I think I’ve been ridiculously spoiled by my recent years of education. A counselor-in-training who has become accustomed to conversations with colleagues that begin with an earnest “How are you doing?” and end with the questionee comfortably spilling their current state, be they sad or overwhelmed or upset, et cetera. It is an insulated bubble of intelligent women (a few men sprinkled here and there) for whom being transparent, open, and vulnerable is oftentimes seen as a strength within the realm of self-analyzation and personal wellness.
That has been my world for the past two and a half years. Constant talk of emotions, feelings, and searching for the depth behind them, and although it can be quite taxing from time to time, it is its own form of therapy.
Then the holidays arrive, and you’re with family. Family that you only see about 2-4 times a year, if that. You’re the only girl among 3 brothers, and truly are the most sensitive one. You are also a strange concoction of people-pleaser combined with stubborn, which is at times confounding and subsequently exhausting. And there is always so much testosterone in the room. You’ve lived with it, it’s a part of who you are…but that essential need that you have to partake in open dialogue with regard to recent disputes?
Not so fundamental to them.
So, while you’re about to burst if you can’t talk it out, be heard, or at least understood or empathized with (no “you’re right” necessary)…they’re just fine avoiding what they perceive to be an odd and slightly more mature edition of a temper tantrum. And there you are, in a bit of a bind because you HAVE to be acknowledged, you just HAVE to be supported in some fashion, or else you will implode.
Because it is an injustice, so you think, completely unfair and inhumane to not be considered. “But, bu-bu-bu-but…my feewings…” you inwardly blubber. “IT IS MY RIGHT!!” you holler at no one in particular, probably your lipstick-inscribed mirror. Those inspirational quotes are not getting you much of anywhere in this moment.
You want a human ear, and believe that it is deserved on the sole basis that you are a human being and need it for mental and emotional well being.
But is it really your right? Is that really my right? In a world where we currently have about five billion different modes through which we can share our opinions or attain feedback…is it our right to be heard? Or is it a luxury indigenous to those of us who have way too much time on our hands?