Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Can't You Just

Some of the most significant conversations I've had were not positive. People I considered sources of support expressed their opinions about how I handled living with trauma, my trauma, and when I disagreed, the tone shifted. Their concern gave way to frustration. For me, nervousness turned into anxiety and feelings of isolation soared. I wanted them to tell me, "Whatever you need, we'll be here." Instead, I heard, "Why can't you just...?"

When facing a complex situation where there is no quick fix, opinions are abundant. People are more than willing to tell you exactly what you should do and when you dispute their unsolicited advice, their frustration speaks louder than their concern. They ask, "Why can’t you just…?" Just stop thinking about it. Just be quiet. Just go along to get along. Just stop expecting so much. Just let it go. Just get over it. Essentially, what they are asking you to do is to stop existing in a space or with an honesty that threatens their space and their delusion. Guess what. You don’t have to. You don’t have to 'just' do anything.

When someone asks or implies that you need to just do something that counters what is best for you, remove yourself. Remove yourself from the conversation, the physical space, from living under their expectations, and in some cases, from the relationship. You do not deserve to exist in an uncomfortable, non-supportive space. Create a new space. Build a new support system.

Your loved ones' decision to live in an unhealthy environment is not yours. The complacency that controls the lives of those you know does not have to control you. The fears that derail others do not have to derail you. If you ever have to choose between taking the road paved in denial, religious manipulation, and self-sacrifice so that others can feel more comfortable with the hurt that you live with and the unexplored, less crowded path toward wellness, always choose wellness. If you deserve to just do anything, you deserve to just choose your peace, safety, and freedom.

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