Have you ever had a scent, a song, a taste or a location bring memories flooding back to you from your past?
I have, and it happened again this weekend. I went to Lansing on Saturday to spend time with friends and family. Lansing is about an hour south-east from where I live now in Grand Rapids… Lansing is also the city I grew up in. As you can imagine I have many memories from this town.
I came alone this time, so the commute and downtime in between meeting up with people allowed for me to contemplate. I drove past a couple of the locations I use to work – McDonald’s and what use to be, Circuit City. I really enjoyed both of those jobs, but they also brought with them memories of me at 16, 19 and 22. First a girl, then a young woman, greatly desiring to be loved and told that I was beautiful and worth fighting for.
A specific memory came to mind of a coworker I hung out with. We hung out at his apartment. He didn’t live in the greatest area. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t good either. When it was time for me to go, he walked me to the front door of his apartment, but stopped there. I stopped too. “Aren’t you going to walk me to my car?” He laughed and said, “No. It’s cold outside.” I was stunned, but not feeling confident, I didn’t call him out on it. I just turned and walked briskly to my car.
As I re-experienced this memory, my heart sank for this girl who was looking for protection and not receiving it. That experience reinforced a message that had already been festering within her, “If you were worth anything to him, he would have walked you to your car.”
Growing up, and sometimes even now, I find myself engaging in relationships that are unhealthy and abusive. Sometimes I have chosen to stick around because the thought of being alone seemed more scary than the abuse.
What abusive or unhealthy relationships are you choosing to continue simply because you are afraid to be alone, to lose a friend or to have conflict? Maybe its time to step away from this relationship. You are worth fighting for.