“Don’t assume you know what anyone else
is feeling unless you’ve been there, too..”

** Trigger warning, please continue
with caution. **

If you spent one day in my childhood shoes, you’d understand why I do the things I do. Why I try so hard to help others when — and as best — I can. But also, why I know there’s a line I have to draw in the sand. A line I can’t cross without risking my own well-being. My sanity. There’s a reason I can’t look too closely at the news, or march in rallies. Or speak out beyond my means.

Try walking one night in my childhood shoes, and you’d know what it’s like to feel the sting of a slap on the cheek, a punch to the gut. Or kick by a steel-toed boot to the hip. What it feels like to be degraded continuously with words. Debased into nothing.

And then feel — not just witness — through my childhood eyes what it’s like to be ravaged, to have your innocence stolen from you over and over again. To be taught before you can read how to please a man with your mouth, or how to move your hips the right way.

Now, imagine walking in those same shoes on a daily basis for years, and tell me I’ve not cried hard enough, or endured more than my fair share. Tell me I’m wrong for spending every moment trying to stay calm and not panic, while the rest of the world crumbles.

Just because I can’t do more than empathize, doesn’t mean I don’t give a shit. So don’t think for a second that you know what anyone else is feeling unless you can put yourself in those shoes.

© Sarah Doughty

Everyone comes from somewhere.
Not every story is a pretty one.

2 thoughts on “Encompassed”

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