October 19, 2016

Why People Disappear When You Need Them The Most

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What is the issue?

It seems like you’ve known this person for an eternity in the fabric of time. Perhaps it was a best friend, a partner, a family member, or someone else whom you have just known forever. You shared laughter, funny stories, tales of adventures – many wonderful things sewn into that special place of memories.

Yet suddenly, it happens. You realize the truth and it hits you harder than any sucker punch in the stomach. It is time to let go.

Your numerous daily texts dwindle into one text a day, then one every other day, then one every week, then one every few weeks, until all that is left is a radio static soundtrack for what used to be your lives. Silence. Gone.

You noticed only at the moment when you truly needed them. And it was not a simple castaway thing such as forgetting to return a phone call or not sending a birthday card. You had a tragedy or bad news. It caused a tear in your soul, and you needed a stitch from the needle of friendship or love. Except, there was none.

Of course, they wanted to know what happened. They asked all the details, but with high insight, it was more natural curiosity than genuine compassion. Soon after, they disappeared. Or perhaps they gave the pseudo-pretense of offering help, and then they disappeared.

Often, victims of cancer speak about how friends and family suddenly vanish, like that a blustery wind on a winter’s night. The sun falls out of your skies and you find yourself alone in that darkness. You are then left questioning the validity of your relationships. Were all of those years lies? Were they merely friends because times were good? Was any of it real? Did they ever care about you?

The answer to all of those questions is simply, yes. Psychologists theorize various reasons why you will be abandoned when bad things happen.

The sad truth is, people are more able to be compassionate with death – they are better programmed to grieve for you when you are gone. But they are unable to process trauma, because they are not subconsciously prepared for it.

So, their instinct is to disassociate from you. Trauma may seem subconsciously contagious, so they hastily exit. How could they have empathy or relate to your turmoil, having never experienced it?

But there is a bigger shift. When bad things happen, it often comes as a blessing in disguise, as it forces you to identify aspects of your life. So you may have known this person for twenty years, now you know how they will react when you need them. You get to question whether this is something you could forgive and forget. Or you can re-evaluate your relationship –if you even need it still.

People come into our lives at different times and moments. Those summers in the sunshine, laughing until fat tears rolled down your cheeks. Those late night calls gossiping about the day’s events. Those evenings clinking glasses of wine as dusk settled into the skies. Those memories will always exist somewhere in the hems of time, and they will always be beautiful. Do not allow them to be anything but that, because in those moments, you smiled. And whatever made you smile was always worth it.

Our journeys are ever changing. We are all travelers on this path of life.

Do not mistake that simply because you walked with someone for some time, that it means you need to walk with them forever.

Perhaps your road was veering slightly to the left, while theirs was carrying on straight. That isn’t good or bad. That is simply, life.

As we live and grow, we evolve. Our journeys become different. Sometimes bad things can help us to recognize things we never noticed before. Maybe we realize if we carried on the same path, there is a storm up ahead, so we need to change direction before the rains come. While maybe your friend’s journey needs them to get a little wet.

Appreciate those shared moments for the times they existed and made you smile. And from your own tragedy, you learn about the vast amounts of strength within your own self. Learn to immerse into loving yourself – truly. Out of all the people in the world, you get to be the only you of your kind. And right now, you have billions of cells inside you and all they care about is working nonstop to ensure you are here, as best as you can be.

So instead, forget about what has been. Focus on the moments of the now. Know you will create friendships and love again: with yourself and with others to come. And if no one else has said it to you, I will. I am proud of you – for all that wonderful wisdom and strength you have gained from whatever you went through. And you are reading this, so it means you pulled through it, so well done! Life is too short to not be enjoyed or appreciated – good and bad. Before we know it, we will all be gone. In the blink of an eye, my body will no longer contain the life to keep writing this message to you. And you will no longer possess life to interpret my words to you.

Remember, this is the beauty of life – all is fluid, nothing remains the same. When some of those changes come, some may crush you, and some will simply take your breath away – and those ones, those ones are so spectacular they are worth fighting for, always. TC mark

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