“People come into your life for a reason,
A season or a Lifetime.
When you know which one it is, you will
Know what to do for that person.”

Trust Your Feelings

Our relationship started when I decided to scratch the surface. I’d been seeing her around the neighbourhood where she taught classes at the gym. She had an unusual name. “Where’d you get the name?” I asked and found out that her mother liked the spelling and that it was a divine word in one of the major religions, I cannot remember which. It was my childhood wounds that drew me to her. I found out that she was estranged from her family. “I have a difficult relationship with my mother too.” I told her. I admit that what I was most interested in was that she was writing a memoir. I wanted to encourage her to keep going with the writing. I found that writing out my feelings through the lens of past events in my life was the ultimate therapy.

So here I am, processing the stages of a relationship that I outgrew in hopes you find something that will be valuable to you. Perhaps this piece will empower you to move forward from the pain you may be experiencing in a relationship that’s no longer working. Holding onto relationships because we don’t want to hurt the other person only causes more pain. I witnessed this over and over again and I still have a tendency to hold on for too long (stemming from my inner child seeking the love and care of an emotionally absent mother figure).

Like most people with trauma, I find it hard to regulate my emotions and to stay in a nice grounded and calm state. I now have tools like my writing, and working with writing rituals like lighting a candle at my desk, changing my mood through pleasant smells (thank you Julie), listening to music created with great intention (thank you Melissa), tuning into the beauty of the skies and the stories up there (thank you Tanya) and I had physical movement, for which I became heavily reliant on one person, my friend, whose care I no longer want or need in my life.

How Are You Acting Out?

The relationship started souring when I kept quiet because I didn’t want her to cast me out of her life. I wasn’t there for myself. I was the lonely child seeking approval all over again. I yielded to taking photographs of her to use in her business. I offered business and marketing help going against the voice in my head saying “no, you don’t provide marketing services anymore. It is inappropriate for her to ask you this when she’s here to serve you as her client”.

There were so many situations where she strong armed me and I overrode the voice in my head wanting her to get out of my life. She is a gifted person, I have no doubt of that but it wasn’t her gifts she was bringing. She often brought a disheveled and frantic state of mind that I consciously tried to stabilise. Here I was looking to her to be my oasis of calm and she was in an unbalanced state, how like my mother! I often wanted to talk to her about it and was afraid she’d lash out and tell me I’m projecting my craziness and lack of grounding onto her.

I waited too long as is typical of me and I lashed out because she was not responding to a request I’d made of her to let me interview her for a story.  I felt so angry that she was pushing me around to do all these things for her like finding ways to collaborate, organise workshops and then backing out and making me feel like I was crazy for going ahead with these things.

She let me know that she didn’t need my help. Her business was doing well already.

“I only wanted to help you because I can see you’re nervous about who will show up to your workshops” was her response, which I found patronising. I have no fear about who turns up to the workshops.

I am happy if it is only me and use that as feedback. There’s no failure, only feedback. It hurt me more that she thought so little of me.

Soar with Gratitude

I have deep gratitude in my heart that she came into my life and showed me how to work with my body. I will take the gold and return the shit to her and move on. Every person is a blessing and it is only our lack of boundaries which makes it possible for other to push their toxicity onto us. When we are children we are helpless and as adults we must stand up for ourselves and be fierce warrior mothers to protect our spirit, our inner light, creativity and all the good stuff that makes life a gift. Otherwise we live the shit and pass it onto others.

Over to you…

Which relationships in your life are feeling too tight? Which childhood wounds are getting triggered? What is the other person doing that makes you feel small and confined? How are you reacting? How will you gracefully release the relationship and move forward?