Saturday, February 20, 2016

Dumping Them AND The Guilt

“Woman Lying Down On Bed” by photo stock via 

February 2016 

some names have been omitted in this post 


The February wind whipped my long hair and I wished I'd brought my jean jacket with me that I'd left in the SUV. I watched a toddler take careful steps toward her smiling mother near the bench I shared with my friend. Our daughters played nearby swinging on the park swings laughing in unison. Sunlight streamed upon us and I could feel the warmth of the seventy degrees on my cheek, relishing it as the wind died momentarily. 

She reached out and touched my arm. "What's going on? There's something bothering you." 

"I've been dealing with all this guilt." I admitted. "After breaking it off with the last guy. I mean… "I trailed off. "I keep feeling like I could have handled it better." 

She looked at me intently and then sat up a little straighter and spoke. "Tell me. Tell me how you could have handled it better." 

"That's the problem… I really don't know." I told her. "I mean, I keep going back to if I told someone I had ADHD and they came back and told me 'I'm not signing up for that, bye'…. The truth is, it would hurt my feelings. It would. So, I can see that my telling him I'm not signing up for his bi-polar symptoms could be hurtful to him. And that wasn't my intent at all." I shared with her. 

"Yes…" She agreed. "I know you didn't mean for it to be hurtful. But. And I mean BUT," She added with emphasis, "You also broke it off with this same man who is stalkerish, who then admitted to you he can manipulate, that he has sociopathic tendencies, who never respected your boundaries on insanely long texts 24/7, who shared that he has no intention of taking medication for his bi-polar... so he's making the choice to not take care of his health. So tell me Jennifer, exactly why you feel guilty?" She sat back and crossed her arms looking at me expectantly. 

I was taken aback by her bluntness. She had hit the nail on the head. Yet it was what I needed. A good verbal knocking upside the head to wake up and quit beating myself up for telling him: "Do you really think I'm going to sign up for your bi-polar?!"

I grimaced. "I know you're right. I KNOW I made the right decision to break it off, it's just been difficult coping with the bi-polar part of it." I admitted to her. "That part made me feel like a hypocrite." 

"You have the right to choose what you want. What's best for you. Do you think God wants you to be with creepy stalker guy?" She asked and I laughed while she pressed onward. "God loves you. You have the right to shut the door without any explanation. You don't have to get into discussing it, you can just say bye. And quite frankly, as much as I'd love to see you meet the "right guy" who will love you… I'd rather see you stay on your own than sign up for another bad marriage. I don't want to see you go through that again. I mean… do you?" She asked pointedly. 

"No, I don't." I agreed quietly.

"I'm so sorry…" She leaned over and hugged me. "What else is going on? I feel like there's more to this." 

I cleared my throat and spoke, "I think it's loneliness. I was doing so well. I think the move had me busy and preoccupied. Now everything is settled and in place… work is going well, the house is set up… and yet I find myself feeling a void." I mused aloud. 

I had set new goals I was really excited about…  additional flower beds to create, activities with my daughter, blogs to write, fitness goals, etc. But for whatever reason every day the loneliness crept in and I found myself grasping for what to do about it… how to handle it. I knew rationally that loneliness wasn't reason to be in a relationship… in reality it was a recipe for disaster.

And yet the loneliness remained there… lurking like a silent heavy companion that offered no comfort but the continual reminder that ultimately when you curl up in bed under the covers each night you don't share it with someone special. Throw the guilt I'd been feeling on top of the loneliness and it was an unsettled feeling that needed to be dealt with. I recognized it for what it was. It only confirmed I needed to continue to grow and set new goals… guilt I needed to let go of and loneliness meant I needed to draw closer to God in my walk with Him. Because ultimately… single or with someone… no one completely comforts or satisfies but Him.

It's "yea, though I walk
 through the valley." 
Not "yea, when I sit 
down and whine 
in the valley."
 Keep walking. 
~ Tony Evans 



It's often when we speak of our ex with transparent valid dislike other's may judge us… make us out like were just terrible, non-caring human beings… like a person without a heart. Or maybe we stand strong(!) and break it off as we should with the toxic one... 

Then we either feel defensive(!) toward those judging us or maybe even guilt (immediate or later) for breaking it off or just in how we handled it… or a combination of both. The thing is… a narcissist or worse, a sociopath is purposefully doing the awful things they do. 

Some would argue yes, but THAT is because they were wounded, damaged as children and are now living the only way they know how… they argue this is the unintended outcome of the abuse they lived during their impressionable childhood years… cause and effect… they should be pitied some say and not denounced as evil.

So in the enlightenment in dealing with the guilt we may feel; as we wade through all these unpleasant feelings regarding the toxic one who has created so much hurt in our life… we remember this:

As empathetic individuals we may wish (at times) we weren't so empathetic because we may believe it opens us up to more hurt… but that's not the answer. The world desperately needs more empathy, not less. The answer lies in remaining empathetic to the wounded but saying no to suffering at the hands of them. We shouldn't excuse someone's poor behavior. They must be held accountable. But we also don't have to remain out in the open, vast land like vulnerable prey just waiting to be hunted down, shot or ravaged. We can take refuge and know that we don't have to expose ourselves to someone's agenda. We have the right to protect ourselves. We have to have the insight to realize that yes, we may have enjoyed some aspects of this person… maybe her wit, perhaps her sense of adventure, maybe his intelligence or his physical affection. Yet at the end of the day the hurt, pain and grief the person caused far outweighed the few positives they shared with us. 

Did you think we'd be fine? Still got scars on my back from your knife
So don't think it's in the past, these kinda wounds they last and they last.
Now did you think it all through? All these things will catch up to you
And time can heal but this won't, so if you're coming my way, just don't

- Taylor Swift Bad Blood via 

It's then that we ask ourselves: 

How much are we willing to suffer for a few positives?

Are we willing to suffer through verbal abuse?

"Think about leaving me. You will regret it in days, weeks, months, years. And you'll have no one to blame but yourself when you're alone. Because no one will want you."

Are we willing to suffer through physical abuse? 

Being pushed, shoved, hit, kicked, etc = having bruises, broken bones, black eyes, etc.

Are we willing to suffer through emotional abuse? 

You tell your partner you're really hurt, angry, frustrated etc about x,y, z… instead of listening and responding with love; trying to understand and be there for you he or she begins coming back with: "I'm not responding to your anger(!) You're the one with the issue." And proceeds to walk away. Not only has he or she completely invalidated your concern and feelings but then has shut down communication by walking away (stonewalling) and ending the conversation… leaving you feeling not not heard and dismissed, even possibly feeling dramatic, unstable, anxious, etc.

We don't have to suffer.

Letting go of someone you have loved may be one of the hardest things you will ever do. But it's so much easier than holding onto someone hurtful and cruel, or even worse, someone who has already let go of you. ~ Zane Baker 

© ~ 2016


A Sociopath's Love: I'm So Sick Of This

Divorce & Loneliness: 7 Tips

Narcissistic Father's: Living In The Lion's Den

To My Readers: 
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