Something horrifically amazing happened about a week ago.
A friend of mine had some gifts for me and I was supposed to get them ages ago, but I waited so long that by the time I was ready to go get them, my friend had moved.
When I got the address from her, my heart dropped into my stomach. I love this woman, but I knew deep in my gut that I am not now and may never be ready to visit her in her new home.
Previously, I would have let my second thought overwhelm me: I don’t want this as a burden on her. I don’t want her to learn to hate her new home. I don’t want to ruin anything for her. My second thought came quickly after the first, so quickly that it’s difficult to separate them into first and second.
The address she calls home is the place where Melody first remembers in detail being assaulted by her bio-dad. It is where I broke his ribs when he was gaslighting me and telling me I was “crazy” (still not okay that I did it). Where I first found out he was doing meth. Where I started to realize how much he hated me (it took me a few more years to understand he hated me because he hated himself) and the love was bait to lure me into being devoured. Where my most beautiful house was the place I realized he wouldn’t allow us to have a home.
I knew that I could just say nothing and make an excuse. I knew I could just push it aside for someone else’s comfort, but I also knew I wanted to sit to tea with this lovely woman. I wanted to build relationship – and that meant terrifying honesty. I didn’t want to do it for someone else, as much as I wanted to for someone else.
I told her without much detail (until now, if she sees this), but I told her that there were too many dark memories for me come to her lovely new home. And since that day, I have been bold while kind, direct in a way I haven’t been able to be before (but wanted to be) in my every day with every one. I am kind and I am strong. I am bold and I am soft. I am not going to be silent about my boundaries to make someone else comfortable any more.
I love my family and friends. It took an address for me to see that really loving people is being direct and bold with my boundaries – and people who truly love me will not be angry with that, even if they are uncomfortable or getting used to a different and more healthy approach to me loving me… so I can know how to better love them. ❤