Regretfully, in the past, there’ve been many missed opportunities for me to lovingly recommend therapy to those who’ve intentionally or unintentionally hurt me. I’m aware that making a suggestion like that should be done appropriately and with caution, however, I feel that by not suggesting it at all I’ve only created more room for whatever negativity those people already harbored. In my previous post, I mention being at fault of reacting before swallowing my pride and allowing myself the moment to recognize and feel what was going on. More recently, reflection has allowed me to realize that my sharp tongue has only instilled more pain after pain was inflicted on me, and that’s resolved nothing; it’s only allowed a toxic cycle to continue within a person, and if I’d been more receptive, more gentle, in a situation and understanding of why I was being poorly treated by ex-friends and ex-lovers I might have been a bit wiser in my reactions and I could’ve helped at least one of us.

Yes, I am saying that “fighting fire with fire” has been one of my more terrible decisions when things have gone to shit. In some cases, it’d have been better to bite my tongue and allowed time to swell between the empty spaces before considering to flare a conversation again. That’s not to say that I’m dismissing how I felt then, and even still I recognize that the way I felt was more than valid and acceptable. Being objectified is such a sickening feeling – someone feels entitled to your body, your time, and could care less how it affects you as long as it satisfies their needs. Have you ever felt like trash? A piece of meat? Invisible and insignificant? Have you ever been used and then gaslighted with, “sorry if you liked me, but…” only after you speak up about NOT liking said things and explaining your pain to someone you love? If you haven’t, I never want you to. If you have, you’re more than just your body and a good time. Being used financially can become tiresome and obligating – food, a home, gas for a trip in the car, academic materials, clothing, etc. At times I provided regardless of the burden it brought me, and without a thank you or pestering of compensation (although that’s what would have been kind and considerate of the other person). As a butterfly would with nectar, I was financially being sucked as close to dry as possible. From butterflies to leeches, it was all causing me mentally instability. However, I’ve always been a firm believer in the following bible verse (Luke 3:11) – “If you have two shirts, give one to the poor. If you have food, share it with those who are hungry.” I’ve tried not to be greedy, but I also realize that I’ll need food to last me a week and an extra shirt when the other is dirty. To those of you who are religious, I’m aware I may have taken this out of context, but being that I grew up in a religious household and through a private education I don’t require or want your input on this.

My reactions weren’t always terrible, however. If anything I’m sure they’ve taught a lesson, but I acknowledge through my own self-awareness that being more compassionate and patient would have been of more benefit. The two examples I gave were some of the more resonating types of pain inflicted onto my by people I loved. Deceit of course would come first, but I don’t feel like delving into the mental and emotional abuse, as well as the manipulation that I experienced by being with that person. Following all the reactions that came from it… crazy times. Somethings are better left in the past. Even then, I wish therapy had been considered just as I wish I had suggested it to old friends. There’s so much to gain from it – an outlet, a deeper understanding of self, a piece of mind, self-awareness, comfort, closure, etc.

Stigmatization of seeking this sort of help is so prevalent among men and POC, though. It’s deemed as weak, ridiculous, laughable, and is commonly perceived to determine that ultimately you’re crazy. Therapy doesn’t translate to admittance into some institution. Therapy doesn’t even mean you’re broken or crazy. To me, therapy translates to love – to loving yourself or someone else enough in hopes of becoming better. It’s compassionate and kind and empathetic. It’s important to release and work through a troubled mind or a troubled past (some mental health issues are caused by situations or chemical imbalances) so that tomorrow comes with a new beginning. Historical trauma exists and it’s real in today’s society whether you’d like to accept it or not. This mold needs to be broken because it only strengthens a system that chooses to marginalize those who were made less fortunate or to be less acknowledged in society as a whole and causes a cycle of pain being inflicted on others and themselves. More access to therapists is necessary and mental illness needs to be discussed more openly and acknowledged because we all go through things. We all go through things and don’t realize that maybe somethings go beyond the surface.

I love you, still. I wish you the absolute best and you deserve happiness. Please seek a therapist. Things can only get better from wherever you’re at in your life right now.

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