If your Google search history is full of questions that begin with “how to tell your therapist…”, we understand each other. If you nod your head for three-fourths of a story, but always feel defeated by the ending, same. If you refrain from sharing your experiences because there is no possible way anyone could understand them anyway, rest assured that I understand.
With as many people as there are out there sharing their stories with the world, it seems like it would be impossible to have to feel completely alone these days. What happens, though, when you can’t find anyone else who shares that one oddly specific experience you have had? You think to yourself, “out of 8 billion people, I can’t be the only one”, as you continue to adjust the wording you type into Tumblr, Youtube, Google, etc.
When you finally do take a deep breath and initiate the conversation with your friend, she is speechless. You might as well crawl back into a hole at that point because she just confirmed that you are in fact, alone.
You tell yourself that it’s a good thing that nobody else has had to feel this kind of pain. You take comfort in knowing “better me than somebody else”. You begin to wonder if maybe you haven’t heard about this sort of thing because you are the only one who has actually survived it. You tell yourself you are just stronger than the rest. You begin to entertain thoughts such as “maybe no one is talking about it because it’s not actually a big deal.” That must be it.
If you have sat awake at night, begging the universe to show you that you are not alone, know that I have too. I try to remind myself that no two stories are going to be identical. Sometimes it’s helpful. Other times, it’s not. Sometimes, it just sucks. You have to use your own words to tell your story. You have nothing to point to and say “this is how I feel”. As inspiring and comforting as it can be to watch other women band together to tell their stories, to take comfort in each other, it can make you feel more alone than ever. I’m happy for those who have found peace in knowing they are not alone. But some of us haven’t quite gotten to know that feeling yet.
If you can relate to not being able to relate, I am just so sorry.