I always think that my problems, insecurities and past damage caused by other people and myself mean that I’m the only one allowed to say they’re fucked up. I’m the person who probably tries to story one up people when talking about past trauma to make other people realize that maybe they really don’t have it that bad.
But doing that to the others in my life is wrong. I am being an asshole by trying to make other people feel better by comparing my damage with theirs. Why? Because we’re all completely and utterly fucking damaged just in unique ways.
We’re all brought into this world as hopeful infants. We are a clean slate just waiting to get its first crack because unfortunately, cracks are inevitable. I wish I could say that there are people in this world who never have to know what pain feels like but that’s simply just not the case. It’ll never be the case.
Everyone’s situation is different. We grow up differently. We find ourselves differently. So, while all of our stories have different paths, we all can claim we’re fucked up. We can all stand on rooftops and shout about our suffering. We can all try to outdo each other on who’s more screwed up.
Or we could just start empathizing with each other.
How great would that be? Instead of telling someone how terribly you’re feeling and them coming back with their own story of miserableness, they just empathize with you. Maybe they don’t fully understand exactly what you’re going through but they can just sit there with you in your pain and just be there.
Isn’t that the best? When someone is just there. They’re not there to tell you what you did wrong or what you can do to fix your broken pieces; they’re just there. And that’s all that matters. We all need someone to be there through the hard shit and just stick around after it’s over. It sounds simple, doesn’t it? But finding those people isn’t.
We want to fix everyone else’s life because we love them. What we don’t realize is this need to repair someone else’s damage is really a way to deflect from our own. It’s way easier to try to tell someone else what to do with their life than focusing on our own. Hell, it’s also a shit ton less painful.
I’m not special or unique or exceptional. Maybe that’s the hardest lesson for all of us to learn. None of us are really that special. Our lives are just different. We all want so badly to say ‘no no you don’t understand my pain is WAY worse than yours’ in an attempt to feel a weird version of ‘special’.
So, I’m fucked up, dear God am I fucked up. But my screwed up and broken doesn’t mean it’s more or less than yours.
Because my dear, we’re all fucked up in our own special ways. How lucky is that?
Originally posted on Thought Catalog.