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Monday 23 May 2022

#MondayBlogs - #OpenLetter Dear Nayomi

May 23, 2022 0 Comments

Dear Nayomi,

Hope you are doing well.

By the time you will be mature enough to understand this letter, I don’t think, you will even remember me. However, that is not going to stop me from writing to you today.

I hope your mom reads this letter to you or lets you read it by yourself when you are old enough to understand.

I know it seems weird to believe for kids that their parents were also their age once. Like you, I was a five-year-old girl once... lost, clueless and unable to communicate properly, desperately looking for a cocoon.

However, I didn’t get it. What I did get was criticism (not constructive), labels (in the 90s, most people did not know what to call someone who was different. So they just called me problematic, crazy, mad, etc...), and last but not the least, shame and guilt.

People drove my mother crazy with such talks, and most of the time they came from so-called family members and well-wishers.

I feel so much pain to admit this, but my mother was not able to cope with the immense criticism for her daughter, especially, when her elder daughter was the so-called good girl. Hence, what I received from her is beating, shaming and criticism.

And because my mother did this to me, I had no other option than to believe that I was problematic.

This all killed the creative, imaginative kid, and gave born to a very insecure child. And what I did to hide that insecurity, was be naughtier, reject all forms of institutionalised education, try to find comfort in my pain and tell myself I am not good.

It took me a lot of time (around 15 years), to come to terms with my uniqueness, my creativity, and the beauty of my imagination. I accept the fact that I am not like most other people and I love that about myself. And I have people in my life who love me because of all the things that make me different.

I am not ashamed or guilty to be myself. I am straightforward, blunt and have the guts to tell someone the truth to their face.

AND, I will not accept anything less than someone who accepts me unconditionally.

You are very young my dear.

Don’t let those bullies get the best of you, embrace your creativity, and don’t hide behind aggression and aloofness to mask your insecurities.

You have been criticized for things that are not wrong, like the way you sit and talk. You are from a multilingual family, and it is normal for kids from such families to speak a little late as they are coping with two or more languages.

People who criticize you do not want a child, they want a puppet to control and you are no one’s marionette.

I know for sure, that one day you will overcome all this. Embrace your choices, and move towards what makes you happy. You are blessed with an amazing mother who is trying her best to give you the childhood you deserve.

Be you Nayomi, be the best version of you. 

With Lots of Love and Affection,

Piu Aunty

Monday 9 May 2022

#MondayBlogs - You are too sensitive!

May 09, 2022 1 Comments

Have you ever been told - ‘You are too sensitive’ by people you consider as friends and family? That you over-react to things and situations?

If your answer is yes, then this post is for you.

If you have said it to someone close to you, then this post is for you too!

I went into therapy after I separated from my husband to be able to manage my depression, hyper anxiety and panic attacks. And man, did that open a pandora’s box. I discovered that I am an empath. That is also when someone told me that it is not good to be an empath because empaths give too much of themselves to and for others. That I should seek therapy to learn how to ‘turn it off’. And seek did I… Not to learn to ‘turn it off’ but to understand it. 

Granted, why I am an empath doesn’t have a glamorous backstory to it. In fact it is downright sad. But what I now say is, Empathy is my super power, and no super hero ever had an origin story filled with rainbows and unicorns, neither is mine.

Being an empath means that I feel strongly and deeply. Not only that, I also absorb the energies around me, whether positive or negative, and often lock it in my body. At first, it was extremely difficult for me to understand what part of what I am feeling is my own and what part of it is something I am picking up from the people around. I struggle with that still, but I am trying to learn to control it, so that I do not have to feel overwhelmed and exhausted all the time.

It took me a lot of therapy to understand that being able to feel deeply and strongly is not a sign of weakness. My feelings and emotions are my own and nobody has the right to tell me what to feel or how to feel or how much to feel. 

In the past have been told that I am too sensitive and that I over-react far too many times. 

Sometimes from a well meaning friend who wished me well, but mostly from people trying to gaslight me (and succeeding) in order to avoid taking a look at their own actions. To the point where I started taking it as a personal character flaw and beat myself over it till I was exhausted. I started wondering if it would be so much better if I did not care at all.

That is, till I was was prescribed anti-depressants and I spent a week feeling nothing. 

When I am happy, I feel that strongly too. I laugh. I dance. I celebrate and I am loud. Nobody complains then or tell me that I am over reacting… because everyone loves to have a good time. Yet, when I feel sad or hurt or betrayed, I am told I am being too sensitive and over reacting because it is too much work to even consider that I am human, I have a heart, may be hurt and I have a right to feel however I feel.

Photo Credit: Brighter Places

If you are someone who has told people that they are too sensitive, take a moment and consider… why does it bother you that someone cares and feels?

Take a moment to stop and think what you are really doing by invalidating someone’s feelings.

I want you to think why do YOU feel the need to invalidate someone else’s feelings and what does it actually do for YOU?

Chances are that you are avoiding to take a look at you own behaviour or statements.
Chances are that the sensitive person in your life is absorbing your energies and putting it back up as a mirror to you.
Chances are that you are the one who doesn’t have the capacity to understand what you are putting the other person through.

Maybe, it is time for you to take a look inward rather than outward. 

For those of you who have been told these gaslighting statements, remember that empathy is not a bad thing. Being sensitive is not a problem that needs to be cured. We need more of it in the world - the feelings, the understanding and the want to help instead of stone cold indifference & destruction.

If someone says these things to you, look at it for what they are. BIG RED FLAGS. The person saying these things maybe saying these to make you doubt yourself so that their actions are not closely looked at. They may even be manipulating you unknowingly - but that is what it is in the bottomline - manipulation.

Being a sensitive person in today’s world is a blessing to the rest of the population. We understand exactly. We care. And we are human. 

So, next time someone tells you that you are too sensitive… own it ‘coz you feel and care when others don’t. That makes you a much better person. We could all do with more understanding and sensitivity!