It sickens me to think of all of that power I gave away to others because I assumed they saw the real me. The one who wasn’t enough. That’s why they made the choices they did to berate me and abandon me.

I was sure that I had to get permission to be separate. I needed it to be OK to make the choices I was making. And if your response wasn’t positive or supportive, that must mean that I had done it wrong.

My inner child seemed to be perpetually waiting for the other shoe to drop and prove yet again how much I didn’t deserve your respect or your love. That effort I make gets repaid with silence or criticism or rejection.

This happened this year even.

And it may happen again in 2022.

But this time, I’m watching like a hawk. My feelings of despair are a flare in the sky that I need to stop and listen to my thoughts. That I may be catastrophizing or mind reading. Feelings of loneliness and despair ask for me to give myself compassion. And to find a new way to see myself other than broken and unfit.

If this sounds familiar, I am on your team. We are compassion compatriots. And you can lean on me if I can lean on you.

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