Illustration by Clare Owen
When your family members tell you your behavior is inappropriate, and you hurt so bad you think you bleed but you don't, it's an illusion, and yet it hurts like it bleeds and you learn to ignore it, you learn to submit to what they think must be proper and you carry your hurt until one day you decide to be yourself and are told that you're inappropriate again. What do you do?
When your close friends who you think are your close friends find you embarrassing and don't tell you directly but rather make overt comments and you feel it, you know they don't approve and you're hurting, you wonder if these people are really your friends and what kinds of sad lives they live if they pretend all the time and ask you to pretend with them. You hurt because they can't accept you and you hurt because you have lost them and you hurt because you realize they were never your true friends anyway. And it hurts so bad. What do you do?
When your children tell you you're not fitting in their idea of a parent and the things you do and say are frankly not something they wish to hear or see or have their friends hear or see, and you hurt again, you think, "Something must be really wrong with me," and then you understand that you're not wrong, you're you and just because you don't fit into whatever idea your children have about you you shouldn't change you, but it hurts all the same. Oh, it hurts very bad. What do you do?