In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Enough Is Enough.”
One of the hardest lessons to learn in human interaction is when it is time to let go. If you are empathetic, it takes longer to learn this lesson, but when you are done you are done. It is our tendency to give everything in our relationships. Because we operate with so much integrity and idealism about human nature, it is difficult to realize that someone we cared for and trusted could so completely turn his/her back on us.
We function more from feeling than logic, so we don’t analyze the calculations of obsession or addiction; we think that the more we care, the more we can change the situation. We think that the more we explain, the more they will understand. In fact, our belief in others is so great, that we are naïve to their obsessions, because it would never occur to us to behave in such a way.
However, to someone who has their addictions – whether to drugs, money, power, fame, love, — their personal brand of narcissism means that they cannot think about anyone but themselves. They play a good game and mask it. To those of us who are not looking for that kind of behavior, it can go on for years before we realize the truth.
Once you have given everything you have, the paralysis of discovery can be devastating. We believe so greatly in personal growth and development that we wonder why we did not see it, or, how could our intuition miss it? We fall into old patterns of thought and trust; we honor our history and struggle to doubt someone’s duplicity. Instead of acknowledging someone else’s selfishness, and inability to function in a healthy relationship, we first question ourselves. Where did we go wrong? What if I had been more ___________ ? Fill in any adjective, and yet, it will still not be enough to overcome someone else’s baser nature.
It was many years until I discovered that the robbery of many of my personal belongings, including all of my treasured antique jewelry from my parents and grandparents, was orchestrated by my best friend to get money to buy drugs. She was so strung out, apparently, that she was high most of the time. I did not look for that kind of addiction because I was too busy working hard, trying to make my own way in the world, and expecting only the best from the people I cared about.
It has happened at other times, in different contexts, and it is a bitter lesson to absorb. I have forgotten some of the names of the guys I dated in college, but I have never forgotten the name of the woman who schemed to gain power and access, stabbing me in the back in the process. She asked me where I saw myself in five years…… the ubiquitous, but popular question in the employment world. I was fresh from my newfound education and idealism and spoke about the skills I could bring to the team. A week later, I was told that there was a personality conflict with her (that I was totally unaware of, so fabricated was the situation) and that I would be let go with six months of severance.
Giving your heart to someone, and placing your fragile and delicate nature to someone with narcissistic or obsessive motives, can cause years of pain and doubt. We cannot love someone out of their violent or selfish nature. We cannot love someone out of their demons, their battles, or any other disorder. Especially, when they blame us for the root cause…. Nothing we could ever do is enough for someone with a hole of emptiness, trauma or lack within. Trusting in the best of people, believing that they will operate with the same level of commitment, or give themselves over to change, is easy compared to letting them go. To give up on someone is so antithetical to our natures; it takes years for the truth to be absorbed. When we finally get to the bottom of our emotional storehouses, and have taken the emotional, verbal, or mental (or physical) abuse, we can take no more. But, we give up a lot before we get to that point and then discover that the person we committed ourselves to was merely an illusion.
We beat ourselves up for not knowing, not recognizing, not collecting the signs along the way. In hindsight, we can see how we tried to disbelieve what they had shown us. We grieve, we mourn our loss. We tried to help them to exceed their suspicions, insecurities, and fears. Their self-esteem could never be raised high enough to achieve homeostasis.
We are wrung out; we gave all that we had within us to make them stronger. Now, in order to save ourselves, we must give up on them. Surrendering to defeat is not in our idealistic natures. We hold other people to our own standards of ethical behavior, never thinking that they could be so far removed from their humanity or respect.
Starting over is hard, especially when you have invested so much time and emotion into the situation. Fear, or indecision, may hold us back. The seeds of doubt that have been created in us, by that person, make us question all that we hold dear. We don’t know if we are up to the task of change. The unknown is a scary place, so we stay where we are, however toxic it is to our soul and well-being.
When you get to the point where you can no longer defend, nor deny their true self, it is time to let go. Try not to look back. You will want to, and will turn the situation over and over again in your mind, but keep trying to give it away, and try not to take it back. This is when your faith must take over. Believe that you will be taken care of and find that healthy place where you can lay your head at night and begin rebuilding your own strength and belief systems. Use whatever tools you can find to allow yourself to receive on your own behalf. Dig deep for the monumental strength it takes to advance one tiny step. It is time to heal your own heart and your own life. Don’t turn cold to others, or doubt their sincerity, because someone abused yours.
Let out your deep breaths, and cords of pain, slowly, until you can once again, let go.
Thank you for stopping by. I would love to hear what you have to say.