I’ve always considered myself a good reader of people’s characters, but even I have fallen prey to people who were just too smooth with their manipulation tactics. I’ve suffered, healed, and learned, and I’ve been successful at saying goodbye in the past. I’ve been able to move on, push away the thoughts that continued to creep in over the immediate moments after goodbye, good at trying to forget. But there’s something that always happens when I reach a point of closure… the person I’ve said goodbye to and moved on from, finds a way to slither back in to my life.
With friends that have proven time and time again that their friendship was one-sided, or with the man who keeps coming back around to see if he can still manipulate me. Call it a soft heart or benefit of the doubt, but my harsh reality is that for some reason I still allow these people back in. Those “friends” need me, they miss all I did for them, they miss the fun we had together and how they could confide in me. And the man, oh that narcissistic man, who somehow got past all my barriers in the first place. He says he loves me, that I complete him, and how he always longs for me. And I would buy it, and the cycle would repeat.
When we close the chapter on relationships, it isn’t always easy as we think, because of the good memories. We experienced life with those people, shared stories, hardships and triumphs, secrets and affection. If we genuinely cared about them, it will be challenging to mean it when we say goodbye and to eliminate the memories. Most importantly, it will be challenging but necessary to take the affection we once had for them and shift it back to ourselves.
I struggled with this for years, always wanting to give second, sometimes third chances. But something shifted in me earlier this year. Every thought, every idea, even every doubt, perfectly aligned when I went on an inspiring Seattle trip, and I finally reached the point of enough. I finally realized that at almost 35, I had grown tired of the emotional torment these people would put me through, tired of feeling used. Tired of their games, of feeding their egos, of being viewed as a drug they needed their fix of, only to repeat the same hurtful behavior. I gained clarity and understood the reality of those situations. Relationships cannot be forced, and when you’re the one who’s always working for those them, you will eventually experience burnout, you will drain yourself emotionally. And I knew that this time, it was different. This time, when I say goodbye, it will be final.
Here’s the truth about goodbyes… they don’t always have to be verbal. Sometimes a goodbye is as simple as walking away, and for me, that has proven to be the most impactful. Simply drifting apart, cutting down contact, being vague and unresponsive. Don’t confuse it with ghosting, think of walking away as a natural way to distance yourself from a situation that no longer serves you. Remembering that no matter how difficult it may be to say goodbye to someone you loved, in allowing them to treat you poorly, you lose a part of yourself. The most important relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself, and no one is worth jeopardizing that for.
So this is me, refusing to lose myself for someone who does not deserve me. This is me, deciding that my well-being is more important and crucial than anyone who doesn’t deserve to be in my life. This is me, choosing to never say goodbye to myself, my happiness, or the person I have so much potential to become. So instead, this is me saying goodbye to you. Goodbye for good.