We all need validation from those around us. It is a basic human need to feel loved, cherished, wanted and validated as to who we are as person.
For those of us, who have never found this, or had such huge trust issues that we cant’ accept this (it can be both), this can feel even more of a search and need.
I was chatting with an amazingly intelligent and gifted mental health survivor recently. He has severe mental health issues, but is also incredible intelligent and has had huge success with his first book. He is very honest that he needs this connection with others, to feel this validation, and to be a success. I know he had an abusive childhood, with severe abuse, including sexual abuse.
His second book is not a success (yet) and this has impacted him profoundly. His mental health issues, which include psychosis, have all increased and he is honest about this. He knows it has impacted his self esteem. He is a very raw and honest person, like myself, willing to express all of who he is, not just the stuff society likes to focus on as important. Losing this connection with his audience and feeling this sense of failure, is very psychologically painful. I feel deeply for him and I am concerned about him, but I know he has good support.
To lose this ‘acceptance’ I can see, can be soul destroying. It is one of those childhood unmet needs, that goes on being searched for, and when/if ever it is found….and then lost, I have the empathy and insight to know, would feel devastating. It’s like being abandoned, all over again.
Being a future published book author, this is a lesson to learn, because we can all feel great validation and acceptance from success, especially when it is about something so personal as our mental health. To be so real and raw and open, takes great courage and to have that validated and valued, is like other people accepting you for who you are, when so many in the past, have not and have used it to abuse you, invalidate you and hurt you.
I am aware, writing is a perilous industry and my motivation always needs to be about helping others. Because if I make this about myself and my needs, I could get very, very hurt.
There are few people who ‘make it’ as authors, and many who are successful for a little while, and then that success is gone. And I am so aware that I may not have any success as published book author, or even if I do, it may not last and I have to be prepared for that.
I have to be prepared for all eventualities, but still prepared to take the risk.
With the motivation of helping others, as my goal and focus on that completely.