The Hidden Cost of Holding it All In: Why Expressing Your Feelings is Vital

Person sits at a table with sadness on their face

Sometimes, it feels like the world’s weight is on your shoulders. The emotions you’ve been holding back, the words left unsaid, the experiences you try so hard to forget – all create a difficult burden. I know it’s especially hard when you feel like you constantly need to prove yourself or fit into a world that doesn’t seem to understand, a world that often expects you to conform to a narrow definition of who you should be.

If you feel overwhelmed, mentally or physically, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. So many of us, particularly those in the trans and queer communities, struggle with the pressure to conform, the fear of not being accepted for who we truly are. This pressure can be relentless. You might even speak your truth, only to be ignored, pushed out, or dismissed by a cisgender group whose perspectives differ from yours.

We all have a fundamental need for authenticity, a need to live as our true selves. But we also crave connection and belonging. Often, these needs conflict, forcing us to choose between expressing ourselves honestly and risking alienation. This takes an incredible emotional toll. To make matters worse, even in spaces that are supposed to be safe, like therapy sessions, you might be told that your very valid emotions – the hurt, the anger, the frustration at being ostracized – are “too much.” You might be offered generic coping mechanisms that don’t acknowledge the unique challenges you face as a trans person.

The truth is, our emotions are vital. They aren’t meant to remain trapped inside. Think of them as signals, messengers trying to tell us something important. When we ignore or suppress them, the consequences can be severe. Unexpressed emotions can cause anxiety, depression, and chronic health issues…they manifest in a whole host of ways because your mind and body are deeply connected.

Society often encourages us to bury our “negative” feelings, always to appear strong, with it, or, sigh, “brave.” This is particularly damaging when you belong to a group that already faces marginalization. But all emotions have something to teach us, even the difficult ones. Anger, for instance, is often a sign that our boundaries have been violated. Once we feel and understand the cause of our anger, it can start to fade. Joy, sadness, fear – they all play a role in helping us navigate our world.

Healing doesn’t come from hiding your truth. It comes from having safe spaces to express fully everything you carry within. It’s about understanding that trauma can stem from everyday experiences like not feeling heard, seen, or protected – the kinds of things many of us face as trans or queer adults. It’s also about finding support systems that validate your emotions and acknowledge your unique challenges.

The path to expressing your emotions is personal. It might involve therapy with a therapist who understands the trans experience, journaling, confiding in a supportive friend, or finding healing through creative outlets. The most important thing is finding what works for you and approaching yourself with unwavering compassion.

I see you. I see the weight you carry, the hurt, the frustration, and the incredible strength. Acknowledging and working through your emotions takes courage. It may not always feel easy, but I promise you, it’s one of the most worthwhile investments you’ll make in your well-being.

Disclaimer: This blog shares general information only, not professional advice or recommendations. Consult healthcare providers for personal guidance. Decisions based on content are the reader's responsibility. Thank you.

Clayre runs a group practice of three queer and trans therapists, including youth therapist Audrey Wolfe, RCC, LGBT therapist Camber Giberson, RCC, CCC, and gender-affirming therapist Clayre Sessoms, RP, RCT, RCC, CCC, ATR-P. Work with us: book a session.