Recently I had a discussion with a friend about needles.
I mentioned being a child and promising my mother that I wouldn’t cry “this time” when she took me in for my seasonal shots.
It’s funny because every year I would promise that and every year I would break my promise because I was scared. Not because the needle was actually already inside of me and it hurt.
Since then I have become someone who gives blood when she can, and sometimes can’t because it hasn’t been twelve months since her last tattoo.
It doesn’t hurt anymore.
I’ve come to realize that pain is a matter of opinion. Someone who hated needles as kids could easily grow out of it, though there are those people who still can’t handle them.
It’s the same with anything people find painful. Usually when you’re a kid you find things more painful than you would as an adult. Probably through experience but more likely because the emotional pain of life sometimes becomes more painful than the physical pain.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how sometimes when people express that they are hurting emotionally we don’t take it as seriously as physical pain and we write it off.
When I was a kid I would run around and scrape my knees and twist my ankles and just basically throw caution to the wind when it came to taking care of my body.
As I’ve grown up, the physical pain has never measured up to the emotional hurts that I’ve received.
I’ve been rejected, called names, been judged because of beliefs, done things to myself I can’t take back, let others take advantage, etc.
No physical pain that I’ve ever been through will hurt more than the emotional trauma I carry around with me everyday.
So sometimes when people see others in pain, they don’t necessarily see it. Do you know what I mean?
They don’t see someone with trigger words, or boundaries, or fears of being involuntarily touched. They only see if someone’s bleeding, or limping, or in a cast.
People can write off emotional pain as if it doesn’t matter. But that’s their opinion. Obviously it’s going to matter to the person who is going through it.
So maybe instead of shying away from people when they express emotional hurts, unstability, or scars, we decide to stay and listen.
We decide to acknowledge we shouldn’t say certain things around certain people. Maybe we ask before putting our arms around someone.
We stay and let them express what’s truly hurt them in their life.
Don’t write them off because they aren’t bleeding.
Pain is a matter of opinion.
Just because you don’t think something would hurt someone, doesn’t mean that it wont.