The summer after senior year of high school, I had a fling with a boy I had a crush on, and was disappointed to learn that he didn't like me the same way. At the time I was very upset and talked about what happened with everyone - family, friends, acquaintances, a former teacher - anyone who would listen. While what happened is no big deal to me now, it was a significant experience - it marked the last time that I would feel free to share a story like that with everyone I knew, the last time that I would trust everyone with something that really hurt me without testing their trust first on something smaller. It was the last time I remember not worrying at all about invalidation.
When someone indicates to me that something is of a certain importance, I try my best to accept that importance at face value, even if the same thing wouldn't be a problem if it were happening to me. But when I was in college, I did NOT get that kind of treatment in return from most people. College was just one invalidation after the next for me. Every single problem I had (and there were a lot of them) came with two problems - the problem itself, and the fact that most people didn't take me seriously. People who didn't even hurt me directly made it clear that they didn't take my issues seriously based on the way they talked about other students.
I've been out of college for two years now, only stayed in touch with my true friends, and only made friends with people who seem understanding. Yet my mind still processes conflict the same way it did for four years - every time I have a problem, I assume that no one will take me seriously. And I know that's not true - I know that I'm only friends with people I can trust. But after four years of this being very true, my subconscious hasn't figured it out.
My high school fling happened over 6 years ago, and it is honestly the last time I remember discussing a problem freely without the fear of not being taken seriously. I had always assumed that most people could be trusted. Maybe I'm more cautious now that I've met so many people I can't trust. But I'm trying so hard to get back to that summer of telling all, of trusting all. Because I do trust you. I just need to let my subconscious know.