Toxic people, amiright? So many people I have observed are very much into maintaining relationships with folks that do not really matter. In the whole scheme of things, is it right to keep an innocuous relationship in your present and future? Like my belief about racism (another blog post – but the short and skinny is this: I would rather know up-front that someone is a racist, so I can determine in that moment to waste any more time on them than find out later I wasted my time, for naught), there is cruft that just needs to shake itself out. In my life, the people who have mutually chosen me, and me, them, all serve a purpose.
I draw a hard line in the sand for distinct reasons. Some of those reasons may include:
- If you were toxic, I cannot allow that to perpetuate your poison in my life
- If you were a romantic partner, I cannot allow myself to become a Rolodex booty call entry
- I will not be the reason future romantic partners fear I may be pining for you, ‘my sanity over your vanity‘
- I know what it feels like to have yipping dogs sniping my heels over this situation, ‘oh, rough time, want to come over and ‘talk’ about it?’
- If you are negative, I have no place in my life to feed into my own concerns of the future and my ruminations
- If you are lost in your own fog of unrealistic expectations, I will not work to fuel your purpose to live, you are on your own
- You have loose lips (keep it clean), I despise gossipers and those who like to air other people’s dirty laundry
- Any other caustic attributes that humans can use to push one another down to make themselves feel better
My patience is short dealing with the baggage of other people. I have my own fucking baggage, what makes you think I am going to remove your baggage and add it into my life-packs? This shit should NOT be transferable. No one wants to get involved with someone like Sisyphus, but sadly, this is the expectation of people. ‘Hey, buddy, I see you are a little busy moving that boulder up this steep incline, but I was wondering if you could take my baggage up to the top, since you are working you way up there? Thanks, you are swell. I’ll ‘tip‘ ya up top.”
I look at my baggage, and being self-aware, I try to mitigate the bullshit someone new in my life will have to deal with. My baggage is from my lifetime of sorrow and maladaptive survival techniques. I must be diligent with my baggage. Others have more of a laissez-faire attitude about their own baggage. They fail to see how that will impact another human being in their journey’s trajectory.
Imagine you are on one of those exotic rope and wooden slat bridges carrying the weight of all your bullshit as well as other peoples. How well will you be able to traverse that antiquated bridge? It will not work well. If you fall, into an engorged river below, with all that weight, then what? We must cross so many bridges in our lives. There are weight restrictions on these things. Remember that. there ARE weight restrictions.
I feel most people do not give credence to their baggage. Foisting their baggage onto someone else because they are blind or just purely selfish, is really no way to live a fulfilled life. The way to get that weight off, is to dispose of it. You have to remove these people from your lives. Prevent these archetypal people from ever getting close to you again. Start practicing self-preservation by setting up your boundaries or walls to keep them at bay.
I burn bridges as a matter of survival. Other people may find that cold, and that is perfectly fine. Their prerogative has no bearing on how I view past mistakes trying to creep into my future. I’ve been other people’s mistakes. I am not only saving myself, but I am saving them the stress, anxiety, and drama associated with trying to rekindle that which ought not be rekindled. Very much akin to the American phrase: Shit or get off the pot!
My therapist, and other solid advocates in my life, have presented points for trying to keep peace, have many times suggested I keep doors open. I argue ardently against that way of thinking. Who benefits from these relationships that should be no more? The person who initiated the dismissal? The person dismissed? Both parties lose. What might have been a solid relationship that was stridently chipped away at with a dull axe, has weakened the structural integrity of that union.
Solidly initiated relationships befall sudden loss of interest if it becomes a one-way street. If autonomy is sought after. If communication breaks down, for a host of reasons. The failure to communicate means it has become a unilateral game of control. Why would someone care to keep someone in their life who fails to fucking communicate? Effective communication prevents a litany of problems, misunderstandings, or newly bred resentments.
The people in my life, as I have cited in previous posts, all play a pivotal familial role in my life. Whatever I lack with blood relatives, each of my exquisitely close friends fill those shoes and more. I could not ask for a more solid network. Sometimes I bicker or debate with these people. At the end of the day, since we do not live together, we can continue to put in the work of giving an iota of shit for each other.
Why would you want someone in your life who didn’t want you in theirs? Why would you keep that bridge intact? Who benefits? Who controls? Who gets washed into the current under the bridge? Bridges are our support networks. If I am on this side of the river, and I need something from the other side, I use the travel aid to bridge the gap. If the bridge leads to a desert filled with bloodlusty scorpions or a cove of hungry sharks, what the fuck am I doing traversing that bridge? Stranger Danger, to the Nth degree, amiright?
Not every person who dismisses us from their life needs to be completely purged but try telling that to a self-aware person. What is the end-goal with this type of decision? Am I to be a monkey on a leash that you can check up on occasionally to see how I am faring after you dispensed of me? Why don’t I just supply you the quarterly check-in of how I am doing without you. Would that assuage your lust to keep me encircled in your faux concern? Just so I do not possibly ‘abhor you!’
As you can tell, it is not that I am jaded about this. It is that it serves no purpose to be with someone who did not want you, to be part of their future entourage. ‘Please don’t hate me for disposing of you!’ is the common plight. Normally that means they know they fucked up. They tugged on your heart strings a few laps too long. They led you astray miles away from your exit. I shut doors, I give my traditional cold shoulder, I burn bridges down with an illustrious array. Yosemite Sam, Back Off mudflaps.
Once you’ve given up hope, then why should I carry the torch? I should not. No one should. For those that like to keep an armada of friends, you are probably extroverted, and that suits you well. You may deal with people who have less sensitivity to the trigger of being disposed of in senseless fashion. Maybe you party with equally as superficial polyamorous people flitting in and out of many social circles. ‘You do you, but keep the fuck away from me!’
Love and apologies really should not be shallow. There should be so much thought and concern put into every element of these connections with people. With each newly created generation, we are becoming examples of creating less and less commitments that it all becomes meaningless. The adages of sustainability were – get a good job, work your way up, and you will BE successful. Find the right person to settle down with, and you will BE successful in creating a family.
These age-old adages serve no purpose as advice any longer. Finding a job, you enjoy, does not pay for the life you want. Finding a fun partner, is fleeting. Once problems emerge, it is time to find someone else to sustain the fun, because challenges are not enough to be met with a case of ego humbling problem-solving tactics. With each passing decade the divorce rate goes up, while long lasting marriages start their dismal spiral downward. ‘And you wonder where the nihilism comes from.’
It is all baggage. We are taught to focus on ourselves. Some people take that more to heart than others. Seeking pleasure instead of connection. Fulfilling superficial ‘needs.’ ‘Do what makes you happy!’ the fact that we are surrounded by people who make that their focal point, show little regard for their society. Our family units are struggling because commitment is ephemeral now.
Assisted living facilities has become one of the few gargantuan booming industries. It is better to hire poorly paid medical babysitters than to provide for our parents what they did for us: nursed us, taught us, protected us, virtually from ourselves. It is not just happening in the U.S.A. either. This has become a global phenomenon. Our lives have become complicated, no one can avoid it. The ease of technology is what thwarts the torture-free lives many of us lust for. We have this perceived luxury while looking at all people in our lives as – disposable.
I evacuated my blood relatives for some of the very reasons listed above. I am not daft about the irony. The problem though that may be overlooked is that each person in my ‘family’ is NOT expendable. Not because they hold intrinsic value to me. It is because they hold intrinsic value to all that are in their lives. I do not keep people in my life because they are supposed to make MY life better, solely.
I believe heavily in reciprocal effort. With the dawning of a disposable society, effort is thrown out the window. ‘Ain’t no one got time for that…’ Accepting the bad WITH the good is a solid approach when working with people you care about. Often is more like excepting the bad with the good. Reducing the inconvenient times, in lieu of only experiencing good times, is a dangerous way to look at your fellow (wo)man. These are the very type of people that the aforementioned bridges need to come down. The more explosive, the better.
If you have ever had that bridge burned by me, you had to know that my persona would not allow you to keep intravenously slipping in more toxicity by reminding me of who I was not to you. My sole purpose in this fucking life was not to entertain you. My sole purpose in this shitty life was not to keep you happy. My mission in life was not to be your fucking sugar-daddy. My only reason for existing in this life is to find meaning and share fulfillment. You may have become meaningless, and it was not for nothing. Do not play coy or bother to play the martyr, like you have done and still do with others.
Being self-aware, I fully appreciate of how insignificant I am. That does not mean I should accept scraps from people unwilling to confront their own demons on their own turf. I am an example to a few people of what progress looks like. I did not submit a resume for that position. I really had no idea that there was a huge decline on solid role models. I am not rich. I am not poor (yet). I DO enrich people’s lives with my personality. I enrich people with my insight from my life of tumult. I am a poor and brazen abuser of myself, deserving or not.
I have come from some wild happenings from childhood, well into adulthood. I am an example of wanting life to be better. I am an example of not stewing so much on my past I cannot be present in these moments. I DO HAVE to reflect on my past, but not so much I lose focus of my self-awareness. You ask anyone who has known me for a long time, and they will tell you flat out, I have remained consistent. I have become better. AND I burned many fucking pernicious bridges because the other party had no fucking clue that it needed to happen. The bridges I have undermined in the past will not be the last. I will burn as many as I need to prevent all unnecessary emotional leverage. I cannot be your prisoner AND mine at the same time.
As always, I welcome any constructive criticism, or complementary theories, analogies, anecdotes. I would love to hear if you find these edicts of challenge useful or utter horseshit. Similar to the 90’s when the catchphrase, ‘Be Kind, Rewind’ was hailed as marketing genius. I need to come up with one that invites you to either subscribe, via WordPress or via email, like posts, or even comment on posts. The immediate feedback is useful for anyone. Thank you very much for reading through all of this drivel. Be well, stay safe, AND stay sane!