Originally written by my amazing friend Wendy Madrigga. ❤
“I recently posted this piece to a members only special interest website and got a massive response from there. So much so, that it was and is among the most popular things on the site atm. Because it’s members only, I can’t link it but I figured I’d post it here to see if the response was remotely similar. The point of this post is to promote open, honest, respectful dialogue, but dialogue nonetheless. Thanks for taking the time to read. No offense is intended and it’s not directed at any one person or situation. There is also some language in it so read with caution.
I Am Sorry My Sadness Makes You Uncomfortable
I’m not “fine”. I’m not even okay and I’m certainly not good. What’s worse is that I haven’t felt that I have the right to feel anything less than “okay”. I have felt as if I don’t have the right to feel sad. I have been shamed for feeling sad. I have been invalidated in such rudimentary ways that I have not allowed myself to simply feel through it. I have come out the other end of it angry, spiteful, worn out, uninspired and sad, yes, I’m fucking SAD and that is not a dirty word.
There is a common inability in the society that I’ve been brought up in, to openly and without judgment, feel what we’re feeling. The question “How are you” has become, as predicted in the novel “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley, a re-fashioned “hello” that seems more empathetic but only serves to disconnect us from each other’s emotions further. We’re literally uncomfortable with public and/or open displays of “negative” emotion. Yet, we all feel them, experience them, live through them, sometimes over and over at varying points on varying levels in a day. What makes us so uncomfortable with emotions that require acknowledgement and nurturing?
Yet we watch people, at a safe distance away, from behind our computer screens, like a theatre screen, experiencing their own personal turmoil and we consider it entertainment. So, it’s okay for me to fall apart on youtube, as long as there is some entertainment value in it and it’s not interactive, but no one wants to get their “hands dirty” dealing with potential fall out? Oh those sticky, icky, gross emotions. Who wants to deal with that, right? Isn’t there a spot remover for that? Well, there’s definitely a pill.
Maybe we don’t need a pill. Maybe we need to know that it’s okay to not be okay sometimes. Being sad and feeling pressure to hold it together for the sake of other people’s comfort is complete bullshit. I have done far more crying behind closed doors than I can stand in the last while, for the sake, of course, of other people’s discomfort. Yes, it’s bubbling over. It usually does. Am I a melancholy person, who doesn’t have ever changing emotions? Of course not. No one is. I am equal parts happy, exuberant, enthusiastic, funny, light hearted, passionate and several other “happy” or “positive” connoted feelings.
As far as I’m concerned, what we should be ashamed of, rather than these raw, natural, normally occurring human emotion, is the inability to sit with other people’s sadness and hurt and be there for them—the fact that we require these things be done behind closed doors. Yet, look at what we do publicly these days. But as soon as someone feels something that isn’t “positive”? Now that’s just ridiculous!
What’s worse is that I’m terrified to post this. I’m terrified of the judgment, of the criticism, of the aspersions that people will cast on my feeling sad. On the one hand, I’m terrified, but on the other, I know it will be freeing and also, fuck those who can’t handle it. I’m fucking sad right now. I’m sorry that makes you uncomfortable. But I’m not sorry I feel it. I’m just sorry you seem to lack the ability to process the emotions of others in a healthy, meaningful way. I’m sorry for you, the you’s of the world and I’m sorry that your life experience is so shallow. I’m fucking sad. I wish I wasn’t, just as much, probably more, than you. And it makes me uncomfortable too, in case you were wondering.
Respectfully, do not re-post or copy paste or anything similar without my permission. This is my writing, my work and you do not have my permission to do so. You can inbox me if you’d like to quote it but you do need to approach me first. (this was added because of the sheer volume of people requesting to repost elsewhere. Yes, that’s the reception it got).”