• Jeimmy Grace

Too personal to be me

  It's getting too old for me to be mad at things or at people I can't control (not that I ever wish to control anyone). I guess what I'm saying is, as I get older, as I educate myself more in mental health and self-care, I have learned that instead of shouting back at those who shout at me or responding with sassy comments to someone that's getting in my business, I simply get up and walk away. I had a conversation with my mother who admitted that she was ashamed of me. I made her aware that by me walking away from unhealthy situations meant that I was protecting myself and my mental health in my journey to being a better person rather than staying and creating a bigger unwanted and unnecessary situation. 

  Then after that, I had a conversation with my brother who said I was the kind of person that expected people to drop what they were doing just for me. This comment came about because my father let me down on fathers day and decided to go out of town while I was coming into town with the delusional notion that I would get to spend my first father's day with him. Not only was it my best friend and cousin's graduation party from Sac State. It was also Father's Day the next day. 

  My cousins accomplishments were validated and celebrated while I got shit faced and cried until my false lashes were hanging by a mere piece of glue from my eye lids. and this is where I go into the real topic of this blog. Validation. To someone like my brother whose had the privilege of spending every Father's Day with our father was just another day. For me, it was a very special moment. It was the first Father's Day where I wouldn't have to text him, I would actually get to be there with him. Still, the special feeling was invalidated.

  My gift to my father was so special to me because I wanted him to see that even though I didn't have the same privilege that my brother had every year, I always held a special place for him in my heart. I still remember like it was yesterday, the time he got home from work in his green Toyota Tacoma or maybe it was a Chevy S10. He was holding up a news paper, near by were a group of small birds eating from the ground on the sidewalk. My dad threw the newspaper in the air, it was like it was raining newspapers and the next thing I knew he was presenting me with one of the small birds that had been eating near by. He had caught it with his bare hands. I saw my dad as literally an invincible hero after that. Like Captain Mexico instead of Captain America lol. I had that bird for days that is until my neighbor crushed it behind the couch when the bird flew away from her hands in her apartment and landed behind the couch. 

  As devastating as that was, it was actually a beautiful memory for me. It was so disappointing to be painted as a bossy sassy pants by my brother for he did not know how I felt, what it meant for me to be there with my dad on such a special day. I was suppose to "get over it" and move on. and in part I did. I drank myself silly the day of my cousin's graduation party just to hide how upset I was that my feelings were so invalidated. If only he knew enough to understand that if it's in his personal belief that it wasn't a big deal, he certainly cannot come close to understanding being inside my head or my feelings enough to validate them and that I was not to be told that the sadness I felt was invalidated. It was not even that my father left on such a day but the lack of sympathy and support I received from my own brother was devastating. It was enough that my mom is ashamed of me but it sucked so much that my dad too was not there. and to add insult to injury, neither was my blood brother. 

   In my mental health class it is demonstrated how difficult it is to be of support in these areas to your own family then it is to a stranger. Let alone to a family that isn't even American. They can't understand what it's like to live with OCD and anxiety from someone whose lived some fucked up trauma, let alone abandonment. Don't invalidate me. Don't invalidate my doctors. Don't invalidate who I'm becoming. Don't invalidate anyone. Ever.

   This is a message to everyone who is reading this. Don't invalidate anyone's feelings. If you don't know how to be of support, say so. Maybe they can teach you or maybe they won't. but guess what? We have something more powerful that can help us in the journey of being a great support friend, mother, sister, uncle, etc. and that's called the internet. Learn about what troubles your loved ones and then learn how you can validate their feelings and support them to empower them instead of making them feel like they have to hang themselves from their closet just to make a point. Which in the end solves nothing and you are left wondering what you could have done to prevent this. It all starts with mental health. 

  There are still so many barriers to break down, so many stigmas to break through. and I'm so lucky to have found such a great support group, a great mental health training program,  a phenomenal best friend (Vero), my beautiful loving church and Pastor Pancho. All who have contributed to me being a better person, a better listener, a better member in society. I am submerging myself in helping others through mental health. I am still learning patience, I am still learning to depersonalize things that are said to me that are unhealthy. I'm no longer waiting to hear what I've longed for my mother to say "I'm proud of you". I know I am someone to be proud of, I know I am valuable. I find great comfort in knowing that I've helped someone else, that I get to work alongside people who have the same mission in breaking those stigmas. because with all due respect it's way too personal to be me. 


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