been on the wrong end of someone’s irresponsible behavior in one way or many. The important thing to keep in mind is that we, the victims, are not at fault. Most of us enter into these situations willingly and with the intent of living up to the terms of whatever environment it happens to be. We tried, and sometimes, tried many times to give more slack to people or even take more of the responsibility and try to do whatever it takes to keep it successful.
We had purposeful intent to complete the circumstances. We gave all we could to try. There is to be no shame or fault in that. The bad end of these situations are what they are because we put ourselves out there where we knew we could be victims, but had sufficient reason to trust that our partners would also do the same. So, do not hang your head. Do not feel that you have been made a fool. That can only happen if you continue to invest this effort while knowing inside yourself that you probably shouldn’t. Not according to your friends’ opinions or anyone else because only you know everything invested. Friends are wonderful but they sometimes want so badly to save us to show their love and loyalty that they compartmentalize the facts as they know and come to a conclusion. One that they would not have to deal with should it be ill timed or otherwise.
So, be proud that you did so much to try to have something that was important. The end doesn’t erase it all and there are almost always many more good memories than bad. Being smart for yourself is not about hate or vengeance or completely removing someone from our lives. It is simply standing up and declaring that the current situation and trajectory is not what you feel would be best for you at this time. Friendships have blossomed after horrible train wreck relationships involving people I know and after the smoke cleared and the feelings that were damaged have begun to repair themselves, they care more about each other now. It’s usually worth trying to save, even if no children are involved. There were good times to remember and celebrate. You will still love them and maybe go further for them afterwards than before because your investment has been minimized and your role changes.
Anyway, I was thinking about how my wife left me in a rough spot and although I want nothing to do with her at all, it is not because she walked out. That was a blessing. It was burning the city as she left by lying to children who I loved so much. Telling them things that would justify them never being able to see me again. Things that if were true, would certainly lead to death at the hands of inmates in prison. That’s nothing to try to salvage, even as a friend.
The ones who hurt us are damaged and while we try so hard to help fix them during the worst times, it isn’t something we can do for them. Only they can do it and only if they are committed to doing it. Two HUGE “If’s”. Trying to fix them for too long leads to ourselves being damaged and the erosion of love for ourselves. We think less of ourselves just because someone else says or acts like it’s so. It’s crazy to think that would happen but it is like growing fingernails…so slow and gradual are the claws inserted into us that by the time awareness begins, we are in trouble. But, they are the ones who were unable to live up to the agreements and put in the effort necessary to be successful, so take any feelings of self doubt for yourself and turn that around and point it at them and change the label to “feel sorry for _______”. We may not be perfect but we tried more than we should have. Congratulate yourself for any realization or awareness that you may be in a situation that is deteriorating. Change can’t always happen quickly even when we have awareness, so it is important that while this necessary contact is happening:
- Keep a positive mindset. Focus on good things you would like to happen in your life. Don’t dwell on the negative. You have done that for years and it didn’t change anything except your view of yourself.
- Stay involved in a routine of something that makes you feel good. The gym or driving fast or blowing bubbles or making out with the mailman, it doesn’t matter. If it makes you feel better about who you are, do it. Twice, in fact.
- Try to maintain some regular contact with the person or people who most make you feel good about yourself or support you. A daughter away at school or an old school friend, it doesn’t matter but as often as you feel you need it and on a regular schedule if possible. I recommend a daughter away at school but have a back up or two.
- Do anything else as long as it is responsible, isn’t something that was enjoyed by you both at anytime and doesn’t threaten your safety or well being. Anything. You will have to get used to that word when you hopefully change your lifestyle to one that rewards your effort and good choices and won’t ever have to be excused or explained. The world is behind you.
- DO NOT allow the guilty party to tear you down. If you feel that you are being antagonized or leaned on or even having a guilt trip sent your way to try to get you back into their misery, find an excuse or a safe way out of the room or situation. Cramps, bathroom, whatever will get a little space between you and sever the dialogue.
Then, immediately go back to number one and start over…