Monday, 21 November 2011

Toxic people

I wasn't sure about writing this post, it's been in my mind for a long time but events in the last few days have made me reconsider.

It get a bit heavy, so by all means, skip it if you want and normal crafting will be resumed soon.

I grew up with a lot of toxic people, very very close family. People who never take responsibility for their own actions.

Who always blame the past for the harm they do in the present.

Who expect people around them to give them love, support and money all the time but can't even give back basic good manners in return, never mind anything else.

Who are jealous of good things that happen to other people, even if they are working really hard to have this good thing happen.

Who tell so many lies its hard to believe anything they say.

Who are such bad parents that you can see the same damage being done to their kids as was done to them.

Over the years I've lost touch with most of these people and I don't regret it in the least. The only regret I have is that family isn't supposed to be like this and I wish I had experienced the "normal" ups and downs. I know it has affected me and I am responsible for how I have let it impact my life as an adult.

This weekend, I heard that one of the few of these toxics left in my life might have cancer. Some people who know us both with have all sorts of expectations on how I should react and respond to the news, but the truth is it left me with no real feelings whatsoever. Just the same as if you heard it about a passing acquaintance.

That might make me sound hard and heartless, but as far as this person is concerned I have nothing left to give. Even the story that we heard was contradictory and garbled, so I don't even know how much I believe. My main concern is for this persons child who is lovely.

My reaction to all the internal scars I have has been to try and be the opposite of the toxics all my life, but that isn't right either. What I am working on now is being truer to who I really am, and if that means being selfish at times, or not putting on a happy face to stop others feeling uncomfortable, so be it.

I am not going to pretend to care about this person just to meet others expectations and if they don't want to understand why I am like this than too bad!


Lane said...

Ugh! I know how you feel. But, there comes a time when you've practiced so much indifference to protect yourself from the toxins that you become indifferent. I don't see one thing wrong with that. Be sure to judge your own efforts on your own scale. Likely you will feel right about that. Don't let someone else make you feel wrong just because they use a different scale that is centric to them. Best, Lane

Shay said...

I think if you feel indifferent that means you've worked through most of the anger and hurt this person has caused you. Congratulations- you're a functioning human being ! Many people never get the kind of peace you've achieved.

The one thing I've learned as I've aged is that the only person you really need to be true to is yourself.

I'm glad you wrote this post.

Sheila said...

Sounds like you have come a long way Siobhan and only you will know if you can go back - you are right not to do things to suit others' expectations. Take care of yourself.

Shocking Hocking said...

indifference - yep, that about sums it up - i am sure you've already given the toxic a 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc chance on numerous occasions in the past because of others expectations. we're all going to cark it one day, and the manner of our death doesn't wipe the slate clean. stay true to you shevvy - i'm sure you'll be able to let the child know you're there for them.

Wendz said...

Many years ago I watched an Oprah show on toxic people and what our options were in dealing with them. I decided to stop all contact with people that were toxic to me and mine. It was not easy but in time I realised that I felt less burdoned and my immediate family was happier. No regrets. At the end of the day you got to look after yourself first otherwise you're no good to anyone. Hats off to you Hun.

Sarah said...

I think everyone eventually gets to know when they are right to be a bit selfish and look after themselves, dont beat yourself up for it. Take good care of yourself :-)

Helsie said...

Since you wrote this post Shevvie I'm guessing that no matter how hard you try there is still a crack in that armour. Stop beating yourself up. You're on the right track. Sounds like you've given heaps in the past and found the only way to survive is to withdraw and make your own way... and you're doing fine there. You are a fine, functioning member of society. Move forward with your own life and forget about the turkeys!

Michelle said...

I do not blame you a bit. I give toxic a people a very wide berth. What you are feeling is self-preservation and there's not a darn thing wrong with that.

I am sorry you are getting pressure to do otherwise. Do not cave. You know what is best for you.

Anne-Lise at Rag, Tag, Bobtail said...

Do what feels right for you and don't blame yourself for that. If possible, let the child know you care. Big hugs!