Life Choices: Think About YOU
by Sheila E. Tucker, author of Rag Dolls and Rage
“In the end that was the choice you made, and it doesn’t matter how hard it was to make it. It matters that you did.”
__________________________________________Cassandra Clare, City of Glass
Many of us are raised to believe it’s selfish to think about what we want. We should give of ourselves, put other people first, forgive everyone no matter what, and put our feelings on a back burner.
I say no, and here’s why.
I’ve become a believer in the saying “charity begins at home.” The keyword being “begins.” Because here’s the thing—if YOU are unwell, wounded physically or emotionally, or struggling in your day-to-day tasks for any reason, it will be only a matter of time before you are unable to be of assistance to anyone, including yourself.
I believe we must take care of our own needs first in order to be there for others. A car can only carry its passengers so far before it runs out of gas and oil. Humans need fuel too, the kind that comes in the form of respect, love and understanding. Without that fuel, we burn out.
That burnout can take many forms; for instance, a continually negative person constantly sucking the life and spirit out of us. Sometimes, we don’t even realize it is happening, because we’re creatures of habit and don’t recognize the damage it is doing. Or else we believe we don’t deserve better and feel guilty for not pleasing that person. But you deserve self-esteem and self-love. You are (to quote “Desiderata”) a child of the universe—no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
I encourage you to find support somewhere. I know many people cannot do what I did—if you read my memoir, you’ll see that one day I’d had enough of being treated like a doormat. I walked out and never returned. However, although I got out of a miserable situation, it still took a long time to recover. Eventually, I dealt with my scars, but it was not easy. It was painful to face my life and my demons. But I know that if I can do it, others can too, as long as they’re prepared to walk on a few hot coals along the way. You can buy foot cream for when you reach the other side. Truly.
There is more awareness now about sociopaths, narcissists and similar destructive personalities, and more understanding about the effects of living with someone inflicted with bi-polar and other brain disorders. (Sometimes, a person’s adverse actions are not his/her fault.) A therapist, minister, group support circle, friend (via online chats during these pandemic times) can advise of options and/or offer emotional support. Suggestions may be to shield yourself by modifying your reactions to those who are draining your energy—to stand your ground—or to find a safe way out, or set boundaries or find help for the person whose behaviour is detrimental.
There are many roads and many choices. You are the driver.
For those suffering from domestic abuse, psychological manipulation, trafficking or similar issues, an organization such as:
SAVIS of Halton: https://www.savisofhalton.org
One Love: https://bit.ly/3iN3gvZ can help.
My book is on Amazon in print or e-book: Kindle or Kobo: https://ragdollsandrage.com/.