The greatest gift is piece of mind.
For toxic relationships, abusive relationships , it can be tempting to use the mantra, “I’ll just get through the holidays and leave when the new year gets here.”
Let me advise this.
You are never so vulnerable as when the seasons are changing. You are never so susceptible to the manipulations is people until you are in a time (or sphere) of personal change.
Those you have an intimate relationship with know exactly how to do what they do to keep you caught in their clutches. They know your faults, your weak points and will jab you in those areas until you break in half. Or shatter.
This is why “I’ll make it through the holidays” is a farce.
For toxic friendships? Two things:
1.) If all do in a relationship is give to this person and nothing is returned or refilled, end the friendship. I am a big believer in people will do all that you let them. They will do all you allow them to do! For as long as you allow them to! If you are a part of a friendship where you’re the one calling, being steadfast and encouraging? Yet, when you need the same treatment reciprocated, they are almost always unavailable? That’s toxic. Cut them off! Now! Your peace and peace of mind are invaluable. If they want to come back in your life, they have to under the criteria has changed. And is uncompromising.
2.) Understand there are some people that grow older, not up. I personally had to do this earlier this year with a woman I have known for over a decade. I gave her every opportunity to talk to me, repair our friendship (that was dear to me!). To my knowledge, I did nothing to offend or hurt her. The hardest thing was was cut her from my life.
There is a time when you have to examine your circle, and see where the weights are. You have to see who adds to you, and never will. You have to be observant as to who ants you in their life as a genuine asset and who wants you in their lives for what they can gain (benefits-only friends, I call them.). Don’t let one more day pass attached to people just take from you.
Note: The next set of advice is for those that are intending to leave abusive intimate partner relationships (where violence may or may not be occurring). This is the same advice you will find on domestic violence websites. In leaving these types of situations, you must have a plan, and a social circle built you can depend on.
I have spoken before of being a survivor of domestic violence. I left my abusive boyfriend after being with him 3 years. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I loved him; knew he could be better to me; love me better, saw I was hurting and ignored my pleas to make our relationship better. I left because loving him, was killing me.
I remember I moved from where we were living together. I called my mother and told her I was coming home. I packed all I could and left the rest. And he stalked me for 3 months. I even slept with him again before he told me it would be different. Spolier: it wasn’t. He emailed me. He called. He told me he loved me. At that point, I believed nothing he said.
Soon after our last sexual encounter, we lost contact (read: I disappeared from all available formats; this was at the dawn of social media! It was easier to vanish.). Not all cases are like this, the news and statistics tell us that.
The most dangerous time in an abusive relationship is whenever you leave. If you must make the decision to leave, you must have a plan.
Your safety and the safety of your children is paramount to anything!
Have an emergency plan and dedicated funds. This can be a bank account, cash or prepaid debit card.
Have housing secured.
If possible, alert your employer for possible safety concerns.
Take only what you need: clothes, toiletries.
Make arrangements to get the rest, or replace it. If you have to go retrieve items, don’t go alone!
The choice to leave or end a relationship, shouldn’t be left to a list or blog. It is up to you. If you believe the relationship can be fixed, do so and utilize all resources. If it can’t be, or the other party has no desire to fix it (or thinks you are the one with the issue), so what your wisdom dictates. Even if you just need space to think. Life is too short to be hurt and unhappy.
[images from kdvr.com, kriskettle.com, me.me.com]