Conversations, Growth, Adulthood PT.2

Journal, Writing

Disclaimer: this post contains some profane language.

“The other day, something happened. My brother was calling someone who was talking about me, and that person said some things that weren’t true. Usually the way I would cope with hearing things that weren’t true about me is just cry and want to explain it to somebody almost as if I was defending myself and then having someone else validating that and then feeling better about it. And it’s fucking exhausting to do that, by the way. Just this need to feel validated constantly by someone else. Needing to hear from someone I trust ‘hey, you’re not wrong, everything’s going to be okay’. So that moment happened that other day and I was just like I can’t sit and explain to my brother and just defend myself in the way that I usually do. That’s not going to do anything anymore, there’s always going to be a certain concept about me that’s going to be engraved in people. They’re always going to believe something about who I am. It sucks but me needing to be validated by other people was just starting to make me sick like me needing to hear certain words about myself just so I could stop crying was starting to get way too exhausting. It makes me start to doubt my trust in the people that are just giving me what I want to hear and I don’t like that feeling. I don’t like feeling like I can’t trust anyone or I can’t rely on anyone, because that doesn’t really leave me another option. So you know what I did? My brother asked if I wanted to talk about it and I said, no. WOW I had never done that! I’ve always want to talk about my problems. And thats how I would get it off my chest to allegedly relieve myself. And usually that’s what would happen, I would let off the thing that’s bothering me and I move on with my life. But in that moment I realized something, that there was an engraved concept of who I was to whoever was saying those things about me. And I wanted to stop feeling like I needed to explain myself. I went to the balcony and I sat in the darkness and quite solitude of the night and spoke to myself; Fatimah you know what you’re always going to seem like you’re a useless piece of shit to person A or B. You can keep explaining yourself but if they don’t want to see how useful you are they wont. And you know what? You are useful, and it’s true remember this time and this time? And I recounted real events where I felt incredibly the opposite of whatever adjectives that were hurting me. You are valuable and you have so much worth. And I was trying to be conscious of not bringing back all good actions to just the goodness of me because that felt arrogant, stupid and pretty naive. I remember just talking to Allah, that He helped me reach these certain things that I wouldn’t have reached without Him. And that really just elevated from the shitty feeling of being called useless or worthless. And you know no one has to call you worthless for you to feel worthless, they just have to treat you that way. But what I was telling myself was so much deeper than just giving myself a pep talk. It was a ‘how can I make myself feel better?’ How can I empower myself again, without needing to explain myself to someone and have them tell me I’m good. My validation should also be valid. Over the years, my need for validation seemed to just kind of cancel out the worth of my own opinion. Sure, I’m young but I do have perspective, I have experienced shit and that shit has given me perspective and my perspective is allowed to be valuable or worth taking in. So that was really dangerous when I realized I actually haven’t allowed myself to have opinions about way too many things. And it didn’t really directly affect my everyday life, it didn’t seem dangerous that I didn’t care what color that pillow was or whatever, but it just didn’t feel correct anymore. I really needed to recognize that I had the ability to give myself my own advice because if I had a friend who was going through any of this I really think I’d be good at helping them, so why couldn’t I pull myself out of this? Someone said something bad about me and I KNOW it’s not true. I mean, I KNOW it. Why shouldn’t my opinion about that feel enough to me? It should! Yes, you are actually fine. You are valuable, you are capable of understanding these concepts, you did behave correctly here and here. And let’s say one day my opinion on the way I behaved here was wrong, well, then that’s the perfect time to ask for perspective. And I’m not saying alright let’s destroy our lives then ask for perspective, but I mean — asking for perspective, I learned, is really different from asking for validation. I think the way I would put my conscious to sleep with needing validation is I would call it me needing perspective because I’m young and I wanna make sure I’m behaving correctly but at the end of the day, it was at such a big of a cost that I was selling everything else about my own worth and value. And if I do screw up it’s not the end of the world! I think I’ll surprise myself at how much I won’t screw up. I think I’ll ask for guidance from Allah and He will help me do the right thing. And that really helped me hone in that concept a little more. Along with the idea that all that doesn’t neglect the value of people’s advice, it just means their advice finally becomes ADVICE. I can take it or leave it and I think that’s really part of me transitioning into being an adult. I think it’s a pretty thin line between just being a cocky idiot and having this ignorance or inferiority complex that, oh, she was prevented from making any choices as a kid so now she’s gone wild AND between actual wisdom, and independence. Independence that recognizes it can still struggle and that it will always need perspective and advice will be valuable to it, but it’s an independence that also understands that it’s capable of doing things by itself! It doesn’t always have to be wrong! It’s valuable and its autonomy is real. These ideas really helped me.

A really unique example of that as I started applying some of these concepts is when I started buying some stuff the other day. I’m seeing all these prices and all these designs and I felt flustered I don’t know what to get and blah blah. I remember phoning a friend and asking her hey what do you think of this certain product and she just asked me if I liked it. I told her I didn’t feel comfortable with the material. And I was just about to explain myself and say why I don’t like it or whatever and she was just like you know what, don’t buy anything you don’t want to. If it’s not comfortable for you don’t get it. And I don’t know, that was so enlightening to me. That I was allowed to feel like this wasn’t right for me. Even if the material was fine, but it was just like, I’m allowed to not feel comfortable in something and that doesn’t have to feel wrong! It sounds so stupid! But I never absorbed that concept before that the only way I was going to stop feeling guilt every time I bought something was when I bought things I wanted to get! Like I would always feel like the price was too this, or the value or quality or wear wasn’t worth the price, or whatever. So I just stopped buying stuff. And I didn’t feel like I missed out on shopping because I never cared about shopping anyways, but what was missing was TRUSTING myself. That hey, I can make a good purchase for myself. And that’s what I really needed. That idea that I don’t need to have lived for fifty eight years to know the crooks and ups and downs of economical whatever and how to save all the money and whatever. Like life is so much easier! And if I ever do make a poor choice, well that’s when I’ll learn! And I think in my head I’m just scared that I won’t learn, that I’ll be a squanderer, which can happen if one’s left to their own devises so to speak, right! But I didn’t take into perspective my actual personality that doesn’t already feel okay with squandering or hoarding. I already understand when I don’t need something, and when I want something of certain value. But my personality just needed to feel comfortable.

So basically, I’m working on making myself feel a little more comfortable.”


Friend: I think it’s incredible how you’re learning how to trust yourself now more than ever, especially during a time when you’re fighting for your independence.

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