Trying to get away from the last person I was in a dysfunctional relationship with–wow, that was hard work. I’ve had many low-key dysfunctional relationships, but this was one of the more dangerous and expensive. I want to write about how to know it’s a no. Please learn from my errors!
when you’re afraid to introduce him to your friends
You know the cartoon trope where the two people are shipwrecked on a desert island. One gets hungry, then starts to see the other as a hunk of ham? This man I loved saw every person I introduced him to as a mark. I got the feeling he saw everyone as a hunk of ham.
After a while I could tell he was taking all he could from me, while doing the bare minimum to maintain the relationship. He gave zero fucks about the trail of heartbreak he left behind him. What a horrible scene.
After some months I could partly tell he was taking me for all he could. But I would try to talk myself out of it, noting the angel inside of him.
One of the last straws was introducing him to people I loved and lived with, and realizing he was just going to use everyone. I knew what was going on with his bad behavior and thought I could handle it. Me–I could take it. But seeing these poor innocent people turning into ham hunks before this dude’s eyes was traumatic.
If I need to save my friends from someone, uh… I think I’m worth saving, myself. But also I couldn’t handle the liability. It’s like introducing someone to Jack the Ripper, or giving them a poison tree. No way did I want to do that to anyone.
getting sucked back in
Getting sucked back in is a bad feeling. We already broke up–I decided some days, weeks, or months ago that this was not a good scene. So why am I changing my mind and restarting the relationship?
Do I not trust the person I was, when I made the previous decision? Did something actually change?
The man in question would make a big deal out of his own changes of circumstances. He wanted to convince me that his life was better now, and he wouldn’t drop a chaos bomb on my family again. But it was all deception. He lied like a dog, and I’m sorry I believed it.
I want to hide stuff
Wanting to hide that I’m talking to the problematic person again is an embarrassing, vulnerable feeling. My friends have heard the hell I went through already, and they’ll judge me for trying again. I was breaking my own heart.
Privacy is one thing. But wanting to hide things from my closest friends is a bad sign. I’m not on the right track. They love me–I should love me too. That’s how to know it’s a no.
messages from ancestors
I try not to bother my mom–I think she’s busy on the other side. But when she tells me to get away from someone, that’s a powerful message. I need to heed it!
Oppositely, Ming and I had an argument the other day. I needed to attend a meeting, so I walked away from our trailer, getting a break from the conflict.
As I walked away, I got a strong message in my body. The message was:
Ming is your family member, solid partner, and best advocate. This argument is peanuts. Don’t lose track of what’s important.
I don’t know for sure if that message was my mom or some other ancestor, but it felt that way. My own intuition? God? Whoever sent that message, it was a smart idea. Thank you. I’m grateful.
how to know it’s a no
Domestic violence, abuse, codependency, and addiction can swirl together into a cluster of fudge. Nobody’s perfect. I can feel torn apart by a tug of war, wondering how much to commit to who. I love deep and hard.
I’m curious where others draw the line. How do you know, when it’s a no? With friends and family I have witnessed these no’s and should have been no’s.
- involvement of police
- restraining orders
- guns under the bed
- much broken furniture
Oh wait, this is not a night topic! Not sure what I’m trying to gain with this list. Please pardon me as I limp off to change the subject and work on a post about something else.
Thank you for the ways you work toward a functional culture without the violence.
One reply on “how to know it’s a no”
I had a friendship that lasted 34 years (middle school into middle age). Even now, I cannot adequately articulate what it was about her that left me feeling so stressed, and wanting to complain about her to everyone. My mother actually thought there were sexual undertones, due to the intensity of the relationship. This was not the case. But at least once, I did return to the relationship after cutting her loose, and I love your advice that we ask ourselves why we’re doing this. Do we not trust the person we were when we made that decision? In the case of this friendship, my wonderful cousin finally asked me one simple question after I had once again vented. She asked, ‘What, if anything, do YOU get out of this relationship? It sounds like she takes everything and you give as much as you can until you become exhausted.’ That completely encapsulated what I had been feeling for 3 decades. This person also described another friend who had completely ghosted her, and how she finally just gave up. That gave me my exit strategy. I was fortunate that she lived several hundred miles away, so all I had to do was stop answering my phone, be patient, and ignore the threats, such as ‘burning black candles’ over me. Eventually she did give up, and I have been very happy now for 18 years.
On the other hand, another friend from high school appears to find me objectionable… we also had a long friendship, but I did some things wrong. I have had to face the fact that my apologies were not and are not accepted, and I should leave her in peace and stop trying to fix things. It isn’t easy, but if I expect this for myself, I need to accept it for her. Thanks for a good blog post.