling, and feeling is being mad and sad and happy and angry and melancholy and high-strung and agitated and dreamy and all kinds of other shades of emotions that we humans are capable of feeling, and every one of them is beautiful, and every one of them is valid, and every one of them is okay to feel, and yet we don't allow it and we squash it and then we wonder why we're unhappy or choose to be single and alone, away from people where we can feel what we feel without fear and shame and guilt, and so we arrive at the vocation of a writer.
Well, some of us do.