Walking away.

At the time, it never occurred to me that I could walk away.

In therapeutic groups in that particular setting, I was used to others leaving in moments of pain or discomfort.  While I sometimes distanced myself mentally, I always stayed physically in the room.  I felt a sense of responsibility to stay no matter what.

While I can’t change what happened in the past, I have a tool I can use when I start to dwell on certain painful memories. My therapist is encouraging me to use these kinds of memories as reference points.  This exercise might be good practice for giving myself permission to leave a situation or taking the space to stand up for myself in the future.

As I remember a specific situation, I watch the scene and hear multiple people say things about me that were hurtful.  Instead of staying there in the room, I imagine telling them, “I’m not in a place to hear this right now.  I’m not doing well and this is not helping me.”  I get up.  I walk out the door, and I shut it.

In the present, I open my eyes, self-respect reclaimed.

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