Loyalty is one hell of a thing.
I maintain that we human beings sometimes do some silly things in the name of it, for reasons political, romantic and otherwise.
Loyalty is said to be an admirable trait, one heavily sought. Less often discussed is loyalty that is sought and gets taken advantage of.
I have spent most of my life working hard to keep someone in my corner who doesn’t seem to give me the same care or attention. My loyalty towards this person has been a long-established thing, and every time they (hopefully unintentionally) hurt me, I can’t find the words or way to justify getting them out of my sight. I’m not even sure they’d listen if I told them what was up.
In the several months I went through therapy, I learned to feel okay with releasing years of suppressed emotion. Most of this has to do with the aforementioned someone, some doesn’t.
At times, the suppressed emotions will come out at random — in the past, through uncomfortable and of course unwelcome panic attacks. I’ve overcome these with help from supportive friends (including my herbalist), and practicing talking myself down when they occur (example: breathing exercises, saying aloud ‘it’s okay, it’s going to be okay’).
More recently my mind sometimes wanders to old memories I wasn’t finished sorting through, which can result in me needing to take a short break from work or assorted activities until I get to feeling better. I tend to overwhelm myself with piles of things to do so I can feel I’m being productive, so taking a breather is something I should be doing out of habit anyway.
Bit by bit, the layers I’ve hidden away are coming loose, and I’m finding I’m stronger than ever.
The highest hurdle of all will be to detach myself from the someone for whom I’ve reserved a corner, if necessary. The trick is to suss out if my loyalty’s going to a place where it can be nurtured, or in the trash left to its own devices, because it’s something that’s expected of me.