(soundtrack The BreakUp)
I think she’s an emotional terrorist,
a master manipulator. I knew it early on. I got sucked in, despite knowing
better. I thought I could and would do something different. I wasn’t going to
fix her because she didn’t need to be fixed. I was going to love her where she
was. I was going to love, affirm, and support her.
In retrospect I have nobody to blame, but myself. I knew. I could have, should
have, would have listened but my ego is too big. I saw the signs, I saw the
bodies, I saw the carnage of the previous relationships, but I thought I was
different. I thought I was special. I thought that I had ascended from
apprehensive acquaintance to full family. I was nothing. I am now a body.
We ended it amicably. We had conversations. We did proper checkouts. It was over,
and we went our separate ways. Slowly others ghosted or faded from the picture
as well, new alliances were formed. They did not check out. I think ghosting is just another form of
I soldiered on. I was
strong. I kept a smile on my face. I didn’t gossip. I was minimally petty. I didn’t say unkind
things. I was the bigger person. I withdrew my support silently. I kept moving
forward, but when her name was spoken I had violent reactions. My body would
become heavy and my spirit vexed, sometimes to the point of becoming physically
ill. The seer told me in a reading many months ago to extract myself, to cut
all ties. I should have, could have, would have listened. I kind of listened. I
DID NOT listen.
I heard what she was doing, I knew what she was doing because people told me
and because I looked. We were still “friends” on social media. Periodically, I
would torture myself by going to her feeds and forcing a like, reaction, or
comment long after she stopped reciprocating. I convinced myself of her generosity,
extrapolated from the times that she had done me some kindness. I convinced
myself that along a long enough timeline it would all be ok. We would be ok. We
would be friends, maybe family again.
I am clear now, my own behavior was toxic. I felt like I had to stay connected
to control the narrative. I felt like I had to stay connected to control my
image. I didn’t want my own judgments about me to be true. Maybe I wasn’t a
good friend, sister, person.
It took me months to
finally admit how hurt I was. It took me months to finally admit to myself let
alone another human how afraid, sad, broken, disappointed, betrayed and angry I
felt. I was at the precipice of Angry Black Woman. Not the trope, but the
reality of being chronically angry. I
reached out to a long- time friend and asked him, “What is an Angry Black
Woman?” His words resonated with the
truth taking up space in my mind, body, and spirit.
“A chronically angry, black, woman is one who has been
disappointed over and again; not wanting to give up or lower [her] expectations
[she] sizzles with discontent.”
I made a choice that day
not to jump, not to fall, not to be sucked into to that place.
I admitted all my pain, to myself. I acknowledged that I needed time to rest,
heal, and recover. I called it going on hiatus.
What dropped into my spirit
brought me into alignment with my reality. I needed a sabbatical. I didn’t need
to hit pause. This was not an interruption, break, opening. This was a closing.
This was an intentional stopping and going inward to access the damage and
taking time to rehabilitate. An intentional opportunity to clean, suture, and
maybe even cauterize my wounds.
A day later… she texted
out of the blue. Fishing for a compliment. She had accomplished a thing. I knew
what the thing was before I asked, before she shared. We haven’t spoken in
months. She sent a text to make sure I wasn’t swept away in Hurricane Irma, but
so did another toxic individual- after all, they are not without their humanity.
I did not get drawn in. I did not respond with shade, pettiness, anger, bitterness,
or even indifference. I stood in my feelings and responded, “Good for you. I am
on Sabbatical. Peace.” And without missing a beat the follow up message, “I’m
getting ready to go to [redacted] to [redacted].” My response, “I’m mentally and spiritually in
a place of healing currently and I am not in a space to discuss [redacted].
Good for you and your accomplishments.” Finally, the dry “Thanks” came through.
She understood. But just in case she didn’t, I sent “Peace” and then I blocked
her from texting/calling me.
It had been months,
maybe a year or more since I found myself to be in a toxic enough space to feel
the need to block a real person that I had once had a relationship with. (I do
not consider blocking trolls to be the same, that is a necessary health measure
I exercise regularly.)
This was reclaiming my time, space, self, wellness,
and mental health in real time.
I very carefully backed out
of all spaces we once shared. I had unfollowed months ago. I had unfriended weeks ago. (Yes, she called
after I had unfriended her). Now, was the time for me to make bold moves,
execute radical Self Care and Self Love. In this moment, I began to
systematically and ritualistically block her on every social media platform
that I have. With each restriction I visualized myself, retracting a piece of
myself and becoming whole. My whole is now fragmented, and I am actively
recovering all the pieces. I will pull those pieces together and bond them and
fill in the spaces and gaps until I feel full and restored.
Kintsugi is recognizing the beauty in broken things.
Maybe I will fill in the spaces with gold or glitter.
I am clear now about my role in my ongoing psychological and spiritual warfare.
I am clear now on how I invited and hosted this drama in my life. I am clear
about what I owe myself. I am clear about my rights and responsibilities to myself.
Unfollow, unfriend, pause and block are all forms of Self Care that I owe to
[re]Claiming my self, time, space, mental health, well-being, and spirit are imperative
and are acts of Radical Self Love. Because I care for myself I can disengage from
toxicity (behavior and relationships) without guilt or shame. I DO NOT have to fix things. I DO NOT have to be the bigger person.
Negotiating/engaging with an emotional terrorist DOES NOT make me better, it is unhealthy.
I have the right NOT to interact.
I have the right to protect my spaces in/on
I have a right to deny access.
I dictate what is safe and healthy for my