Our judgement of others is often clouded by our own experiences. I know my judgement is clouded by my infertility diagnosis and experience with being treated as if I don't have an internal struggle. On the outside I am a beautiful young woman with seemingly nothing visibly wrong with me. On the inside, I have two physical defects - my infertility (lacking a full reproductive system, known as MRKH), and scoliosis caused by a deformed vertebra resulting in lower back pain. Also on the inside, I struggle emotionally with these issues (more so with the infertility) so because I have my own battles, I understand that others have their own battles too.
I know what it's like to not be heard because I appear to have it all together. Between my good job, an education, food on the table, a place to live, family, friends, and the front I put up on my bad days, I understand that people may think all is well. On the inside though, I am struggling to not be hurt when I am reminded of what I can't have, like the other day when I saw a happy toddler with his parents at lunch. This is just one example of the myriad of things that could bother me. Some days, I'm fine and nothing bothers me. Other days, everything upsets me - from the simple mention of the word pregnancy to a baby shower invitation, or a baby's crying, or a pregnancy announcement on Facebook to the sight of a pregnant woman. Experiencing these reminders and pendulum like reactions are a constant battle in a league all their own.
There have been so many times when I have wanted someone to simply listen to me. That's it. Just listen. Listen to me, to my story, to the song my heart has to sing. Listen to really truly hear me. I've learned that it's not such a simple task after all. so now I understand the internal struggle and the desire to be heard. And I have learned the importance of listening to understand, not to reply.