There’s this ‘thing’ people do who need you back in their toxic world after there’s a break. I figured Betty would do it and told Dr. D she would. Dr. D and I go over entries in sessions because I tend to process quite  a bit outside of therapy, but I told him, she’s going to try to give me a gift, it’ll be either something I really need or something I’ve been wanting.

It’s funny, with my guard up I know what to expect.  She will most certainly fulfill each and every aspect of her ‘malfunction’ because that’s what people with her ‘major malfunction’ do.

Today she showed up talkin’ ’bout, I have miniatures for your dollhouse. Oh,oh no you don’t. No ya don’t. …..I didn’t accept them, and won’t. She said, I’ve been looking around for a kitchen chair for you. I said, remember, you have no control over this household. No additions, no subtraction.

She’s just a 70-year-old woman trying to be helpful, right? No. She’s not. She’s the 70-year-old woman embarrassed by the color of my skin, who told me recently I don’t need to know anything about her. She’s the same woman who, when I moved to this apartment, unpacked and repacked my boxes her way and broke a 55gl aquarium.  I told her about the tank and she said, and I quote, “It doesn’t bother me.” Her octaves rose when she said ‘me’.

You ever just look at the phone when someone says something so far left of sense you don’t know what to do with it? That’s what I did in the beginning, repeatedly, then I switched to absorbing the insanity. I went from knowing and acknowledging red flags to ignoring them to absorbing missiles.

Why? Why did I follow that pattern, one I know well? It was put to me so plainly, ‘what would you tell a friend to do……” I know I would have seen this destruction far off in a friend’s life. I would have said, She doesn’t deserve this. I’ve seen this girl take huge leaps to break toxic relationships, why accept this one?

It took 10+ years after leaving home to fully break all contact with my mother. I saw her again in 2012 when my health got so bad that it was life threatening. With Betty in a mothering role it took me 5 years to put a stop to the toxic fumes. It took me much longer with that pathetic marriage that I returned to 3 times before being able to leave and stay gone. I dated someone toxic which took me 7 years to fully break off. It’s been over ten years, but I think of that person everyday. It was toxic, wow was it toxic but for different reasons than sadism or jackassism.

There are characteristics and issues shared by each of those individuals that draws in a person with characteristics and issues like mine. We match up and play emotional war until one of us changes the rules by working on the issues that attract us to toxic people. So if I want to further progress in living toxic free I have to continue to work to identify what it is I need from specific toxic relationships. I’m still learning.

I have to give myself a little credit though. I took a lot of steps in a full life overhaul. The steps were mine and for me, with some being easier than others. I can’t imagine myself getting married. Of course I said that before ‘Boaz’ came along and swept me off my feet. I was like, what just happened to me? Wow…. had to let that one go, too. I can’t see it happening again …. so that type of relationship isn’t a worry, but friendships that start off with red flags should be treated like toxic materials are treated, with care and kept at a distance.

Not marrying Boaz proved to be a good decision. He is not a citizen. He has only recently gotten his green card but it’s temporary. I didn’t marry him because of his PTSD, which conflicted with my own, but no one could have ever told me I’d drop head over heals for him. His PTSD gave me big red flags and I’m happy I acted. It would appear it was within my best interest in more ways than one. It’s frightening how many of my friends are now concerned for their refuge, as If surviving genocide wasn’t enough.


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