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Empathy - Original Poem

Updated: Mar 6, 2022

I wish someone would have told me that sacrificing my boundaries in the name of empathy wasn’t noble. I wish they would have warned me that all it would do is make me a safe house for other people’s demons.

I think empathy has to be taught in two parts: how to put yourself in someone’s shoes and see the hurt they were given that made them hurt you, and how to understand that you still don’t deserve what they’re doing.

Their scars are no excuse for the wounds they give to you. Their inability to heal is not something you can fix if you stay and continue to let them treat you in unacceptable ways. If you give them excuses and safe places for their darkness to exist instead of demanding they do better, the only thing you are teaching them is that you’ll put up with it.

We want to live in a world where hurt people don’t hurt people but the reality is, that starts with you standing up for yourself and not accepting disrespect.

You chose to heal. You chose to take the darkness the world gave you and still be a light, you chose kindness despite the pain you received. They can too.

Empathy is not an excuse to sacrifice your boundaries so someone can keep hurting you.

Noelle Rousseau

@Noelle’s Poetry


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