feelings unheard

the after rain effect
3 min readNov 10, 2021

from my first memories, I remember my mom was always a hard worker. she raised two children on her own for a while and then met my stepdad. during the later years of elementary school, my mom worked nights leaving me at home with my stepdad who was a man of few words and integrity. he was born in the south during the 40s and never had any children of his own. he fed me, cleaned up after me, helped me with my spelling tests, and had several of “the talks” with me. at that age, I thought my stepdad was a bit mean and cold but as I got older, I understood that he showed his love through his actions.

growing up I felt there was no one around to listen to me, especially on the days I struggled and was sad. I could have really used those talks back then. I think I would cope a lot differently today, but you can’t cry over spoiled milk. in my relationships, for the most part, I’ve had partners who were gentle with me and listened to me. in my last relationship, we were actually really good friends. he listened to all of my shenanigans, and now looking back, I felt at peace.

my current relationship reminds me of my relationship with my stepfather. I feel seen and not heard. I guess back then, it didn’t matter because my mom always listened to me when we had the chance to be together. weekends were our things but I was always mindful to let her rest, because I know she was always tired due to her schedule. my stepdad really didn’t engage in many conversations with me about my feelings or how I felt about certain things. because he never had any children hed didn’t really get the whole parent thing. so I grew up feeling like what I had to say was not important and that to share my feelings, someone had to ask me how I was feeling vs. me proactively sharing. it’s amazing how certain situations in life can trigger your memory to think about things in the past that you haven’t thought of in a while.

back to my current relationship, I feel seen but not heard at times. I hear a lot of what my partner has to say about their past and how they want things to be easy and peaceful because they had a hard life. we all have had hard lives, but we make time to hear our partners in disagreements, regular conversations, and when they want to vent. I’m not going to say my partner doesn’t listen to me because they do, but the small percentage of time not mainly in disagreements they do not and it brings me back to these childhood memories.

I feel like, if I were to call my partner right now and interrupt their time to talk about this, I don’t know what reaction I will get. I would either get a tone that my partner is trying to be supportive but they really don’t have the time for this because they are doing their thing, or a joke about me being sensitive or something about my upbringing, them saying their joking, then being ready to talk about what’s on my mind, and the moment is ruined for me. either reaction would throw me off. am I being too sensitive? am I asking for too much from someone?

my partner would say I’m being scary but how am I being scared if I don’t feel comfortable? because even in conflict they do not listen to my point of view and speak out of frustration towards me. they trust me with theirs but all the slick things they say to me about me and the things they pick at about my personality don't make me feel safe. so how could I trust them with my trauma?

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the after rain effect

i am layered; my trauma is my muse; writing is my therapy; music is my love language;