“Self respect is such a painful thing to maintain.”
This is something a dear friend told me as I relayed my desire to reach out to someone who had not respected me. It was not a person who historically had treated me poorly, but actually quite the opposite, even reminding me what it felt like to be cared for and looked after.
Then something changed. We went from giggling in a parking lot to exchanges of long, pent up text messages in a matter of hours. I replayed those messages in my head for hours, wondering if this was the final act or not. I was ashamed then said then angry. I asked to talk about the situation but this desire was not granted, not a priority for the other person.
And so I sat, pining for some indication that a message of amends would come yet half ready to slap it down. I looked at my phone and messaged my friend instead.
I wanted to chase this person. I wanted to convince this person to see it my way, to give me another shot. I wanted to fix this thing. This anxiety and pain boiled through me and I nearly toppled to its pressure, but then I remembered that I had been here before. I told myself, and all of you, that I wasn’t going to put up with people who didn’t value me and sticking to that promise meant more than trying to repair something with someone that didn’t have time for me.
So I let it be. I sat with my emotions and tried to take what good I could from the situation. I embraced the love of those who never think twice in giving it to me and I believed in what I deserve. Walking home, a fresh layer of hope struck me. It would certainly be OK.
It’s not easy to pick yourself in situations. It’s not easy to overlook initial pain for your longterm benefit. Yet, it’s the only way you can move forward. Respecting myself and putting myself first may never be easy, but it will always be the right choice.