“I am not my willingness”

No. A two letter word, one syllable declaration of a negative response, that flows out of the mouth so effortlessly. I don’t think my mouth can even form this word. Saying no appears to be painless for people. I envy this. For me producing this statement is hopeless. Not being able to say the elementary word has lead me to deeply damaging experiences, where I have been taken advantage of countless times. When I say no, I feel like the whole world is tumbling down: that I am disappointing people, that they won’t like me anymore, or they frankly think I’m not a true friend. These feelings cloud my mind every time someone asks a favor of me.

I’ve heard many times from the people who have hurt me, “You could have said no”. My response is always the same firm statement, “But I can’t”. This is something I battle with everyday, and it starts with the simple “Will you go come grab food with me” when I have a huge test to study for that I’m already behind on. It continues to the loss of my morals, what I believe in, my confidence in myself, and the loss of valuable relationships.

I can’t admit to my friends some of the things I have done, because they would look down on me and see me as a weak. They will judge me for my actions, which I’m not proud of and wish I could have said no to. The inability to say no consumes my life. It has and will always stop me from being the powerful person I wish I could become.