2017 was a very painful year for me. Two friendships ended that year. One person ended a friendship with me without giving me any deep reason and the other, I ended. Both happened within a month of each other. The friendship that ended first was the one that was ended without any deep reason and unexpectedly. I was on Facebook doing a search using the Facebook search bar, and this friend’s profile popped up, showing that I needed to add her. My heart had instantly sank. I felt desperation rise up to try to repair the relationship and I saw myself grabbing my phone and quickly typing a text out to her. I was going to tell her how much our friendship meant to me, how I felt seeing that she had unfriended me, and was going to ask if we could talk in person. I was starting to plan out all the “right” things I was going to say, because I wasn’t ready for more rejection or loss. I really valued this person, and to see that they withdrew and ended our friendship out of the blue brought up so much within me. I paused for a moment and instead of sending the original text, I cleared it out, and asked her why she unfriended me. Her response was very short and had an energy that told me she didn’t want to discuss anything and was closed off. I could feel that she didn’t want to repair the rupture in our friendship. This threw me into a state of panic.
I realized in that moment that this was a very important moment for my expansion. This was my opportunity to break my pattern of desperately trying to get people to commit to me, who just didn’t want to. Instead of sending a response back, trying to manipulate/convince her into being in a friendship with me, I decided to sit with the pain that came up. For the very first time, I sat with the desperate part of me that really wanted love and connection and was willing to do anything for it. I sat with myself and grieved. I grieved because there’s a part of me that thinks this is love. There’s a part of me that thinks she can buy someone back by abandoning herself and being whatever they need her to be. There’s a part of me that doesn’t want to lose anymore connection. I sat with it all. It wasn’t a short one day process either, it was weeks of taking time with my inner children and really hearing them out. It was weeks of heavy and painful emotions.
A couple of weeks later, another friend came back from months of traveling. We had some unresolved issues from the previous year, but since this person was traveling for an extended amount of time, I decided to wait until he got back from his travels before I reached out to him to try to resolve anything. When he finally came back a year later, I reached out and told him I was still really hurt that I never got resolution from a misunderstanding. I suggested we do a technique created by Teal Swan called the Octopus technique. This person responded very coldly. He said, “That was in the past. You need to get over it.” It honestly was the last thing I expected to hear/read. I felt so crushed. And I allowed myself to feel that way. My old pattern would have been to feel a lot of shame and spiral into self hate because of the response I received.. and I still would have been friends with the person, and spending more time understanding their perceptive and invalidating mine but this time whole interaction made me so angry.
I really was able to see the toxic patterns in my relationships over that month. I saw in that moment how easy I give up my own needs to keep others in a relationship with me. HOW FUCKING PAINFUL IS THAT? It’s a painful belief that I have, that I need to give up my own needs in order to keep/have others and that I need to accommodate them. I’m sending myself the message that I don’t matter. That I’m not important. What matters is the other person. It’s a painful message to send to yourself when you are also in a relationship with yourself. I noticed the belief that I need to do whatever it takes to keep someone in my kitty pool. That I need to be different than who I am, that I need to be “better” or more of whatever they want me to be. I saw how easily I lose myself in order to have/maintain a relationship with someone. I saw that I abandon my own needs, wants, desires, and boundaries to keep others. That is not a good foundation to build a stable, secure relationship on. I saw how easily I abandon my emotions in relationships and make them not OK because the other person is not ok with them (thanks mom).
I had a really intense awakening in the moments that I saw the patterns play out with both of these people. It is very interesting when you can actually witness these aspects and patterns at play from a conscious perspective. I saw the splits within myself. I chose not to ignore any of it. As this was happening, I realized that I don’t want to have to change for other people, I don’t want to make myself more of one thing and less of another. I was really seeing my unique expression and how much I constrict that energy to make other people happy. I really was seeing just how much of my focus is always on HOW OTHER PEOPLE FEEL, SEE, AND THINK about me. What about what I think about me? I was seeing just how unsafe I feel in relationships and how much I have been programmed to believe that I don’t matter.
This is all due to a lack of boundaries, a sense of self, enmeshment trauma, and really low self esteem. This is due to a lack of being supported to be an individual growing up. I was raised to accommodate other peoples needs, wants, desires, emotions, etc. so therefore I couldn’t have my own needs, wants, desires, emotions, thoughts. It’s a really sad and toxic pattern that has been passed down generation after generation in my family. I made the choice to break free of this toxic pattern the moment I became conscious of it.
I decided in that moment that I am done chasing people. I’m done with one way streets. I’m so done with getting crumbs when I give my all. I’m done being in friendships where I don’t feel safe. I’m so done trying to convince people to love me and be friends with me. I don’t want to have to constantly try to figure out what others need and want of me. I’m done abandoning myself for the sake of relationships and connection.
I’m putting my energy into relationships where I can be my own unique self. I need relationships where we can find resolution if there is any discord. I need relationships where I can feel safe and secure. I need relationships where I can express my needs and they be received with love and a softness, even if the person can’t meet them. I want relationships with people who want me. I want relationships where people caretake my needs, my emotions, and our relationship. I want intimacy. I want real, deep connection. I want conscious relationships. I want relationships with people who want me, period.
It’s been a really painful process and also a really beautiful process. It’s been painful really sinking into the emotions that I have suppressed, rejected, and have been unconscious of. It’s been painful looking at the patterns and negative beliefs I have relative to relationships and love. It has been really beautiful to finally make myself matter and be the most important relationship that I have. The relationship that I have with myself is feeling better than ever. I see that reflected in my outer world and in my inner world. I really got present to the fact that I don’t have to give up anything or be any different in exchange for someone’s commitment to our relationship. If that is an expectation from someone else for us to have a relationship, I’m choosing to put my energy and love elsewhere. It really feels like freedom to me.