I was always afraid of having my experience invalidated, too. finally sharing my story (the whole, many-chaptered novel that it was) with one of my friends was so incredibly healing. it’s amazing how powerful it is to rediscover my voice & to have people around me who support my growth.
I’ve had a lot of people tell me to “just be more confident!” & to stop apologizing or worrying about what other people think. Our culture really doesn’t tolerate insecurities, while also failing to think critically about why those insecurities might be there. After a literal life of being abused, shrinking around certain people & at certain times, apologizing profusely, & constantly worrying about another persyn might be thinking are things that I have developed as survival mechanisms. While they might not be advantageous in non-abusive relationships, they’re remnants from a painful part of my life & criticizing me for them doesn’t make overcoming them any easier.
What I need is to feel safe, & sometimes that requires that I ask for reassurance.