Monday, August 22, 2016

People Are Allowed

This rolled through my Facebook feed earlier. I posted it to my own page as well, but for some reason I never feel like people want to hear more than a couple of sentences as far as why I posted something these days. That's when I start to miss the days when blogging was the go-to way of communicating with others online. Not that I truly mind, of course. Keeping a blog mostly for myself (and the few people interested in reading something longer from me) is therapeutic in its own way.

The fact of the matter is if there is one lesson it's taken me most of my 40 years to really learn, it's the one covered by this graphic. My entire life people have tried to make me feel like I'm some horrible wreck of a person just for ending past relationships and friendships or for putting distance between myself and family members I consider to be toxic. Not because I was abusive or cruel while we were still part of each other's lives -- just for calling it quits and walking away.

Those people failed to understand that I didn't make those decisions in a vacuum. I don't go from wanting to know someone to not wanting to know them overnight or without cause. Those people don't apparently remember me trying to tell them when something was hurtful right before they dismissed my feelings by ordering me not to feel that way or telling me I was too sensitive and "needed to work on that". They don't remember the times I shared an interest, a dream, or a fear with them only to have them mock it and make me regret even trying. They don't remember the constant stream of suggestions, demands, comparisons, and little criticisms they lobbed my way over the years either -- all the little things that never let me forget I wasn't good enough.

Who wouldn't feel unhappy when in the company of people that treated them that way? Who wouldn't eventually decide that that other person just really doesn't want them to be happy? Who wouldn't at least consider ending (or at least marginalizing) those relationships so that there's room to create new, healthy ones with plenty of potential?