Have you ever had a toxic person permeate your life? Throwing you off kilter and creating inner and outer turmoil.
Whether they have always been toxic or recent events in their lives shifted them into that form of existence.
I have had my fair share of sick and hurting individuals woven into my life at all intimacy levels. Whether directly or indirectly they somehow know how to sully out and prey on your insecurities and triggers. Somehow they burrow down through the layers of defense and protection you fortify around yourself and find just the soft vulnerable bits. Filleting you open, holding it all up before you and the world, causing you to question who you are.
I am positive that at some point I have dabbled in toxic behavior. Perhaps dove all in. At a minimum I have displayed some of those heavy laden characteristics.
What is hard for me is knowing when enough is enough. When I should remain involved? When should I pull away? When is it self preservation and not a mere inconvenience of holding space for another hurting soul?
I feel that we receive a slew of mixed messages about unconditional love whilst managing personal boundaries. For someone coming from a history of emotional dysfunction that is colossally confusing and overwhelming. And though I know a recipe or one size fits all approach is a grossly poor way of handling such sensitive material, I wish I had some guidelines. Or at least a sense of direction. A compass outside of my own skewed subjectivity.
Certainly a portion of my hesitancy stems from my own internal strife with insecurities and inadequacies. I have learned a tremendous amount about myself over the years and if you have been privy to the journey then you have seen some less than stellar moments. There has been some downright ugliness. Moments that I am not proud of. Moments that bubble up shame and embarrassment for my behavior and rigidity. Human mistakes that I really need to forgive and release. I cannot return to those moments and undo or alter who I was or how I behaved then. But I am committed to being better, here and now.
I do better now. I am learning and growing. I see how much further I need to reach. Infinitely further. For I believe growth and change never halts. I keep moving forward.
But I have been a part of an ongoing situation. I made a decision to back away. Lovingly and compassionately. Or so I thought. I felt that I was very clear in my reasoning and how and when I would be available to help. I was not unkind.
Yet, here I am feeling gaslighted at every interaction. And every.single.time. I am left questioning my choice for departure and how I arrived there and if it was truly the right choice. The questions, “Am I an asshole? Am I a terrible friend?”, floating around accusingly in my head.
I understand hurt and pain and how it can infest you. Alter every aspect of your being. I lived there too. I can be. No wait, I am ride or die material. But not on the merry-go-round. I lived for too long on too many peoples’ merry-go-rounds. Before I had choices. Before I was able to use my voice.
Life is too short to stay stagnant and sick.
What are your thoughts on these types of people and situations? Do you walk away or dig in? How do you avoid chinking away at yourself? Do you ever feel really ok with removing yourself from someone you care about? I’d like to know your thoughts.