Don’t you dare…

Unless you’ve walked a mile in my shoes, unless you are me, you have no right to tell me about the validity of my Feelings.

You have no idea how dark or cloudy the view is from where I’m standing.

You have no idea the depths I’ve stared into, the monsters I have to beat back, the emotional scar tissue that’s built on my soul… the things I deal with at all times.

At. All. Times.

You have no idea how alone I’ve been. You’ll never understand.

And you’ll never know how alone you’ve made me feel, even when you thought you were being welcoming or negating my sadness.

You have no idea what walls you built between us, criticizing others, oblivious to the fact that I was more like them than like you.

You have no idea the hurt you caused me when you hated those like me.

You have no idea what I’ve faced and never told.

You have no idea about the scars, the bruises, the emptiness, and the memories of them that I’ll always have.

If you were stress-tested, heat-cured, pressurized the ways I’ve been, you would have broken. Don’t treat me like I’m being overly-sensitive when you’ve never lived a DAY as me.

You have no idea what kind of storms I’ve weathered.

Until you feel the weight of my life crushing your sternum, your soul, your very will to live the way it crushes mine… until you’ve spent even ONE DAY in my body, carrying that weight…

Until you know the effort it takes to answer the phone… Until you know what it’s like to have a white-knuckle grip on the mask of OK-ness just to make it through ONE meal, ONE afternoon… Until you know what it’s like to have a tiny scrap of happiness that you don’t trust with anyone, that you HAVE to protect against all those who you’re obligated to be around who have picked away at your happiness in the past…

Until you know the crushing reality of living a constant balance between self-loathing and self-reliance… when you’re angry at yourself for holding onto a past that did nothing but hurt you, all the while trying to let it go and find the reconciliation and happiness that can only come from within…

You have no idea how battle-tested I am, nor the resentment I feel for having fought them. And, frankly, I resent you for never having had to fight, then offering your judgement and assumptions about my experience.

Your life has nothing to do with me.

Your perspective is not mine.

Your opinion is neither requested nor necessary.

You have no idea.