My memories are valid even if they “taint” yours.

Hypothetical: We are at the park. You are out having a nice run. I am taking photographs. A man comes up to me and starts cursing at me for photographing a bird for no particular reason. I get very upset over what has happened and come and find you. You just had a great run. You are feeling super. You discount my encounter because you don’t want it to ruin your nice time. I’m not trying to ruin your nice time I am just relaying what happened to me at the same time at the park.

We get home. You don’t want to talk about what happened to me or if I am still upset and in fact ignore that I am upset. You even say you don’t want me to ruin your moment of happiness by tainting it with my moment of sadness. You refuse to accept that I was upset. You continue to talk about your run and how it was the greatest run of your life and how you’ll never forget your great run at the park.

Our memories are our own. But they do involve other people and other situations that can be going on simultaneously. If you pretend that my memory does not exist because it ruins your memory then you are conditional. My memory exists as part of me. And to be unconditional that memory needs to be validated and heard. It does not take away from your good memory. It very simply validates that my memory at the same time you had your memory we were not experiencing the same feelings.

This is put in simplistic term for those who have no idea how invalidating it can be to disregard someone’s trauma. This fake experience was not a trauma. But still deserved to be heard. In place of that put trauma. Do you know how painful it is to have someone tell you they don’t want their memories somehow corrupted with the truth of what was simultaneously going on with you that included sheer horror?

Keep your memories. But mine exist too. Loving me means accepting that.

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