My Year To Thrive

"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style." ~Maya Angelou

A Rant About Being Told “It Could Be Worse” aka Minimizing


In matters of truth and justice, there is no difference between large and small problems, for issues concerning the treatment of people are all the same.
~Albert Einstein (Brainy Quotes)

Oh hell to the no - animated gif made from the show Glee

I found this on Tumblr, which is awful for sourcing, but going on the watermark in the corner I found a potential source.  I can’t verify this is the actual creator because it seems to be private, but I do love accurately crediting things I use, so to the best of my ability here you have it: source StephenNell

This is a bit of  a rant based on something I read yesterday evening that hit one of my triggers.  I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I wrote about it for catharsis.

I read a post where someone said they were having some struggles, but didn’t want to talk to anyone about it because, among other things, they were afraid of people minimizing their problems because other people have worse issues than they do.

I want to take a moment to give my thoughts on the issue, which is: that’s bullshit.

Pretty much however bad your problem is somebody somewhere is going to have one worse.  That in no way diminishes what you are going through.  You have every right to be as upset as you are called to feel about your problems.  There is no finite pool of misery or sadness or whatever a pool would be full of for problems & worry if one existed, so everyone can feel bad about their problems & it does not take away from people with worse problems. Of course that’s assuming you don’t put on like your problem is the worse thing in whole world & nobody else’s matters. That would also be bullshit.

I have always hated the idea that you shouldn’t worry about things because someone has it worse.  I spent a lot of time thinking about this as a child because my mother would yell at me, call me names, tell me she wished I would die or that I had never been born.  She was also prone to slapping & throwing things.  But my mother never beat me.  A lot of kids were beaten, so naturally I got the “someone has it worse than you” message.  Not from anyone specific, because of course I didn’t talk about things at home with people, but it was just the general idea I guess I picked up from all the messages on tv & from church & school, wherever there was talk of the great problems of the world: beaten & abandoned children, the starving kids in Africa, homeless people, Job & his plagues of many colors.  You get the point.  Oh yeah, & from all the people who always said “it could be worse”.  “Just be grateful you’re not one of those starving kids in Africa.”  (For younger folks, Africa, specifically Ethiopia, was the big humanitarian concern when I was growing up, & the focus of so many late night tv ads to sponsor a child.  So the majority if it could be worse scenarios were built around you could be a starving child in Africa.)

As a child I knew in my heart that attitude was wrong.  I didn’t feel any less sad about what my mother was doing because some kid in Africa was covered in flies with bony arms & a distended belly.  Being told you were lazy, worthless, & hated by the one person in the world who was supposed to love you more than anything sucked regardless of what was going on in other countries.  So yeah, I was grateful my mom didn’t beat me & I wasn’t starving & homeless, but I still had problems & every right to be upset about it & want something better.  I got to be hurt & sad & angry, & nobody got toot to say about it.

I was sexually abused as a child.  I have had the experience diminished by a therapist because I wasn’t penetrated.  So fucking what?  What happened to me still hurts & deeply affects me to this day, as does what that cunt said to me.  I have been in & out of therapy since then but I no longer bring up my sexual abuse.   The fact I wasn’t raped doesn’t mean I wasn’t scared & violated & ashamed & that I haven’t lived with the guilt all these years of knowing I didn’t tell anybody & he molested other children.

If you are hospitalized to have a toe amputated, they don’t put you in the room with someone getting their whole leg removed so you can feel lucky you’re just losing your toe.

News flash: We all get to feel our own pain & have our own problems regardless of how much worse it could have been.

Just wanted to clear that up, because it really is one of my pet peeves to hear I, or anyone, shouldn’t worry about or feel bad about something because it could be worse.  Feel your feelings & fuck anybody who tells you to let it go because it could have been worse.


Author: despitemyself

A person in flux.

6 thoughts on “A Rant About Being Told “It Could Be Worse” aka Minimizing

  1. I know this was like 6 months ago but I just came across your post and wanted to say that you rock. What you wrote touched on exactly how I have been feeling for YEARS regarding a father who was an extremely angry person and who was physically and extremely verbally abusive to me as a child. Being told as a teen that “at least it’s not sexual abuse”, was a tough thing to deal with. Minimization — that is a perfect term for it!

    Keep on keeping on!

  2. When I was going through treatment for depression for the very first time, I was told, by a couple of nuns, to look at Jesus crucified on the cross because THAT was suffering. How was I supposed to respond to that? There are times when I feel guilty for the way I react to things because they could be so much worse. I’d rather be the one telling me that, however, than having someone else minimize what I’m going through.

    • How awful:( I really hate when people act like you’re only sick because you don’t believe enough or you don’t believe the right thing, & if we would just pray about it it would all go away.

  3. Oh man I feel you! I can’t tell you how close to home this hits for me, including the childhood abuse. My parents didnt abuse me but I was abused by others, including family members and I only recently admitted such to my father. I refused to name one of the abusers because it was his father whom he worshipped, and I couldnt stand the idea of him defending that old piece of shit to me.

    Al the rest, yes. Very much yes. No one has the right to minimize your feelings. You don’t get to act like you’re the most persecuted person in the world either. Everyone deserves some respect for their feelings and support and comfort. The end.

    I heart you. Really hard.

    • *hug* We are in some really awful clubs together, lol. But know what? We’re in the Awesome Fabulous Survivors Club & that’s the one that counts! We need t-shirts & a secret handshake.

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