Fact: I had a man in my life, way back when, who called me a f***** b**** more times than I can count. He’d rain those words on me while I was at my weakest. He’d rain them on me when I was at my worst. He’d rain them on me when I fought back and when I didn’t. And he’d hate me either way. At the time, I had a dear friend, an old friend, a friend I trusted, who told me this was completely normal. She said that people fight, and when they fight they say things they don’t mean. She said this because, for reasons I still don’t understand, those sorts of words didn’t seem to hurt her. Maybe because she didn’t believe them? Or maybe because she did. I don’t know. All I know is that I was scarred, deeply, over and over and over again. Scars upon scars upon scars. And those scars were self-loathing; those scars were self-doubt; those scars were real. I don’t believe in many absolutes, but I do believe (now) that if someone’s cruel to you, you shouldn’t hold them close, no matter how deserving you feel of those lashings. And if someone tells you otherwise, you probably shouldn’t hold them close either. When we stop making excuses for this sort of behaviour, when we stop perpetuating it by inviting it into our lives, we free up space and energy for the good stuff. The reeeeeeal good stuff. And that’s all I wish for any of you. Ever. I dedicate this post to the best human I know. xx.