It's true though

Last evening,  I got a message notification from a social media account that is sort of inactive.

Someone I decided to cut ties with almost half a decade ago reached out to me with a "heartfelt plea" (of sorts) to "reconnect." Despite the circumstances and even the devastating aftermath of the last interactions I had with them, they claimed that they thought of me "fondly" in addition to trying to flatter me as much as align themselves with where/how I have been been and where I now am.

And all of this? It's based on a very clear assumption (from them) that they know me so well despite the fact that the relationship I had with them imploded upon itself multiple times before the one final time (over five years ago) which was the last time I ever had any contact with them.

The one thing I have learned (because it's been proven to me time and time again) is that a very reliable metric for a person's wellness and balance in/of life is the quality, history and sustainability, of their relationships with others. Here's how this works:
  • Do they have relationships that extend beyond a short-term time frame of 1-3 years? Are these familial relationships or are they voluntary non-familial relationships? I define these relationships as the following:
    • Family - obligated because they actually are family they are born into OR by law because of marriage, adoption, fostering, etc. (to a certain degree this includes spouses  and definitely your own kids)
    • Non-familial - work/professional/coworker, childhood/school friends, drinking/partying friends, common interest (non partying) friends, etc. 
  • What is the history of their relationships of all kinds?
    • Is there a weird "expiration date" that seems to occur on the majority of their relationships such that relationships/"toxic" people always seem to be breaking down and being cleared out?
    • Is there a voluntary element of the relationships that do exist such that the relationships or are the relationships forced/obligated in some way? Do people choose to keep having relationship connections with them OR is the connection forced, obligated, etc.  
And #this is a little why I even bring up the question of if the relationship is familial or not...

  • Were the relationships (of any kind) able to independently withstand/survive or even thrive despite the unpredictable "weather" and "climate" of everyday life?
    • Unpredictable "weather" includes every day sort of events: job changes, relationship changes (breaking up or off of relationships), "fashion police" incidents, etc. 
    • "Climate" includes: long-term life changes like terminal illness or permanent changes that occur especially related to physical/emotional health and physical appearance, divorce or death, etc.

Said "friend" that reached out to me (that even prompted me to write this blog post) is an individual  I suspected even over five years ago (when things officially ended with them) to be an individual who has incredible volatility in the realms of relationships to the point where there are few you can even reference to be able to "measure" to start.




When things really blew up with them, I was already asking myself, "Am I the problem??? Is it ME?" while they were telling me actual craziness about themselves and the relationship I had with them that I should be "so thankful" to have because I our relationship had "survived" when others hadn't.

The end of that friendship about decimated me but it also gave way to me understanding what abusive relationships really are and to realize how abused I was in order for me to escape from the clutches of domestic violence and abuse. I guess you could say that was like a "butterfly effect" for other stuff to happen that really and truly needed to happen in order for me to be freed from so much more than I ever realized was in my life.

Don't get me wrong... leaving things behind the way I have done has made things better and also challenging in different ways than what I used to have to deal with on a regular basis:
  • I still have to deal with a relationship with my daughter's father/my ex-husband to co-parent but (thankfully because of the court systems) my daughter's as much as my safety is much better guaranteed
  • I still have to deal with relationships with family members who still talk sh!t about me because of what I have been through and what they don't actually know about me because they insist upon telling me how wrong I am/have been since I am living life in ways that they would never consider for themselves.
  • I still have to deal with other non-family relationships of people (of all sorts) coming back to try and rekindle any sort of flame that can (maybe?) fired back up from the ashes that were once smoldering embers more immediately leftover from when those relationships burst into metaphorical flames and burnt themselves out.

At the the same time? Call it karma or life's metaphorical paybacks or "the universe" doing what it does by serving up "humble pie," things are panning out for them in ways where the "gold" they rushed to pan out is turning out to be metaphorical FOOL's gold and they are realizing they have so much more "stuff" than they tried not to have.

In any case, I'm glad that while the "baggage" I still have to carry is not always the easiest to manage, I can at least carry what I am carrying because it's only my "stuff." I'm no longer being weighed or slowed down as much as I used to be.

And simply because it is Friday and I usually share a song I like on Fridays (or at least I have done this in past posts), here's a favorite (from Dave Brubeck) that is as timeless as life lessons usually always are.