Scared to cry

I can remember the moment I was told my mother had cancer. I was about 14/15, I was in my moms bedroom, and my Aunt was on the phone. I tried to hold back, but I was overwhelmed by the thought that my mom was going to die. I bawled. I felt embarrassed for crying.

I’ve been told all of my life that my extreme, and normal, feelings were invalid. I was told to stop crying, that it’s not that bad, etc. And I carry this invalidation with me, everywhere I go. I am reluctant to cry in front of people to this day. I go numb. It took me at least a year to do so in front of my therapist, and I still find myself holding back.

Emotional invalidation is reprehensible behavior. You are telling someone their feelings are bullshit, so don’t have them. Emotions are 100% natural and bottling them up causes immeasurable damage.