No one can tell me what I think and how I feel. I avoid anyone who tries to. It’s very invalidating to be told you “shouldn’t feel that way” when you’ve shared a feeling. Being told you don’t know your own mind, preferences, or believes is even worse. It’s a terrible feeling when this happens. It’s like being told you aren’t even smart enough to understand what you see, hear, feel, and think for yourself. I remember being told I was “too young to have a headache” when I shared that my head hurt. I wasn’t sure what to do with the information that I couldn’t possibly have a head ache when I had just said I did, in fact, have a head ache–and it really hurt (no aspirin for me though because I couldn’t possibly have a headache). I guess that made me a liar too. Not only is it invalidating it makes you question yourself at a basic level. Another example is being told I don’t want something that I have gone to a store to purchase. Inevitably this happens when what I am seeking is not available in that particular store. I’ve even been told point blank, “no, you really don’t want that”. I spent much of my childhood and early adult hood denying my favorite colors because I was told at an early age that my choice of favorite colors were not acceptable “purple and red don’t go together”. Okay, so I can’t like purple and red–my bad (although I didn’t really mean together). Over time it started to annoy me and then outrage me. Who in the world knows what I think, want, like, and believe better than I do? I’ve had men tell me minutes after meeting me how I did not know how to take care of myself or I “needed them”. Really? It seems to me I’ve taken care of more people than has ever taken care of me. It always gets turned around very quickly once I’m convinced someone needs to take care of me. Yes, I’ve been a fool. If you are ever tempted to challenge someone when they’ve shared with you a personal believe, opinion, feeling, or preference–don’t–just don’t!