It has been such a long time since I have written on my blog! I am back and am going to do my best to post at least once a week. Recently I went through a very painful breakup. The breakup has forced me to look at my life and look at the things in my life that are hurting me and look at people in my past who have hurt me. I am trying to work through a lot of things in my life that have caused me unrest (money, personal stuff) and am starting to make progress.
Another thing that my breakup caused me to do was to notice a pattern of similar types of people that I am picking to be in my life. I thought a lot about the last couple of friends I have had that I later had fell out with and the last two people I was in a relationship with. They all had similar qualities: manipulative, controlling, and dominating. I am not saying that the relationship/friendship breakdowns were completely the other person’s fault but I realized that I am picking people who have qualities that do not mesh with me and my personality at all. The people I was picking to be in my life would try to control, dominate, and manipulate me and other people in their lives.
These people all caused me harm and a lot of hurt. My mom taught me a saying about holding onto people or things in your life that are causing you harm; “Sever the ties that sever you.” These people did sever me to the point that I had to cut off my relationship or friendship with the person which is not an easy thing for me to do.
If you are a people pleaser like I am you tend to believe that severing ties with people who cause you harm is selfish or wrong. If someone is continually hurting you than the situation is wrong for you. Look at why you feel hurt and look at these situations. Relationships and friendships are not supposed to bring you pain they are supposed to bring you happiness. Now I am not saying that relationships and friendships do not have their rough spots but if you are at a place where the entire relationship or friendship is plagued with bad interaction, fighting, or hurt than it is time to reevaluate the situation.
Know that you deserve more than what you’ve had in this relationship or friendship. The great thing about life is that we have the chance to create what kind of life we want. You do not have to live for other people even if you love other people. You deserve respect and if people are not treating you with respect then it is time to step back. Maybe you respect the other person in the friendship/relationship but they do not respect you? You deserve to be in a friendship/relationship where there is mutual respect between both people.
When someone tries to control you, manipulate you, or dominate you that is not respect. I have learned from my past that I do give others respect and it is high time that the people I choose to be in my life give me respect back. When you let go of people in your life who are hurting you; you are respecting yourself. It may be painful and hard at first but you will feel much happier when you let go of people who hurt you or disrespect you.
One of the hardest things to do is to end a friendship or relationship where you started with a lot of mutual respect but then something changed and it caused the other person to literally turn into a different person so severing ties can be difficult. The inspiration of the ebook that I am writing is precisely this situation.
My former best friend Jenelle (I will not use any actual names in my examples as to respect privacy) and I were best friends from the ages of fourteen to twenty one. Jenelle was my soul sister and I loved her with all of my heart. When we both reached the age of nineteen Jenelle slowly started changing into a completely different person. She turned into a person I could not stay friends with. She became controlling, mean, and manipulative. I was in a state of agony and shock for two years. I could not believe my best friend was treating me so poorly and I had no idea what to do about it because this person was not the person I became friends with in the eighth grade.
I had to let it go. There was no discussion or no talk-it was like a sudden death. Something inside me just shut off and I had no desire to try to fix anything because I had tried and it was never successful. We slowly stopped talking and I went completely silent. Jenelle asked no questions and I offered no explanation. I slowly put barriers around me as to keep her out because she was causing me pain. I am not saying this is the best way to handle this but at that point I was in so much pain I had no desire to fight for closure or peace between us. I just wanted out of the friendship because it was slowly starting to kill me inside. This situation caused me true heartbreak. It took me a very long time to get over this best friend breakup. Often when you break up with your best friend it is worse than when you break up with your boyfriend. I know that my breakup with Jenelle was worse than any relationship break up I ever had.
It took me a long time to really heal from my breakup with Jenelle. It has been three years and I now finally feel like it is truly in the past. Know that when you let go of a tie it will take time to heal. Letting go, even if it is the right thing to do, is very hard. It is especially hard when letting go is not natural for you and holding on is. There is a time to hold on and a time to let go.
The breakup with my ex-boyfriend Issac was also very painful. It was a humbling experience to say the least. We both fell in love very, very fast and both told each other we were in love before we really had even spent time together and gotten to know who the other person truly was.
I realized that Issac and I were not compatible about three months into the relationship but since we had talked at length about the future and our lives together I felt completely attached.
Issac also had some qualities in him I did not find acceptable. He was controlling and tried to manipulate me. I wasn’t allowed to take a day off from calls or Skype conversations (I think it is important especially when you are the type of person that puts yourself last to take a day to be with yourself to think, reflect, and to decompress from the stresses of life), I wasn’t allowed to take time to put makeup or fully get ready (Issac hated that it took me an hour to get ready but when I go out I like to look nice and I would try to plan it so I would have this time but he always told me not to get dressed up or do my makeup), he preferred when I was quiet, and when I would tell him what I needed he would sometimes have a very bad reaction to the point where I was scared to say what I needed from him. We all have needs and should be able to bring them up without fear or anxiety in a relationship or a friendship.
I kept telling myself it was me being over-sensitive but I realized I was not being over-sensitive when I spoke with my family and friends who would tell me if I was being over-sensitive. I have also realized our feelings and instincts about people are usually right on. The gut rarely lies so when your gut tells you something listen to it.
I also was pretending to be something I wasn’t so Issac and I could be together. When you cannot truly be who you are in your relationship then you are not in a relationship that is right for YOU. When you are in this situation it is important to think about YOU. I know I always worry about the other person to the point I would continue suffering so the other person does not have to be unhappy. YOUR happiness matters and you need to take your happiness into account.
When you are in a situation where you feel you might have to sever ties follow these steps:
1) Sit with how you feel. Do not do anything. Just pay attention to how you are feeling. Are you feeling anxious, nervous, scared, angry? Why do you feel this way? Go ahead and process your feelings. This may take a couple of days or even a week. That is fine just give yourself time to process your feelings.
2) Why are you in this situation? Are you in this situation because of a history you have with this person? (One of my answers in the situation with my former best friend Jenelle was “but we have been friends for SEVEN years”). A history is not a good reason to stay in a situation that does not have a bright future. Are you in this situation because of dreams you have? Remember marriage and kids is a great dream but it can be an awful reality with a person you do not feel 100 percent about. Remember you can achieve your dreams but the wrong people can turn your dreams into a nightmare.
3) Talk to your family/friends about the situation. Family and friends can give us an honest opinion about our relationships or friendships. They may see patterns and trends within the relationship or friendship that you do not see. Listen to them.
4) Talk about the situation with the person who you feel is severing you. How do they react? Do they want to fix it? Do they think they have done nothing wrong? Sit with their reaction and notice how they react to you.
5) Try to work it out. If the person reacts positively and tries to work it out with you great! If not continue on to the next step.
6) Take action: if you have decided that this person is no longer a good person for you then take action. Start distancing yourself or end the relationship or friendship directly.
7) Give yourself time to grieve, to heal, and to learn from it. Listen to music. Journal, pray, and read books on this topic. It will help you heal and prevent a situation like this from happening again. We do not have to repeat mistakes in any facet of life if we just pay attention to our mistakes and really learn from them.
8) Do not be bitter. Embrace the good and let go of the bad. Hold onto positive memories and let go of the bad ones. There is no reason to hold onto bad things, be resentful, or try to get the other person with revengeful tactics. When you are bitter with someone it is like holding onto a rope tied onto a tree: you are exerting a ton of effort but the tree does not move.
Every relationship and friendship teaches us something. Make sure you hold onto the good things this person taught you or brought into your life.
In my case: Jenelle gave me a deep understanding of her culture, a better fashion sense, a love of perfume, a deeper appreciation for exercise, a deeper understanding of family, and she taught me to embrace color in my life and wardrobe. These are all good things I hold onto in my daily life.
Issac gave me a love and appreciation for reggae music, a deeper understanding of religious history, a push to embrace my faith and my church in a deeper way, and an appreciation for a certain spot in Southern California. The breakup with Issac gave me a deeper understanding of my true emotional self, an acceptance of my true nature, and it taught me the importance of listening on a deeper level. Actions do speak louder than words so listen to a person’s actions as well as their words.
Sever the ties that sever you. When you remove the darkness in your life you make room for light to come in.