I have a friend who is, by all appearances, turning to the easy answers.  It’s hard for me to judge her for that because her situation is quite difficult.  I understand also that she is not as smart as I am, and her background perhaps more confused.  Still it’s frustrating and disappointing.

I have no great confidante with whom to share my feelings, the history, the ongoing saga.  Nowhere to seek advice.  In this moment I feel quite alone.  I could always go to mom.  She’s really the closest thing I have right now.  These days.  But to admit to her the abuse I feel I have taken . . . though if my only alternative is to continue to bear this burden, to take more with no idea of how to withdraw, how to draw a line.  The situation was less delicate before, but another tragedy has added fuel to the fire, making my situation more trying but also more difficult to extract myself from.

I am feeling a bit sorry for myself at the moment.  I’m not sure if it’s indulgent or more mindful.  I’m not at the point of despair but I simply want to know how does one draw a line?

I have to admit, I may never have asserted my right to respect. I may defer so naturally at this point that I have absolutely no experience drawing any sort of line.  I believe this must be so.  It’s honestly horrifying to realize this.  It’s not that I put the other before myself; it’s more that I put myself last.  My strong opinions on human dignity have done little for my own cause.

The origins of this behavior probably don’t matter.  It starts very early, earlier than I am likely to remember.  What it boils down to is that my respect for others has gone so far as to prevent my respecting my own rights, or to insist that others do the same.  My awareness of this has been greater or lesser at different points in my life.  Lately, I guess, I had allowed myself to forget.

My fear was always that I would go too far in the other direction, that I would begin to assert myself at the expense of others.  Realistically, I think that’s pretty unlikely.  But that fear has played at least some role in holding me back, allowing myself to be a supporting character in my own life.  Allowing my whole life to be nothing but a support to the lives of others, those people – nearly everyone else – who possess that magical ability to treat themselves wth the respect due all human beings.

I don’t know how to go about enacting this transformation.  I don’t know which lines need to be drawn first.  But I know, if nothing else, that I will not be able to respect myself if I don’t begin treating myself with respect.