Dangerous Compassions

my feelings are valid

My feelings are valid, but that’s a newish realization.  I didn’t always know that.  I was looking at this art meme by western_nectar, feeling emotions roll around inside me.

“You’ve got a lot of nerve not living up to the version of you in my head,” the hot lady says.  She is Black and thin, with long, curly hair.  She’s lying on a bed, wearing a red thong.  Tears come from her eyes, as she looks at a red phone from decades ago.

I think someone she loved has disappointed her, and her heart is broken.  But rather than blame the other person for hurting her, the meme is blaming her for having an unrealistic expectation.

I keep seeing this idea in the instagram posts I happen upon.  It’s supposed to be woke, about personal responsibility for the role we play in our own harm.  Something in me responds positively, with recognition.  But mostly I respond with indignant resistance because it’s blaming the victim.


The sociopath wants you to think the mistakes are all yours.  He’s never wrong, for his behavior–you’re the wrong one for having expectations.  He’s not wrong for fucking around with your life and your emotions–you’re wrong for having feelings about it.

Trying to do something collaborative is not going to work, if the other person is doing the bare minimum to retain the connection and continue using you.  They’re not playing with the same rules as you and me.  Love, care, and being real aren’t their goal–all that is optional.  If you feel used, that’s because you are.

What nerve, to see the truth and get free.  You can’t love a sociopath hard enough to turn them into a non-sociopath.  It’s something way bigger than you.

I never demanded perfection–I was kind, patient, assumed the best, and gave everything.  But the sociopath thinks any criticism equals demanding perfection.  He sucks up love, but any need the other person has is smothering him.  He avoids conversations, but the other person is bad for wanting one.  And he believes his own lies.  It’s creepy!


I like this meme as an alternative.  It’s by a queer artist the_papa_artist and much better represents my experience and world view.

A person of color who is fat like me holds up the bird with both hands.  “Fuck whoever said you’re oversensitive,” the meme tells us.

Yes, I am valid.  My needs are ok, my feelings make sense, and I’m not compromising who I am, to bend for people who don’t care or just use everyone.  I don’t feel guilty for having emotions.  I don’t push down my feelings for the convenience of grown men who never learned how to do relationship, communicate, or be real.

my feelings are valid

Thank you for seeing my compare and contrast of these memes.  Both have a cleverness and an appeal.  Both are colorful and include tears.  They both feature femmes, and there’s an edginess to the appealing clarity about social pain.

But I prefer the one that will help me empower myself and believe in myself.  My feelings are valid.

Everyone who told me when I was a kid and teenager that I’m overly sensitive, as I choked back tears in their classroom or living room.  Everyone who told me as an adult that I’m over-reacting, don’t make sense, my needs are not possible to meet, or I’m too difficult, can go fly a kite.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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