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My story isn’t changing.

“You better work on a better story, because you’re full of shit and nobody is going to buy it.”

Just typing the words makes my heart pound. I can feel my heartbeat in my chest. My throat is tightening as my thumbs move to capture the physical sensations this exchange caused in my body.

I had just poured my heart out, told my story of all the things I had been through in the last 12+, hell, last 33 years, and how all of it brought me to that room, that day. Standing up for myself for the first time. Finally asking for the space I needed to formulate thoughts. I asked for the floor, uninterrupted, so I could let my mouth catch up to my brain. I get spinny and stutter when I can’t get the words out fast enough.

The room might as well have been a pressure cooker.

“You better work on a better story.”

GUT PUNCH.

“You’re full of shit.”

GUT PUNCH.

“Nobody is going to buy it.”

RIP MY HEART OUT OF MY BODY.

After that, I recoiled. Just like I did as a kid. Just like I did every single time I did something “wrong” or didn’t ask for permission or forgot to be whatever they expected me to be.

And then I stood up, walked to the bathroom, and washed the hateful look and energy I had just received off of my body. I knew better. My recoil was a habit, those words were not my truth. The words that were spoken at me weren’t for me. They were a projection of some untold story, some missed opportunity, something that had zero to do with me.

In that shower, I washed off all of the expectations, all of the shoulds, all of the roles that were no longer serving me.

I looked in the mirror and stood up a little taller.

My story isn’t changing.

And nobody else is writing it for me anymore.

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