Emotional Pain Or Physical Pain Can Both Hurt Equally As Much

Emotional Pain Or Physical Pain Can Both Hurt Equally As Much

How do we even measure "hurt"? How do we measure "pain"?
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What is pain? I know that it is a feeling, and I know that it is dependent on a stimulus such as getting hit by a car or finding out that your loved one died. When you think of pain you are probably thinking of physical pain, not emotional.

But really what is it?

Physical pain is easy to see. You have a bruised knee after falling. Your body reacts to chemotherapy resulting in hair loss or other symptoms.

Physical pain is also not so easy to see. Headaches or Fibromyalgia, for instance. You can't see this pain but it still hurts.

Emotional pain can be seen. You are crying and flush from failing a test. Emotional pain is easier to hide. Staring blankly at walls, or shoving all your emotions so deep that you appear to be in no pain at all.

Okay, what about how it feels?

Physical pain can be burning, stinging, dull and achy or sharp and stabbing.

The emotional pain feels like the inability to move because your brain says "what's the point" or "it's not safe". It is the burning behind your eyes trying to bury the tears. It is the dull achy pain of not being able to close your eyes at night or the sharp stabbing pain of a panic attack inside a grocery store that hits you like a heart attack.

How do we even measure "hurt"?

When you go to the doctor from a torn muscle, they will assess the damage and give it a degree. If you go to the emergency room they will have you rate the pain on a 1-10 scale for everything that hurts. They will come up with a plan to heal your pain, whether it's physical therapy or something else as an intervention.

When you are in emotional pain, you don't get to go to the emergency room because you are feeling emotional pain. They will ask you if you are harming or thinking about harming yourself. They look to place physical symptoms to an emotional problem in order for it to be serious. Emotional pain cannot be measured unless it has physical amplitude.

How do other people validate your pain?

After a car accident, people look at the damages and the first thing they ask you is "are you hurt?" The adrenaline in your body is in overdrive and you are going to be okay. The airbag was there. If you were physically injured, an ambulance will come and take you to the hospital to be evaluated.

After a car accident, people look at the damages and tell you that you are lucky you didn't get hurt. But you can't explain to them the pain that comes from being disappointed or ashamed that it was your fault. You were going to fast. You did not slow down. You totaled the vehicle. You are hurt...

What about the stigma?

No one tells people with cancer to "shake it off". What about people who have major depression? Or other mental health issues? Why aren't they given the same courtesy.

Which one hurts worse?

It is up to you to decide.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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I'm Okay and Here's Why

Rape victims are THE victims and stop telling them that they aren't.

tzsandu
tzsandu
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I was in old sweatpants and the same hoodie that I have worn for the past 3 days. I didn't have a single drop of makeup on. I was a senior in high school with one month left so this specific appearance choice was very common.

Senior year of high school was a joke because the only thing I was interested in was graduating. You want me to pay attention? No thank you, I have texts to respond to. I had been talking to this guy from a different school for only a few days, but you know teenage girls... I was already planning our wedding. He had texted me in the middle of a school day asking if I wanted to hang out afterward.

Of course, I said yes. We met at Panera around 3:30 PM on a very dreary April afternoon. We only sat there for ten minutes before he asked me, "do you want to come meet my parents?" Again, my teenage self was jumping inside. So I said yes because I have to tell his parents about the upcoming wedding.

He drove me to his house. We walked inside and his parents were not home. He acted as if he already knew that they were not going to be home. Something in me became nervous. I have never been alone with a boy before in an empty house. Yeah, I know that I was 18, but my parents were very strict, which I should have not taken for granted.

"It doesn't look like my parents are home and I doubt that they will be for a few hours," he said to me. He continued with "do you want to watch a movie?" I agreed and we started to watch Zoolander. Not even five minutes into the movie, he started to make sexual gestures towards me. I kept saying, "please stop." He would apologize and try it again.

This happened for a good ten minutes. After one more attempt at trying to stop him, he just ended up pinning me down onto the couch. I started screaming and yelling. He told me that no one was home and that I am wasting my breath. I will save the details because I am sure you all know what happened next. When he was done, my voice was gone. He hopped off of me and drove me to my car. After he dropped me off, he said, "just to let you know, I grew up with a lot of money, so whatever you try to do against me, I will win. Please do not ever talk to me again. You are already blocked on my phone," and he drove off.

I think about that day a lot and it has now been almost 4 years. I didn't talk to the police, my parents, or anyone. I was so scared of losing, not only the case but myself. I was convinced that his last ever statement to me was true. I finally opened up about it a year ago. I told my parents, my brother, and my closest friends. It was like a mountain was lifted off of me because I didn't have to keep that secret anymore.

The point of this story is that we need to stop this "rape culture." I promise you that you are not alone. Turn their ass in. Take them down. Ruin their life like you think they ruined yours.

Don't be scared. Believe that you are so important and your well-being is what matters the most. We need to stop letting stupid fucking people saying, "maybe if you didn't wear revealing clothing, that wouldn't have happened to you," because guess what?

IT STILL HAPPENS NO MATTER WHAT SOMEONE IS WEARING.

Read the first sentence of this article. Stop telling yourself that your opinion doesn't matter. Stop belittling yourself on something that was not even your fault. You are not vulnerable. You are not "stupid."

You are not ruined. I promise you that you can recover from anything you set your mind to. Of course, I still think about the situation, but I have started talking about it more, especially with people who have been through what I have. I know that I have been put through all of this to be a guide for others.

That is my sole purpose on this Earth. If you ever need someone to talk to, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

tzsandu
tzsandu

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Emotional Confusion

A child who cuts, and a mothers plea.

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It's hard balancing life as a single mother, a student, and a freelancer, but it becomes harder when life hits you times three. While dealing with my own personal health issues, I also have a daughter who self harms. She is 12, to me still a baby, yet she is in a pain that I cannot take away from her. A pain that I cannot heal. A pain that even she doesn't quite understand.

I walk on eggshells. I try to be firm and still the parent I have always been to her, but the truth is I am worried. What if something I say triggers her to want to take a blade and cut her arms. I don't want to coddle her, because I know the world doesn't care as much as I do, but I also want to wrap her up in a blanket of comfort and hold her to my chest as if she was an infant. I want to protect her from the world, from herself and from eyes of those who do not understand.

And all the while, I don't understand.

I understand depression, anxiety, and even times not wanting to live, but cutting to release frustration I don't get. If only she can see the girl I see. Talented, beautiful, smart, funny and a joy to be around. Instead, all she sees are the words that jealous classmates and mean bullies put in her head. She believes that she is not worth wonderful things, or love, when she is the embodiment of love.

Everything I do is for her and her sisters, but I feel as if maybe I am not doing enough. When I'm next to her, talking to her, she's happy. There are nights she asks me to come to sleep with her. Where all I do is sit in her bed, writing or reading and watching her be at peace. Then the nights when I can't because my illness has me immobilized, she cuts.

Therapy is not working.

At times I fear it's making it worse. School and social activities only bring stress and mumbled words when she returns. She's so soft-spoken, I fear she's getting run over, she's so forgiving even when those have bullied her, she is the girl I wish I was at her age. But she doesn't see it.

How can I help her? How can I as her mother make her feel that she is safe with her self? Staying up and watching her is not always an option. So I'm patient, I'm strong for her, and I am still her mother. I want her to enter the world strong and able to handle whatever comes her way.

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