Step 4 Knowing when Enough is Enough

This is a hard one. It’s hard because this just happened to me. I just did this. Have you ever been in a relationship that is often so toxic that your life with this person has become a twisted chess game, where your feelings are the pieces and your king is in check with only one move before mate?(For those of you who are not chess heads this means you are about to lose.) And even worse you know what move they are about to make before they make it, and you know that they think that they know what move you are thinking and they really have no idea what you’re thinking? Or what you’re next move is going to be? Are you confused yet? Let me give you an example: Let’s say a man and a woman have been together for 13 years. Within the 13 years they have been together they keep finding new and innovative ways to bruise each other. When one of them wants to stop the hurt and the pain and work on relationship, the other wants to keep it going. Le’t say the woman wants to stop the hurt but the man wants to continue to treat the woman like she’s disposable . He keeps abusing her feelings and not making her feel safe and protected within the confines of their relationship, for example cheating on her and speaking unkindly about her to people outside of their relationship, not having enough respect for who she is to him. They also don’t speak to each other respectfully, and when they do there is a lot of repressed frustration within their words. Like running hot lava all the frustration, hurt and repressed feelings will find a crack to burst through the surface and explode all over them. And then the damage control begins and then the cycle begins again of them holding back feelings. So they decide to depart from each other, realizing that the issues they face aren’t right. That the basic way that they treat each other is not the way you treat someone you love. As time goes by they realize that they have forgiven each other and they will give the relationship another try. So things are going along really great within their relationship and everything is well. Or so it seems. There’s no arguing, no blatant disrespect yet. But like that chess game I mentioned one wrong move and its no longer a relationship but being worse  to each other than strangers. Now its every man for himself and your guard had better be up because your opponent is coming for you. Now in chess you lose pieces as the game progresses.  But ask yourself this; “What do you lose when the battle is an emotional one?” What is lost is self-respect as the combatants stoop to levels that were not thought possible. One wrong move and an injury is done, the bruised one feeling sore and vengeful and just can’t wait to punish the other. If you were an outsider looking in what would you tell your friend if he or she was in this situation? Would you tell her to try to work it out with this person? Or would you be the true friend you are tell him or her to cut this person out of their life? O.K. I know most of you would tell him or her that all the time that they have spent in a relationship with this person, you are supposed to be planning for a future, meaning that the relationship is supposed to head somewhere much like a story always has a conclusion. And that if the relationship is that bad, then maybe they should find a way to resolve it and maybe that solution would be to end the relationship while they can both walk away. In other words, cut him or her off. The type of relationship i describe in this blog is not healthy. Its obviously so unhealthy that it has become virulent. While of course I am not a medical professional that kind of emotional strain, where your relationship is a mine field cannot be conducive to their physical health. So you would tell your friends to find the best way to cut them off. End the relationship the best way that you can.
Well what if I were to tell you that the people in this relationship are not really a man and a woman, but a mother and a daughter. This is the relationship that I had with my mother.
“My mother and I have not had the best relationship but we are working toward making a better one.” That has been my catchphrase for the last 13 years. While even in this blog I have mentioned the relationship with my mother and I have not gone into details because while I am brave enough to say some things about the life I’ve lived I am not brave enough to reveal all. The point in quoting myself is to tell you all that while I love her deeply, for me I had to cut the relationship off. In this quest for life and my journey from being broken to healing you have to ask yourself when is it ever going to be enough? And while those of you who read this, including my very close friends will probably not understand my reasoning for this, here is what I can comprehend about what I did. No matter how I rationalize it to you or to myself I was wrong for doing it. I thought I would feel vindicated or validated(yes I was right for cutting you off!) for doing but there is none of that. What you feel for the first few minutes is nothing. You feel like you ripped out the foundation of your life. And then you feel like all you want to do is cry. But then you dry your eyes and you move on. Then the self-doubt kicks in. You feel like you just made the worst decision in the world. Like you made an irrevocable mistake and you will regret it. I regret doing it. I regret that I felt the need to do it, but I also feel that if I had not done it I would still be stuck in the mine field, the chess game of who is more right or who is wrong. I don’t want to live my life like that! I refuse to live my life like that! So today I went to therapy. I realize that a lot of the arguments that my mother had about me were right. So i decided that I wanted to address the issues that were raised in a healthy way. So I have a therapist and I am working on my issues. And maybe in a few years if my mother has forgiven me and I have forgiven her we can revisit trying to have a better relationship. I never in a million years thought I would do this. I had no idea that this was even possible but here I am. And while there really is no validation or vindication in ending a relationship with someone you love, there is another thing that will happen if this is the step you have to take. Acceptance. If this is where you are in your relationship with someone, anyone, whether its friend or family you have to find the strength within yourself and see if there is a better way than what i did. Again for the disclaimer people:What i did was wrong! I only suggest it as a last resort. If you have tried every way you can think of for a peaceful solution and still have this person in your life try that. But if you can’t take the bitterness, the pain, the stress of trying to sustain the relationship you have to find the determination to end it. Let the other party be responsible for their healing while you become responsible for yours. Set a precedent in your life that you will no longer tolerate the same things that you have let slide before. I am especially talking to the people who are non-combative like myself.  We who are the pushovers of the world who let a lot of the darts and arrows that people throw at you slide just so that you can have a relationship with them. That time is now over. We are now too old to play doormat. We now have to fight for what we want and for what we deserve. The time to take back your life is now. Go see someone to talk out your issues with. Even if you don’t believe in therapy, it helps to have someone impartial in your corner. Whether you pass or fail in this life is up to you. You have the power to choose how your life will move forward from this day on. You have to ask yourself when enough is enough.

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