When it’s okay for a friend to hit you

As I’ve shared, I spent the weekend recently with my best friends from high school. It was an eye-opening, memorable weekend, to say the least.

At one point I am sitting outside with one friend – let’s call her Donna – on the balcony of the apartment. We’re talking about something that’s going on in my life. Something that, in her opinion, I’ve been putting up with for far too long.

Next thing I know, Donna gets up, walks towards me, slaps me on the face, and sits back down. The slap’s not hard, but still.

I assume she’s “slapping some sense into me,” and laugh it off. But she gets back up, and slaps me again. And again. And again. And again.

At this point I’m saying, “Please stop.” But she keeps going. Then I’m saying, “Please stop,” and tears are streaming down my face. But she keeps going. “It’s not about please,” she says, as she slaps me (again, not hard) again.

The tears are not about the slaps, well at least, not physically about the slaps. They’re about what’s slowly dawning on me as Donna keeps slapping me. And slapping me. And slapping me. And not stopping when I ask her to. Not stopping at my “Please.”

I have had a tendency to put up with things in my life. Because that’s what I thought I had to do when I was young. Because that’s what I learned. Because “I’m strong” and “I can handle it” and “It’s not so bad.” I’ve put up with a lot.

And while what I’ve been facing recently isn’t that bad, it’s not necessary. I don’t have to put up with it any longer, and I don’t have to ask nicely for it to stop. I can insist that it stop, or I can – get this – get up and walk away. I’m pretty sure Donna wouldn’t follow me to slap me. I could have moved off of the balcony. Or at least out of my chair.

So, while it’s really not okay for someone to slap you, even if it’s out of love, it was okay what Donna did for me. And to me. Because that lesson will stay with me for a very, very long time. Forever maybe.

I am strong and I can handle a lot. But I don’t have to. That’s what Donna was telling me.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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