Don’t Take It Personally

We can all attest to hearing the term “don’t take it personally” at least once in our lives. I’ve heard it before, many times actually. My mother used to say that I was too sensitive for my own good, that I was one extreme or the other. Happy/sad, no in between.

Even then, I wore my heart on my sleeve and I was too open, too easily shattered. I trusted easily, loved freely, and got burned almost every single time. And no, I’m not talking romantically, I’m speaking in general. Friends. Family. Everyone, really.

I would think I’ve found that in between now, more or less. Without the added fun of teenage hormones, it’s not always one extreme or the other. Now it’s many layers, but I do still get hurt really easily. Like, look at me wrong and I’ll be wounded.

I still take everything personally, even when I try to tell myself I’m just being over sensitive. It doesn’t take the sting away or ease the hurt, it just frustrates me. You can’t turn off emotion, and when you have too emotion, it rips over you like a tsunami, unrelenting and destroying everything in it’s path.

“You need to develop a backbone.”

Another one of those terms I’ve heard time and time again. It’s hard not to be insulted by this causal piece of advice, as it feels like a nod to my spineless self. I wouldn’t say I’m spineless, but I hate confrontation, hate the idea of making someone else feel pain, even if they’ve caused me pain or deserve a proper scolding. I’ve never been very good at standing up for myself, but I’ll go to bat for my loved ones and friends…just not me.

I typically won’t speak up when someone’s hurt me, because half the time I know I’m taking it personally, and the other time I wager they wouldn’t care. I’ve never really learned how to fight for myself, for what I deserve. At least…not until recent years.

Recently, I’ve gotten fed up with being walked all over, and the angry words spill from my lips, uncontainable. Years of hurt, years of pent up frustration, years of tears. Irrepressible.

I am tired.

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