It seems that sometimes you don’t recognize how much someone was hurting you, until you make them stop. Then, just as you’ve become accustomed to not looking over your shoulder, a strange car pulls in the driveway. The panic, the desire to hide, to call for help, though you know they have seen you, and then the relief when the driver turns out to just be someone unexpected. Not necessarily someone you are delighted to see. More like – oh it’s just the Fuller Brush Man (for those of us old enough to remember door to door salesmen).
That degree of relief threw a spotlight on how much I had been allowing myself to be beaten down. Perhaps surviving those (in my case metaphorical) beatings somehow was affirming. I am strong. I made it through. I can do this.
I was strong enough to take it, but not to refuse it.
I began to walk away from the problem, with the help of family and friends, and the wounds began to heal. I guess it is kind of like a broken bone. It happens. It hurts. It mends. The ache gradually lessens, and once you are through it, it’s just another story in your life.
Hey remember the time I fell out of that tree, or off that horse, or tripped and fell and I broke my arm? It doesn’t seem too bad – until you think it’s going to happen again. The scabs have finally fallen off, but the skin is still tender, and you don’t want those wounds reopened.