You’re strong, you’ve got this.
16 months ago I made a major change in my life, removing something that was turning me into a person that I did not want to be. It wasn’t easy, but it was oh so worth it.
The below post was written shortly before I walked away from one of the most toxic situations I have ever experienced. I saved it so that if I ever questioned the decision I made, I could remember how I felt. Because regardless of the “logical” pros and cons, how I felt MATTERS. I MATTER.
I’m sharing it now because I want you to know – if you are EVER in a situation that makes you feel like this (whether it’s a relationship a job or anything else), find a way GET OUT. It’s worth it. You deserve it.
One Foot in Front of the Other
The door looms menacingly at the end of the walkway, windows above like angry, judging eyes. Putting one foot in front of the other, each step becomes progressively more difficult as the oppressive weight of dread becomes almost too much to bear. Open the door, and feel your chest tighten. Keep walking.
Off hand comments. Smiling faces, but the eyes don’t match. Demands. Orders. Smile and nod – that’s what’s expected. Crying inside, but don’t let them see. Smile and nod. Hold back the tears. Smile and nod.
Someone caused a problem. Chaos. Finger pointing. Whispering behind closed doors.
Your fault. Always your fault.
Go through the motions. Don’t argue. Don’t speak. Don’t look up…
Here I am. I smiled, I nodded, I did as I was told. Here I am.
Please listen. Please help. Please set things right. I trusted. How is this ok?
You forgot. The same rules don’t apply to everyone.
Averted eyes. Ignored pleas. Blame the victim. Dismissal.
Tears. Can’t breathe. ANGER. Overwhelming despair.
Don’t speak. Smile and nod. Smile and nod. Things will get better, they have to.
But they don’t. They get worse.
Until you realize…
YOU are not the problem.
Smile and nod is not the answer.
It’s ok to be angry, it’s ok to be hurt and it’s ok to cry.
No matter what they say, you deserve to be respected.
Stand tall. Stand proud.
Eyes up, don’t look down.
Calm, confident gaze.
‘No.’ is a complete sentence.
So is ‘You may not treat (or speak to) me like that.’
Pull the ties that bind you. Rip away the barriers. Break the glass.
It’s time you realize your worth
You are talented
You are valuable
You are beautiful
You are powerful.
Their ignorance is not a reflection of your value, nor of the things you can accomplish once you recognize their lies for what they are.
Take the initiative to do amazing things.
Sparkle and Shine, and encourage others to do the same
Even when they say you can’t. Even if they say you shouldn’t.
You can. You will.
YOU ARE FREE.
Tressie Davis is a portrait photographer located in Chelsea, MI. Portrait work may be viewed at www.tressiedavis.com.