There came a point when I realized that no matter how much I let you walk all over me, no matter how much I let you use me as an emotional punching bag that it wasn’t going to fix you.
And there came a point where I was horrified with myself for even trying.
I tried an awfully long time before I got to this point. Until I woke up and figured out what I was doing. And once I did, I was so ashamed. I knew for certain it was yet another symptom of my defectiveness — which tends to manifest as patience that other people don’t deserve.
When I realized what I’d been doing, my first instinct was to wallow in my defectiveness. To beat myself up with the evidence.
But as I did, I realized that I was letting you off the hook once again. Picking up your mess for you. Eagerly volunteering to be a punching bag.
So I took a deep breath. Well, not just one but many. I breathed deeply for days and weeks — truth be told. Thinking all the while about this terrible pattern I was stuck perpetuating.
And I realized that not only was I hurting myself by volunteering to be your doormat (and a lot of other people’s frankly), but in a way… I was hurting you. I wasn’t giving you a chance to treat me well.
I decided to stop. I strained to hear that inner voice at first, the one that told me what I wanted. What I needed. The one that warned me when I was doing something self-destructive. But after I strained for a while, I started to hear it. And to listen to it.
And I started to give both of us a chance — gave myself a chance to have a healthier relationship with myself. Gave you a chance to be kinder to me and more accepting.
My relationship with myself improved. Ours however? Well, that fell to pieces.
And when it happened, it felt like the end of the world.
But something else happened… when my life emptied out, other things flowed in. I had room for people who were supportive and kind.
And so I sit here all these years later regretting nothing. And so thankful that my past self took that risk.