Loss is not always something that was taken from us. Sometimes it’s the things we never had to start with.
The lack of a safe environment to grow up in is a loss. The lack of a core network around you for emotional and even physical support when needed is a loss. The lack of a safety net if you are sick or injured is a loss. The lack of being believed when you speak is a loss.
These all lead to loss of the ability to feel safe in the world.
I discovered over time that much of the society we live in views this loss and its consequences as something to be minimised, dismissed, glossed over with positive affirmations and premature forgiveness.
I discovered that it’s not the loss itself but rather the speaking about it that comes under fire. Mentioning this type of loss brings accusations of ‘negative’ and ‘wallowing’ and ‘stuck’. But grief cannot be healed without space, acknowledgment, meaning and validation.
I have done grief and loss courses only to discover that most of my fellow participants had lost the things I longed for but had never had. I discovered that much of what humans experience as loss is not recognised, instead it is disenfranchised. I discovered that even when the loss is recognised, the way we grieve it is not.
Lately I’m letting myself speak of my losses. I’m discovering this can lead to even more loss, but they are losses that make space for all that has been missing for so long.
Honesty, even when its uncomfortable. Trust. Truth. Authentic connection. Courage. Compassion. It is the formation of identity that was never truly formed. It is the undoing, the unbreaking, it is the opening up and releasing.