She was determined to belittle me. No matter how much I tried to explain my feelings to her, she did not care. Her ego was more important than any sort of empathy that I was asking for. I pleaded endlessly to be heard, but she silenced me as though I did not matter.
My friend had now turned into my enemy.
I was the most fragile version of myself I had ever been. I desperately needed some time for self-care so I had opened up to her about it, introducing her to the feelings that were suffocating me. I thought I would find comfort in her response but I was left feeling worthless. She dismissed my feelings and told me that I did not deserve to take a break. She brought up the fact that there were people in worse situations than me who never had to take a break. For a while, I believed her. I believed that I should just, “get over it” as she screamed numerous times at me. I cried many nights hoping that I could, but I simply could not outrun destiny.
I had finally made up my mind to take a break from everything and focus on healing. I knew there were people who were in situations that I could never imagine, but that did not mean my feelings were not valid. I went to her again hoping for her approval; wishing that if she could see how badly I needed this break that she would understand.
She told me I was a failure.
This made me weep uncontrollably, but she continued to spew hate at me. She called me pathetic and told me how disappointed she was in me. She said that I was just being lazy and taking the easy way out. I begged her to stop. I tried to remind her that I had worked extremely hard to get to where I was, and this decision was not made overnight. It was all useless. She told me she could not love the person I had become and that she never wanted to see me again.
Her merciless words sliced through my heart. To the world, she spoke of lifting others up and treating people with kindness, but here she was degrading me. The darkness she left in my life became overwhelming and I was often tempted to give in to her words about me being a failure. Eventually, though, my sadness turned into bitterness. How dare she be so cold-hearted? How dare she shame me like that? Who did she think she was?
She was me.
I was the villain all along, and sadly, I had played the part well. I was ashamed of how the self-deprecating thoughts came with ease and in abundance. These two voices had caused a war inside of me for many months. One saying be kind to myself and take the break I knew I needed, the other screaming that I was a loser who was incapable of handling obstacles. It would take me many prayers and even more tears to learn how to love the broken me.
In loving this broken version of myself I learned that strength is built in the small moments, like when you feel worthless but choose to persevere. I learned that courage isn’t always loud, it’s sometimes a whisper saying that you are enough. I learned that it’s okay to give yourself time to heal through whatever you are going through. Most importantly, I learned that I could not stop the villain’s voice from passing through my mind, but I did not have to listen or believe what it had to say.
With these lessons came the freedom to live authentically. I stopped running away from my life and started living it. I had loved who I had become because I knew the villain I had to fight to become her.
This was the beginning of a brand new me.
About our author: Stacy's mind falls somewhere in between logical and creative - a student of both business and the arts. She loves analyzing business strategies just as much as she loves analyzing symbolism in literature.