Do you ever sometimes think, “I’d love to go back to my younger self and let her/him know that it’s all gonna be OK”? I do, sometimes, but then I stop wishing for the opportunity. Why? I needed to learn for myself that I’m good just as I am/was.

Me today, living my best life!

Let me take you back a bit. I am a sensitive person. A “heart on my sleeve” kinda gal. I always was. Growing up, however, that was very much frowned upon. Crying was met with anger and yelling and more anger and as a result, more crying. Strong feelings were met with, “Stop being so dramatic!” I was shamed and laughed at by pretty much everyone growing up, except for my Grandmother. I was made fun of repeatedly. As a result, I never felt safe or free to be myself, which ironically came out as crying and me showing emotions when I couldn’t hold them in any more. I had suicidal thoughts at the age of nine, NINE! I was an insomniac. When I had an emotion about pretty much anything in the negative, I learned to hold that shit in. Survival skills. Childhood was pretty much a hellscape for me.

Always looking out for me and others. Sensitivty trait!

As the years went by, I got WAY better at holding in my true feelings. I could and can, still smile my way through just about anything. I dated an emotional and psychological abuser for two years. During that time, I was sent to therapy to deal with my “crying problem”. The family and the boyfriend felt I needed to be “fixed”. So glad everyone was on board. Goddess Bless that therapist when I told her why I was there. What she must have thought! Either that, or she thought, “Lord help me, another casualty of Southern upbringing.” Either way, she helped me see that I wasn’t the one with the problem. She has science to back her up, too! Some people just “are” this way. Not crazy, not unhinged, they just “are”. When you get to remove the label of “crazy” from yourself, rip off that scarlet letter, things get infinitely better. They did for me. I left the boyfriend. I stopped listening to the family taunts and ridicule. I think that therapy plan might have backfired on them a bit. Heh.

When I go back to where I grew up (I do not consider that place home. Home is where I am now.), things inevitably will end up with a moment, a story, a jab at my personality wherein I have to smile through it. I’m a grown-ass woman now, but I fall back on that. Old habits die hard. Recently however, I’ve started to talk-back, which is weird for everyone involved. “You are so dramatic!” “You’d be a great actress!” “Don’t be so sensitive!” “You’ve always been too sensitive.” I clap-back with sensitive-splain of, “Well, actually there is no such thing as being ‘too sensitive’. I’m just too sensitive for your comfort.” or “My feelings are genuine, and I’m so sorry you have a problem with that.” It throws them right off their game! It’s awesome.

Now, free to be a dork when I’m feeling it.

I’m not writing this as some kind of revenge post. I don’t have the need to do that at all. My feelings for the boyfriend are non-existent. He was a very small bump in the road. Inconsequential. As for others, Goddess Bless them, they are doing the best they can. Also, they don’t read my stuff, so I do not expect fallout. My Dad apologized to me in full ages before he passed on. We had the best relationship with lots of hugs, and yes, tears! Most importantly, trust and lots and lots of laughter right up to the end.

I’m writing this to let any of you know that if you feel like this is you, you aren’t alone. You aren’t nuts. You aren’t wrong. You aren’t dramatic. You are sensitive. You have the best listening skills. You are the best caregivers. You are super creative. You have heart, baby!

I recommend this article if you want to read a bit more on the subject.

This realization and gained self-awareness was a huge step on my path to living my best life. I hope that I helped you a bit today in illuminating that path for you. Take care.

Kim Henderson McAndrew is a mom, cosplayer, blogger for inplainsight.style, model, warrior for body confidence and positivity, unicorn believer and a huge nerd.

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