Brilliant words, Miss Charlotte Franklin.

I agree with much of what you say here, because it has been my personal experience that letting humiliation and shame over things that others have done TO me dictate how I felt about myself, and more importantly, how I deserved to be treated by men, resulted in a sort of constancy that went on long term; if I allowed someone who hurt me to cause me the type of shame that told me I deserved to be hurt, then I would continue to be hurt until I believed I deserved better.

Thanks for putting this out there. It’s important, and I wish more people had (I don’t want to say “understood”, because it’s deeper than that) it.

It’s a lesson that took me a good 20 years to learn. And it’s one of the most important ones you can learn, because it affects everything in your life; it determines what your life is - what every second of it will feel and smell and taste like from that point forward.

The problem is the slippery slopes to either side of the balance point. Slide off in one direction, and you’ll spend your days beating yourself up because everything is your fault, and you’re a worthless piece of shit with no reason for living. Slip the other way, and you’ll be a conscienceless monster for whom people are cardboard cutouts, in your life solely to be used for what you can get out of them.

But the joy of possessing your life, of owning your power of choice — of having a solid grasp on where your responsibilities lie and what duty you actually owe, versus trying to carry the world on your shoulders or hiding under a rock in utter misery... yeah. This one is worth all the effort.

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