Thursday, October 18, 2007

Sparring with Loss...

For the past three weeks, I have been involved in a rather sick dance with a very toxic person.

This person is so toxic that she was able to pick up on all of my vulnerabilities quickly - like a hound smells blood - and began sniffing around all the weaknesses in me, creating her own sick hunt.

It was a hunt and seek that is all too familiar to me.

I don't cope with loss well. That is probably a product of my background which never permitted me the security of consistency. What exists today ~ there is no guarantee that it will be there tomorrow. I am trained in a sick way to expect it now.

And over and over again, I draw people who feed into this very thing. It's as though they know I am an easy mark.

I admit that my getting to know her (I'll call her AG) was initiated by her and I liked the attention. It felt good to have the phone ring. It felt good to feel like a part of the whirl of the living. It felt good to know that I am not invisible after all, that someone notices and someone actually responds. That means that I ignored a lot of the red flags and permitted myself to get completely lost in the tilt-a-wheel ride. The ups and downs, the sick and twisted need to prove to myself and others that someone would.... stay.... that I didn't have to fight for it. That it was voluntary.. not because of the claws I can dig in when I feel something slipping away. All I had to do is acquiesce... to put aside what I know is right and good and tolerate what I know is wrong and harmful.

AG knew exactly how to keep me on my toes with the push/pull, the manipulation, the rejection and then the pursuit, the keywords she'd sprinkle throughout our conversations with more deliberation than Al Qaeda on a recruitment mission.

I have had to put this person out of my life. For the sake of my own well-being, I have had to cut the strings. In fact, I visualized it that way... and there was a web around us, like silly string, linking us in our sick routine.

And yet I still feel the loss. I feel the loss because that sick dance is something I've done all my life, even when I know how dangerous it is. (The last person I did this with.. to this extent.. ultimately tried to take my life.) I've done it because sometimes something is better than the void.. it's better than nothing. I feel battered and bruised ~ abused ~ which I in fact was. For the past three weeks, I have been rather relentlessly emotionally abused.. and I allowed it. When it comes to the social world, I am a complete and utter failure. I live in a world of ideas and concepts, abstracts and visions. If there is some sick, exploitative person around, they find me and gravitate to me like white finds rice.

It's these things, you know... these secrets we carry.. and somehow always end up letting those down, those who think we have all the answers.. even some of them. I have none. I have no answers.



Christine said...

i have no answers either.

but i am so sorry that she hurt you.

it was wrong and self centered of her.

you opened your heart and she abused it.

take care, friend.

KC said...

How terrible, Chani. I'm sorry you had to deal with this awful person.

Tricia said...

Chani, the way I see it is you are not a failure, because you were able to recognize the toxicity of this person, and make the choice and effort to cut her out of your life. That sounds like a success to me!

I've had to do the same thing recently (indirectly related to my divorce), and it did hurt like hell. She had been my bestest friend since high school, and it took me going through the worst time of my life to realize she wasn't the bestest friend I thought she was after all those years.

It's only natural you're suffering the loss, even though the real loss was having her in your life in the first place. But I can speak from experience when I say that it gets better. The sadness subsides, and you will be able to move on. And now you have gained the wisdom you need to surround yourself with some new people who will be uplifting and good!

I know this probably doesn't help very much right now, but I just felt the need to offer encouragement, and to let you know I've been there. Hugs to you!

Anonymous said...

Oh, Chani, I'm sorry.

Sorry that you're hurt. Sorry that you're reminded that you feel different.

It's hard to hurt, but it's better than being numb. That's what I think.

Mary said...

Chani, I wish I had some words of wisdom or something to say that would make you feel better.

It took a lot of courage for you to disconnect with a companion. But you had good reason. It's called self preservation. No more torment.

painted maypole said...

oh chani. I am thankful that you were able to finally see it for what it was, and get out. I think that shows that you are learning, and you can take at least some small comfort in knowing that you knew enough to get out. It is not your fault that there are predators out there. Part of being human and being in relationship is allowing yourself to be vulnerable. The fact that she took advantage of it indicates a problem in HER, not in you. You choose to deal with your emotions and questions about life in a kind and helpful way, she chooses to ignore her insecurities by passing them on to others. You are in a much better position than she is.

But it still hurts.

Wishing you peace...

liv said...

Sometimes I think it's just best to get out. And, sometimes that's easier said than done. (hugs)

Bob said...

I'm sorry you were hurt. you cannot blame yourself, though - this person did this to you. just as if they had actually pulled a gun or wielded a knife and physically harmed you.

I know it is difficult, but I hope you don't lose or change the trust and openness that is so much a part of who you are (or that I see you to be) because of this. it is part of what makes you a special person.

meno said...

I don't know what to say. If you are the one who cut the strings, then it seems as if you are learning something in this life.


Julie Pippert said...

I'm so sorry...loss aches. Knowing you repeated a pattern you promised yourself you wouldn't, to protect you, aches too. I know this dance, do not understand it, but as meno said, you are learning something, clearly.


Using My Words

Janet said...

We all like attention. Sometimes it just takes time to see the intentions behind it. At least you were able to cut her loose.

b*babbler said...

I'm so sorry. It's so hard to realize that a friend is no friend at all.

Good for you though for recognizing the pattern and ending it. That takes a strong person.

Thinking of you.

Ian Lidster said...

We've all done such dances with toxic people, and it's horrible. I was once married to such an individual and she was always alluring to me. It was excruciatingly difficult to break the pattern. Just move on as best you can.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I'm so sorry you experienced this, Chani. Maybe it was a reprieve, a kind of test, of your new strength and determination not to be abused again.

Still, it hurts.

I believe it is still better to be able to open your heart than to be one who cannot. The failure of this friendship is not yours.

Tabba said...

Chani, I am so sorry this has happened.

But I'm glad you care enough about yourself and your well-being to just let this person go.

*I also wanted to thank you for the info. over my way. I responded to your comment in the comments & immediately began googling away.
Thanks again!*

Take care, Chani. And again, I am so sorry that you had to go through this.

enigma4ever said...

so sorry that this would happen to you, and that you are a gentle person with a wonderful spirit, it is good that you know and protect yourself....the loss of this "friend" is not so great as the loss of yourself...and your spirit...give yourself much time to heal...many hugs...namaste.

bohemiangirl said...

I'm so sorry you went through this but so inspired that you let go and freed yourself from the abuse. Good for you. Perhaps this experience will help you grow and keep your distance from toxic people in the future. In the meantime, blessings and light during this time of loss.

Snoskred said...

Something interesting, Chani - I went back through my Google Reader and on October the 1st you posted the Fallow Time post (a title which for some reason has got stuck in my head) which is almost exactly three weeks ago. It is like this person was sucking your writing out of you, does that make any sense?

I think many of us commentors have proven that we will stay. I've been here almost a year now. Many of the people commenting here have been here almost as long as I have. So instead of looking for that elsewhere, take it from us - we're giving it to you freely.

I'm my own best friend. If I could have one wish for you Chani, it would be that you could be your own best friend. I sometimes think you dislike yourself a lot, it comes across in your writing from time to time. You don't seem to esteem you - and if that is the case - until you do esteem yourself you won't expect anyone else to esteem you either. Does that make sense?

Dr Phil always says " Sometimes you just got to give yourself what you wish someone else would give you." You said "sometimes something is better than the void" <--- this is possibly what you need to fix and you can only do that *within* yourself. Nobody else can do it for you.

I hate to say it but you'll never stop attracting these people until *you* give what they are giving to you to yourself. As silly as that sounds.

My advice is - when you feel that void, turn to reading, turn to music, turn to writing, gardening, volunteering, anything that you enjoy doing, instead of looking to fill it with other people. They can't fix what is broken. Only you can. I know you can do it. ;)

Good on you for seeing it for the pattern that it is. You can't change what you don't acknowledge. Yep, another great one from Dr Phil - he's right, too.


MsLittlePea said...

Oh my. I have recently cut a toxic person out of my own life. Someone very close to me whom I love very much, whom I know loves me back. But that kind of relationship makes us spiritually sick and destroys the heart. So I'm glad you were able to see it, recognize, and knew what you needed to do. It took me 31 years....

I too understand that strange feeling of loss. You can't just turn your feelings off like a light switch. Forgive yourself. Love yourself. We're all only human. And when it comes to the social 'dance', I imagine a great many of us are a bunch of klutzes, so don't feel alone.

Was it Gertrude Stein that said, "there is no answer, there will never be an answer. THAT is the answer." (?)(who said that, anyone who knows, tell me, because I say it often...)

crazymumma said...

Chani. It is so hard to break the patterns of emotional dance.

And you did! It took you a space of time, not too long. If there is a next time the space will be even smaller.

And have you thought that perhaps it is the good in you that allows the possibility of these people into your life? That you are trying to be good even at your own detriment?

I think you were pretty strong. But I am sorry you feel all beat up. Thats lousy.

niobe said...

I've never understood why it is that we're drawn like moths to flame, performing the same toxic waltz over and over again. There must be a way to break the pattern. But I haven't found it.

Rimarama said...

Chani, I'm sorry this person made you feel that way. It's good that you recognized how harmful she was to you and removed yourself from the situation. But don't sell yourself short. I've been reading a lot of the comments your readers leave, and you seem to attract a lot of positive people who have your best interests at hear. I know it's different "in real life" situations, but have faith in yourself.

slouching mom said...

oh, hon. i'm so sorry.

mitzh said...

I'm sorry to learn about this.

But I think it is better to get rid of people who just brings us down.

flutter said...

You didn't deserve this, Chani.

Angela said...

Toxic. So hurtful. So common.

I have found myself in my journey lately experiencing many of your same emotions. Sometimes I try to soothe them immediately to lessen their power; other times I'm strong enough to breathe through them and release them. I hope that the pain of this experience passes soon.