One thing I have very recently came to terms with is something that you CAN let go of without feeling any shame. In fact, what you’re letting go IS getting rid of the shame you never deserved. But to be more specific, that something is letting go of the notion that you are under other people’s string and they are pulling you to do what THEY think is right for you like they know better. If you let people continue to do this to you, to me that is the equivalent of allowing a bully to stuff you in the lockers because he brainwashed you into thinking you deserve it. This is no different. And it can be very sneaky. Coming to terms with my PTSD for example, led me to finally accept (in a good way) that I DID NOT deserve (nor should anyone) to be put in those full body restraints as a kid when I went to those schools, regardless of the so-called reasons they gave. More recently I also came to the terms with the differences in opinions between me and my parents. I am relieved that I am no longer under 18 because if I was still legally required to be dependent on my parents, a lot of the things I feel strongly about and want to change in the world (not just the United States) would be off the table. But that is NOT true today, regardless of the differences in our outlook on injustice, discrimination, abuse etc that continues worldwide via mental health stigma, disabilities (mental and physical) and just overlooked setbacks put here by society that make it impossible for people like myself to ever achieve what they claim we can. Anyway, this post isn’t meant as a reason to diss my parents, but it is a reminder to everyone that only you have the individual power and god given right to speak, express and FEEL the way you do. The people who tell you there is something wrong with you (simply for being yourself) are the ones with the problem. They may not fit the conventional profile, but people like that are bullies. The majority of people you interact with on a day to day basis do not hold a higher power over you. Your friends are not your boss or supervisor. If they “try to help you” as in “help you be somebody you are not”, you should cut them out of your life immediately. My twitter and MDM family do not discriminate and are all about being open, holding nothing back and viewing the expression of feelings as a strength, not a weakness. Like I said in my posts about masking and why mental health matters, society as a whole should be more encouraging to let people feel comfortable opening up in situations where nobody is stopping, or has the power to stop them. You are not harming anyone, you are keeping it real. But the only way people can do this is feeling comfortable. And while society has the responsibility to give the vulnerable a much bigger voice, the vulnerable themselves just need to keep reminding themselves and others in their position that there is NOBODY that has the right to tell you that YOU cannot be who you are and act the way you were meant to act. NOBODY has the right to influence you to believe you don’t deserve to say what’s on your mind to your friends. And NOBODY has the right to lead you on to believe because some invalidating friends do conventional good deeds for you, that that cancels out the times they shamed you for opening up to them. Whether you are male, female, transgender, whatever, you all EQUALLY have the right to be you. You are under no one’s string. The only string is the ones toxic people from the past or present put there in your head, but it damn sure isn’t permanent.