Quiet

I started a new chapter of my life recently. I gave up on an entire section of my life. I wrote off an entire group of people. I pushed them gently out the door and shut it. I didn’t stomp out. There was no bang, no whimper. I just stopped. I realized that if it takes yelling or screaming to tell someone you don’t want their attention or friendship anymore… Then you do actually want their attention. If you care about someone enough to be angry at them, that’s still caring.

I have found an intense sense of relief in just not caring anymore. It’s not easy. Sometimes the bitterness or upset or pain leaps back up and I find myself mourning who I was to someone, who I could have been with someone.

Throughout my life I have been terrible about pushing people away and shutting the door. I have let people who have trespassed with me badly back into my life. In particular, someone I thought was my friend kept coming into my life over and over. I came to realize recently that he was only ever friends with me long enough to establish that I still wouldn’t date him. Then he’d be pissed off and stop being friends with me. It became a dance for us. I had to give a little of myself up, lie a little, stretch my truth to protect myself from being excoriated. I had to say I wasn’t dating anyone right now (and then if I did, he’d feel self righteous). I had to say I wasn’t good enough for him (and he’d say he didn’t care and it was okay).

It had gotten so bad that eventually I realized that he was leveraging his friendship against my willingness to say, “Maybe someday” or “well yes, if things were different” and as time went on, it got worse. It got to the point where I couldn’t look back over the line behind me without seeing all the compromises I’d made. Where I’d said, “No, we’re not going to date” so many times that I thought I’d been clear, but then later he would phrase it somehow to ask if there was a chance, if things were different…

I cut him out of my life. I thought it would hurt so badly. I thought I would be in agony. I used to talk to him every day, be on chat with him, play games, socialize. He was one of two people I talked to more than my own family – and I live with my family, so that’s saying something. I was convinced if I cut him out I would feel alone, the sky would fall, something… I realize in retrospect that even if he didn’t consciously do that, he wanted me that way. He wanted me afraid to be without him.

I cut him out, and I never looked back, and I didn’t feel agony, or pain. I felt nothing but overwhelming relief. Things, fun things I thought I could only enjoy with him became so much better because I didn’t have arguments with him over them which always conspicuously seemed to lead back to us possibly dating. I never wanted to hurt him, and I wish him well, but I’m not the answer. I’ve learned over time that if a guy thinks getting a girl will solve all his problems, he shouldn’t have a girl until he fixes his life. Same goes for me.

I’m working on getting somewhere. I’m working on life. For now, that means establishing my boundaries, which I have been bad about maintaining. I have let too many people in only to be disappointed in the lack of return on my personal investment in a friendship. I have told someone about my past to help them feel less alone, listened to days of them talking about their pain, and found them oddly absent as soon as their hearts were lighter.

This is my mountain. It is mine. This is my heart, my land. People can visit, but they are guests only. People can ask me to visit, but I come back to my mountain, my center.

Trespassers are never invited back again. It’s much quieter now.

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~ by oniongirl13 on May 8, 2011.

2 Responses to “Quiet”

  1. Good for you.

    The guy sounds like my ex-husband. Wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. But I wasn’t as strong as you, and eventually I said OK, why not ? just because I happened to be single that time. Fast forward 12 years, he told me I had to show obedience to him, so that our kids would learn from my example. And he told me to invite his mistress and her family for New Year’s Eve.

    There was no way to guess that in the beginning : he was totally charming to me, totally focused on me, very very nice, and trying all he could to learn everything about me, and to make himself needed in my daily life. Little did I know that he would use that knowledge to know what words would instantly make me feel inferior and sad, each time he felt threatened that I would shake his total control over my life – because he had somehow decided that I was to be his thing.

    I wish you the best.

  2. Yes, good for you. Some guys do this. I’ve had this done to me by a few guys. They are not really offering a friendship, they are offering a lie. Sorry you went through that. Good for you for working on boundaries. They are so hard to figure out.

    Good and healing thoughts to you.

    Kate

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