Over the past 17 years I became deeply invested in a very personal relationship. My to my surprise without any notice the relationship ended in August 2012. I was devastated. At the moment it was one of the biggest loses I've ever experienced.
Over the course of this relationship, the other person was and is very toxic. I would threaten to end the relationship, but I never followed through. Mainly, because the relationship feed my co-dependency. It gave me purpose. I had someone to "fix." Over the years of emotional roller coasters, and their push me away, pull me in control issues, I just kept trying to make things better.
Even after I was in recovery I didn't recognize the toxicity of this relationship. I didn't realize how cruel and manipulative this person is to me. A couple years ago, I sat down several times to have what I call "check in" meetings with this person. During these check in meetings, I would talk about some of the self awareness I was discovering in myself, and subsequent changes I'd like to invite into our relationship. In word, things seems bright, and hopeful. I would also sit down with my children and explain changes I'd like to invite into our family.
Let me tell you a funny lil side story. I had to develop these check in meetings, because I'd make changes in my heart and in my mind and just ASSUME that my family and friends would be able to read my mind and just some how know the path I was on, and know the changes I wanted made...FUNNY-CRAZY right? Right! Besides the check in meetings, I will also wave my arms and exclaim "That reminds me..." I can still see my families eyes roll just thinking about what will come out of my mouth next....
Anyway, back on track...
A couple weeks later another emotional roller coaster ride, and there I'd go again fixing and rebuilding. Another check in meeting, and another discussion---Much to my pleasant surprise, sometimes the other person would initiate these check in meetings.
Through, this I somehow turned a blind eye, that this wasn't the life the other person wanted. I started to create an imaginary relationship in my heart of bliss, equality, and growth. I continued to strive to build a healthy relationship, and overlook the ever present toxicity on our relationship.
This unrealistic expectations of this relationship couldn't hold up, again much to my surprise, I used to be able to float along for a very long time on unrealistic expectations. I asked for another check in meeting, in an attempt to apologize for my expecting to much. I also explained that I would not ride the emotional roller coaster again ever! I explained how painful it was for me to see this person in a bad emotional place and how I wanted the best for them...I went on and talked for a while. (I can do that)
So the separation begins, and unknown to me, this was the final nail in the coffin of the relationship. My dear friend tested, and tested my promise to never ride the emotional roller coaster again. I will tell you, this was the hardest promise I've ever attempted to keep. I weakened at times, and tried to keep the lines of communication open.
One afternoon, much to everyone's surprise, especially this person I stood up for myself. I stood hard. The person walked out and never to speak to me again. Five months later, I'm still reeling from the lose of the relationship. But I realized I'm sad for the lose of the imagined relationship, not the real, yet toxic one.
I've continued an open conversation about this with my hubby, who is the greatest man in my life. Otherwise, I haven't talked about this until here. As you can tell, I'm being very protective of the person and their identity. Some of the readers here will know who this is, and I ask you to please don't ask me about it. I'm still in a very emotional place about the relationship and I can't talk objectively about it yet.
My point of telling you this, is in many ways I can't imagine how this other person couldn't let go of their emotional issues and stand on their own. On the other hand, I feel extremely guilty for feeding the monster inside this other person. When I met this person, they came with huge baggage, and I made sure from the begging I set ground rules that I wouldn't cross. I wonder if I would have played a different role in their life, would they have turned out stronger and more able to stand on their own???? (Ifin' and wishin')
I challenge you to take a serious look at the important relationships in your life, and the role that you actually play.