The biggest compliment other than THANK YOU for making me feel worthy … are comments on my GRACE. Yes, grace. Most days, I honestly feel like a bull in a china shop. As a matter of fact, a few months ago, I was using the hashtag WILDEBEEST because that’s how I perceived myself. Lawless. Without thinking. Pure emotion. Protect those I love with unquestionable force. Don’t stop until the enemy is destroyed.
Is that grace?
What I realised is that my perception of me demonstrating anything other than submission to an abuser was in fact out of line (and therefore not graceful). I was still using their dysfunctional lens. I was allowing them to control me. I was allowing them to shame me into fitting into a box. A box.
But I don’t fit into a box. I took a step back. I started viewing myself like Cookie Lyon. She’s strong. She’s sassy and Cookie takes ZERO bullsh!t from others. She only messes with you if you get in her way. So I asked a trusted confidant: Am I anything like Cookie Lyon? Am I fierce? Am I sassy?
The answer was ‘NO. You are too polite to put someone in their place.’
Interesting. Maybe I am graceful?!
What is grace? Is it sticking my nose in the air when someone tries to interrupt my healing? Is it grace by wishing the abuser well and sending a shout out to the heavens to settle the score? Is it just asking the judge and juror of karma to save a front seat when the score gets settled? Grace? Hmmm. Yes, I try to take the higher road but sometimes I get pulled into the storm. I know that I have the capacity to cause great harm. Each day, I’m afforded the opportunity to be bitter or better. I have the chance to share screenshots of people treating me poorly or actively ignoring when I ask them to stop. I have the capacity to call a spade a spade. Is there grace with holding people accountable? If framed as a lesson learned, is it graceful? Perhaps removing the name of the person causing harm is what makes it graceful?
I’m not sure. If I’m offered the opportunity to choose bitter or better, what stops me from choosing bitter?
That’s the real question: what stops me? I am an advocate for doing what’s right. I remember being told as a child, ‘Life is not fair’. Who decides what’s fair? Why does setting a healthy boundary feel funny? I still remain that if I need to have a conversation on how to be a decent human being, then the person probably should not be in my world.
My new challenge is to not allow the abusers call the shots. Setting firm and fair boundaries. I find that I’m still flip-flopping between who defines firm and fair. I know what it’s like to be surrounded by love and each day it seems that my circle expands with healthy people. Each time that I’m unsure of my grace, I have a handful of people that I check myself against. The first thing they say is “I’m proud of you.”
Healing isn’t easy and rather than be hurt or acknowledge recurring pain, I’m simply going to train myself by saying, I’m appalled at the behaviour of people trying to abuse me.
Perhaps if I keep the language at ‘appalled’ then it’ll help me cut this last chord. At the end of the day, they keep saying they love me but love doesn’t hurt and I do not accept their definition of love anymore.
Besides, perhaps they are right. It’s not them, it is me. I grew up and decided I was worth more.
#WhyIWrite #MentalWellness #DomesticVIolence #EmotionalAbuse #Understand #Accept #LetGo #JourneyToPeace