Written by Stacee L. Reicherzer, PhD.  Narrated by Joanne McCall.

(Audio only version)

If you find that your community is lacking in some way, you’re not alone. The process of making a conscious choice to continue healing from Otherness involves moving away from people who bring toxicity to your life—whether through mind games and manipulation, power struggles that leave you feeling the need to constantly defend yourself, or attacks on your self-esteem that exhaust you.

The relationships that make you most unhappy in your life are likely the ones where someone is using your history of Otherness against you. Say you’re a woman who was Othered for her body size or shape. Chances are that, even as you healed, the relationships that remain the most hurtful use body-shaming when the someone wants to inflict hurt. People who are willing to use our deepest hurts against us are not well.

Sadly, exposure to these types of relationships can leave you feeling that no one is safe, and that you cannot trust anyone. When you’ve learned to move away from toxic people, then made a bold choice to put yourself out there again and taken a risk to do it—only to encounter toxic people at first—it’s normal to initially retreat into isola­tion. “Initially” is the keyword here, because we need to continue showing up.

Venturing Into New Communities

As we venture into new communities, we do need to be alert. We may encounter people who sense our newness and the vulnerability it entails. They can try to take advantage of us as they sense our eagerness to connect, or perhaps our naivety about the group’s cultural norms.

Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous groups deal with something called “13th-Stepping,” in which...

Continue Reading at InnerSelf.com (plus audio/mp3 version of article)

Written by Stacee L. Reicherzer, PhD., author of The Healing Otherness Handbook.

Narrated by Joanne McCall, McCall Media Group.

Music By Caffeine Creek Band, Pixabay

About the Author

photo of: Stacee Reicherzer, PhDStacee Reicherzer, PhD, is a Chicago, Illinois-based transgender counselor, educator, and public speaker for the stories of the bullied, forgotten, and oppressed. The San Antonio, TX, native serves as clinical faculty of counseling at Southern New Hampshire University, where she received the distinguished faculty award in 2018. She travels the globe to teach and engage audiences around diverse topics of otherness, self-sabotage, and imposter phenomenon. She is the author of The Healing Otherness Handbook (New Harbinger, April 2021).

Visit the Author's website at DrStacee.com/