This year I’ve experienced the most toxic situations I have been in since my childhood. All by choice. Witnessed the full spectrum of positive and negative behaviour of others and myself- and nearly come undone by my childish people pleasing.
I’ve been bullied, shamed and allowed myself to be victimised. I’ve believed the toxic people I chose to listen to when they said I wasn’t normal, I’m too much, I’m too little, boring, have nothing of interest to say, their “shoulds” and changes I need to make – for them.
Reflecting back, I’ve been doing this since late 20’s – tried to be what others wanted. And it hurt. It hurt really really badly because I always failed to be enough and their image of what I ”should” be.
Also this year, I’ve had amazing gifts of friendship, support, guidance and acceptance of……me. The Isabella who has no longer got a shield of denial or hiding places – I’ve had no choice. I’ve been reduced to a blubbering mess and forced to accept all that I am – all her odd ways, self sabotaging and also the positive aspects of me.
Through the kindness of new friends and the acceptance and willingness to reconnect of old friends who have known me since I was 17, I have felt loved, appreciated and cherished. I’ve learned that not everyone will appreciate me in all my erratic ways and that’s ok.
The friends that accept me – warts and all – are the ones that truly matter. They are the ones I need to listen to. Not the ones that tell me that I’m not normal, I don’t communicate well or that want me to change to fit their image and lift.
I’ve had an absolute toxic revolting year – yet a very very soft landing where I am safe, secure and willing to learn. I have so so many blessings and am aware of them on a daily basis – my gratitude list is long.
I’ve got a lot of learning and healing to do. I still make mistakes daily/hourly. But I’m willing to learn new behaviours and to appreciate every person in my life as they are. If I don’t want to be told I must change and conform then I have no right or desire to demand others change or to tell them they are wrong.
So thankful to have the ability to reflect and grow – thanks to key people in my life that have shown me what true friendship and love looks like.
I am loved, loathed, tolerated, accepted and rejected – and all of it is ok.