Do We Need More Validation Because of IBD?

I have been thinking a lot about validation and why it is so important to me. Maybe too important, to be honest.

It is common for all of us to want the approval of others. With social media so prevalent in our lives, many of us also care about the opinions of strangers or “online family.” We often measure the latter by likes, comments, shares, and/or the number of followers or friends we have on social media platforms.

 I feel a huge need for those people close to me to validate my feelings, thoughts, actions and opinions.

Not all of the time, but in certain situations. For example, when I am in a disagreement with a loved one, I try very hard to show the other person that I understand their side. I may not agree with their stance on something but I do my best to bring up things about the person’s past (if relevant) and tie it all into the conversation taking place. I do that because it is how I would want someone to approach me.

I do tend to go on a little too much sometimes in an effort to get the person I am communicating with to grasp the fact that I am trying my hardest to see the situation from their point of view. Because I always have that on my mind, I expect the same thing in return. When I don’t get that back, it upsets me. It makes me doubt myself in some cases. It also frustrates me because I try so hard to validate someone else's actions or experiences so when someone else fails to do that for me, I often wonder if they see my side at all, or if they think any of the points I am trying to make have any merit.

I am thinking of one person in particular right now who actually said “F Validation” to me during an argument. This was said to me after I spent quite a bit of time letting him/her know that I acknowledge and understand where this person was coming from. This left me wondering why I couldn’t get this person to even validate one thing I said. I couldn’t get him/her to even thank me for trying my hardest to get it from the other side, which was difficult, trust me. ; )

Anyway, this has come up a good amount over the past year and it has made me think more deeply about the topic. It has made me question why I need validation from certain people. It has also made me wonder why it is not enough for me to know that I am making good points or bringing up things that do matter.

This is what I have come up with…

I personally do not feel like a situation or argument with someone is over to the point where I can move on and let it go until I feel like the other person at least gets where I am coming from. They don’t have to agree with me but at least acknowledge my side. If my side isn’t acknowledged, then I have no reason to believe the situation won’t come up again.

I think being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis (UC) at such a young age has really caused me to have a lot of self esteem issues.

Not only from the usual things that people who suffer from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have to deal with directly (ex. body image issues), but more than that. Throughout my life, I have had to explain myself more times than anyone should in order to get someone to believe me. I know that is the case for so many of you living with Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis.

Having an invisible, chronic illness that many people don’t understand is exhausting for so many reasons. One of which is that someone either has to trust everything you say about your body as fact, or you are stuck trying to get rid of the doubts that some may have about how truly ill you are.

There have been so many times in my life that my family and doctors didn’t believe me, which only caused me to doubt myself. I even had a teacher who insisted that I was faking to get out of a test because I looked fine. It is awful to live a life where barely anyone understands what it is you are going through. It can make you feel like you are complaining for no reason. It has led me to believe that things were all in my head, when it absolutely was not.

I could go on but I think you get the gist.

Living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can cause a lot of issues that go far beyond the physical.

I wanted to bring up my need for validation in certain situations because it has been on my mind for quite some time. I hope any of you reading this who can relate in some way knows that you are not alone. I also want to let you guys know that needing to know other people understand you or your side of things is a very “normal” thing to want in your life. There is nothing wrong with you for needing a little extra validation because of some of your past experiences.

However, it is important to remind yourself (and I need to do this too) that not everyone thinks that way. Not everyone feels a need to show you they understand it. Some people feel that some things go without saying. Meaning, there is no need to state the obvious. While that honestly pisses me off to hear, I am trying to continue to work on being more secure with who I am.

Can any of you relate? Have any tips? I would love to hear them!

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