Category Archives: Live Right

When you have to walk away from a toxic friendship

I have had some amazing friends in my life.  I have also had some NOT so amazing friends in my life. And I have had friends who started out being amazing, but then the friendship fizzles. Many times with a new friendship you see a promising future, and somehow, something happens that pulls the rug out from under you and you have a sudden realization that it just wasn’t meant to be.

Or sometimes you need to break up with a friend.  I had to do that. I had to break up with a friend I had for many many years. It wasn’t pleasant and I avoided it for a long time because we had been friends for so long I just didn’t know how to part ways without it becoming ugly or bitter. In fact, in writing this it has occurred to me that I have been through a few friendship break ups. So I guess the question that came to me next is:   why do I need to break up with my friend? And what happens when you have to walk away from a toxic friendship?

A friendship breakup can be even more devastating than a breakup with a boyfriend or girlfriend.  Sometimes we have been even more emotionally intimate with our friend than our lover/boyfriend/girlfriend, and so the loss of the friendship seems to cut a little deeper.

But as I think about it more, I realize that I have usually been the one to end the friendship.  Every time I have had to do that it has been because what was at first a wonderful, loving, friendship ended up being toxic to me. Let me explain.

Picture found on www.xojane.com

Picture found on www.xojane.com

I am an empath. Because of that people usually feel very comfortable talking to me about deeply personal things. Even when they don’t know me well. They tell me really intimate details of their lives without me even asking.  Something about me makes people feel comfortable and able to talk openly.

This has never been a burden and I have always been happy to be that person someone feels comfortable sharing with, however, occasionally it has resulted in a friendship that starts out great, but I soon realize that the friendship is toxic.  In one case I had a very close friend who I realized was toxic when I thought about all of the kind and loving things I had done for her and her family, but the love and kindness was never reciprocated.  The final straw was when she asked me about something someone else had told me in confidentiality and I refused to breach that trust. She just “had to know” and wouldn’t let it go. I finally realized that she would never give up asking for the information and I would never share it and break that trust, ….ever…..so I had to walk away. That one really hurt because we had mutual friends, and had been very very close for about quite a few years.

I think the most painful part of a breakup is the loss of what could have been.

picture found on pinterest

picture found on pinterest

But probably even worse than the previous breakup was one I went through about a year ago. It was a friendship that I thought would be amazing for my life and my family’s life.  I had invested a LOT of time and finances into the relationship and had gifted her and her family thousands of dollars. We were even talking about starting a business together and she had asked me to be on the board of her 501c.3 corp.  It started going downhill after she and her family came to stay at my home for a week and we sent them home with a truck full of goods as well as cash to get home. (approximately $500.00) This was after we had given them $1000.00 to go from their home across the country for a family funeral, and helped pay for vehicle repairs (900.00), groceries, hotel stays, etc. for a total cost of about $4000.00 over the span of about 12 months.  After they left I didn’t hear from her for almost two months (and prior to that I had spoken on the phone or via skype with her at least two to three times a week.) When I finally heard back after multiple attempts to reach her over that two months I were told “not to worry”, she had been “busy”, and could I give her $500.00 to help with some vehicle repairs. I said no, and the friendship began to unravel…..quickly…   I was accused of not caring, trying to trick her, lying to her, etc etc etc….. it just got uglier and uglier. I eventually had to block her from my FB, my phone, and my email.

That was an awful loss for myself and my family! I had a lot of dreams wrapped into that friendship both personally and professionally.  I actually cried for a week after I realized I had to walk away.

So I guess the bottom line is that friendships do break up, and they can be even more painful that a romantic relationship breakup.  I think we always know when it is time to move on, but we are sometimes reluctant to end a friendship.

Nontoxic people can become toxic.  Friendships can change  and become unhealthy. We can change. Friends can change. Sometimes we just have to walk away.  There are many different reasons we have to break up with a friend, but my advice is to always listen to your heart and gut and do what is best for you and your life.

 

Mean people suck

So I have not always been the nicest person, and have done mean things in my past, and maybe that is why I feel as though I get back plenty of meanness from people. And maybe I am not alone, maybe everyone deals with mean people on a daily basis, and maybe I am just feeling more sensitive right now?? I am not sure, but dang I seem to be meeting mean people on a regular basis these days. And you know what? Mean People SUCK!

The blessing in that, is I am also meeting loads of nice people too! And I will readily and happily admit that the nice ones far outnumber the mean ones, but gosh those mean ones can just ruin my day!! Have you ever been humming along and having a great day and then someone does something mean, such as cut you off in traffic (I have had so many near misses to getting in accidents),  splash a puddle of water on you as you wait at a street corner (that happened to me one day as I was heading to class at ODU),  or just have a cross word or something snippy to say when you speak to them. (this always amazes me).

I work in a customer service industry and I will say that customers can just really be nasty. I guess maybe they are having a bad day and want to take it out on someone, however, that just really isn’t right!

So I will strive every day to NOT be a mean person. I will say without question that I am ABSOLUTELY sure that I will have mean thoughts, but to say them or act on them will NOT happen.  I am about making 2017 be a positive year for me and my family and those I come in contact with, and NOT a negative year!

At the end of 2017 I want to look back and see that it has been a year of positivity and abundance no matter what we have to deal with that would want to move us in the opposite direction from that.

I choose a life of abundance and not a life of scarcity! I choose a year of POSITIVE reactions and not a year of NEGATIVE reactions.

I am a feminist, and I don’t hate men!

Yes, I know, that may confuse some people.  A great many people think feminists are crazy radical women who don’t shave their armpits or legs, and carry on about how men are awful human beings who don’t deserve to be alive, and should just be servants to womankind forever.  Or something like that…..

First of all, as the mother to two teenaged boys who will someday be men, and a stepmother to a wonderful young adult who is already a man, that is the farthest thing from my mind.  If I hated men, wouldn’t I see my sons (i.e. future men) in that light?

However, to be perfectly honest, if I was brave enough to deal with the negative social feedback and nasty stares from people at the gym, I would NEVER shave my legs in the winter.  I just think that extra hair would keep me warmer….. however, I shave because I am not that brave……yet.  Maybe after I turn 50 in October I won’t give a shit about the social stigma.   There is always hope……

But back to the task at hand…..discussing feminism.

I am a double major Bachelor’s student at Old Dominion University.  I was a Psychology Major and then just for fun, I took an elective called Intro to Women’s Studies.  My professor for the class was a woman named Robin Ormiston.  Robin is an amazing Professor, and opened my eyes to so many things that I knew, but never really gave deep thought and attention to before.  Well, I started to give LOTS of things deep thought and attention once I started learning more and more!

So I decided to take on Women’s Studies as a second major because I think I can do something with a degree in Psychology and Women’s Studies to make an impact on the planet in which I live. Something to benefit the lives of women and hopefully make a difference. To be honest I really want to work with women of color in some capacity, because I believe white privilege exists (a post for another day), and I have a deep desire to do something to end that and to bring all women to equal status in our society, and abroad.

So what I have  learned about myself is that I am a feminist.  I have always been a feminist, I just wasn’t sure how to articulate that in a meaningful way.  Now I can put knowledge and my education to use to stand up for what I have always believed, but didn’t know how to bring it into my way of life, or speak about it in a meaningful way.  Now I have the knowledge from classes as well as my own research to do that.

Created by http://rebeccacohenart.tumblr.com/

Created by http://rebeccacohenart.tumblr.com/

Interestingly there are many, many people who don’t share my vision, or agree with my ideas.  Last year on Facebook, someone accused me of being like the guy at the bar in Good Will Hunting.  At first I was like, that is great, he thinks I am like Matt Damon, someone who thinks for myself, and can show that I am intelligent.  Then I realized he meant I was the ponytail guy who just reads stuff and “regurgitates” it without really knowing what I am talking about.  That actually hurt my feelings.  Because I DO know what I am talking about.  I am not so simple minded that I can’t read, and research, and formulate my own opinions about things like white privilege, and the wage gap, and the horrible way the media works against women and girls, and the genocide of Native Americans and forced sterilization of poor (mostly black) women.  I am almost 50 (as I am prone to say pretty frequently).  I have spent 20 years in the military.  I have been a single mom, and  I actually owned a house in an African American neighborhood in Chesapeake Virginia for 18 months. My two boys were the only white kids in each of their classes, and to be honest I thought it was a good experience for them to be the “minority” for a change.  In fact, I only moved from there because Karol moved back to Virginia from Pennsylvania and we needed more space than my small three bedroom house,  for our newly blended family of 6.

Then in class yesterday another student articulated what I feel about feminism in a two word response.  She said she believes feminism is “Common Sense”.  It was as if the sky opened and light shone down from the heavens.  COMMON SENSE!  YES!!!

So I want to list some of the “Common Sense” ideals feminists (including myself) strive for:

Equal pay for equal work….of course

Clean water no matter where you live or your economic status…….yup

No more gendered violence…..yupper

Treating humans with respect and dignity no matter their race, gender, orientations, ethnicity, economic status, etc etc etc….absolutely

The right to live as we choose……yes

Women have the right to be in charge of their own bodies: size, shape, contraception (or not), decision to have children (or not), and most importantly have agency over what happens to their bodies……..without a doubt

Unearned privilege is a system that oppresses and subjugates and marginalizes and should be removed from society………correct

That is just a few, but truly this blog is long enough, and I can write whatever I want here, so this topic can definitely be revisited whenever I want…..MWUAHAHAHA  I have the POWER!!!!!!!

I_Have_The_Power

Thank you Robin!!!!