stop talking to someone who disrespects you

This is a big one for me. It’s not that I spend my days surrounding myself with those who talk down to me and make me feel inferior. But something about men.  I struggle so much with feeling like I’m enough. I struggle with comparison, with everyone. I never feel like enough. I never see myself as complete, whole. I don’t feel smart enough or pretty enough or interesting enough to even deserve to speak to others. These aren’t new struggles. I know countless others feel the same. And yet, it’s crippling and makes me feel more alone than anything else. Within all of these, I have come to realize that I don’t feel like I’m worth anything unless someone is pursuing me, making me feel like I’m something, flirting with me. I don’t know why I’m this way. I have grown up with a wonderful father who, though we’re very different, always let me know my value to him. I don’t have any reason. And yet, I have always required validation from men. It’s become really apparent lately as someone I knew in high school contacted me, for the first time in years. He immediately wanted pictures and began sending sexual messages. I knew it was wrong. I knew he wasn’t what I needed. But I complied. Nothing incriminating was said or sent, but it wasn’t what was right. It wasn’t honorable. He didn’t respect me. And the thing that makes me so sad is that I knew he didn’t respect me. I knew he just wanted to see my body and talk about the things he wanted to do with me – not because he cares for me, but because he feels it’s his somehow his right to have his way with me, to get what he wants. And for the first time in a long time, I felt wanted. I knew it was only for my body. But somehow, in this twisted struggle, I thought that was enough. Because it made me feel like, even if someone didn’t want all of me, at least he wanted part. And isn’t it better to give part of yourself away than nothing at all? No. And I’ve since stopped speaking to him. No more contact, I’ve removed temptations and methods of communicating with him. But it breaks my heart that I would even entertain the thought of giving part of myself to someone who could not have respected me less. He never bothered to ask how my day was. He didn’t care about the books I read or how work went that day. I know I’m not alone in this struggle, this constant desire for attention and affection. And I don’t want to live this way, to constantly be waiting for someone to notice me. I feel like I’m screaming for a need that should only be satisfied by Christ. I didn’t do anything with this man and I won’t be speaking to him anymore, I’m so thankful the Lord stopped me before I had deeper regret. So please, stop talking to people who don’t treat you the way you deserve. Stop letting them take up precious space in your heart and mind, space that should be saved for those who want to protect you – not use you. I hope that those who struggle in similar areas will know that you are valuable and that value is not from the validation of anyone else. You are valuable because you belong to the Lord and that is enough. That is enough. I am enough.

My heart may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. Psalm 76:26