Friday, July 30, 2010


I have over 700 ‘sent’ emails that I sent to my ex-boyfriend during the time we were in a relationship stashed away in an electronic folder somewhere. At that time I thought if I communicated what I wanted, needed, liked, disliked, appreciated, respected, laughed about, was saddened by, had to offer, loved…he would eventually ‘get’ me. He would understand who I was and why I was such a catch. The responses were minimal, limited, fell short of what I was looking for. And yet, I did the same thing, over and over again, day after day. I was looking for validation and I did not receive it. In fact, I had been seeking validation for a very, very long time. So…validation – what is it and why do we need it?

Merriam-Webster says: validation is an act, process, or instance of validating.
Of course we all know that validation can be a very technical term and relate to very technical systems etc., but in this instance I am talking about emotional validation.

Validation: in psychology and human communication, the reciprocated communication of respect which signifies that the other's opinions are acknowledged, respected and heard (Wikipedia)

Merriam-Webster goes on to define validating as: to recognize, establish, or illustrate the worthiness or legitimacy of. Oh…we’re back to that are we? Interesting…again I discover that I was seeking what I had already be given.

In my defense, I never felt validated by my father. He was a good man who loved me I’m sure, a devote Catholic who was controlling and at the same time needy…often jealous. But never jealous about not having enough time or closeness with me, but time with my brother and later my son – that is what he held in high regard. Those were the relationships he was most interested in, the people whose time he wanted and if I came in between him and them the result was an angry, jealous man.

And so I discovered over the last year or so that as an adult I have continually sought to be validated in my relationships. Again, as I studied and allowed myself the value that I deserve I began to feel worthy. That feeling of worthiness allowed me to book that cruise which is where I began to learn about my legitimacy. To me legitimacy relates to birth and John Sheasby's
The Birthright has been a Godsend (aren't they all?). I will finish up next time with how I think his book and study is the culmination of a few years of discovery and how it is shaping my future.

Now here's a question...why do I still have those emails in that folder?