I don’t believe in Jesus. But I like the bible verse “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
I don’t want to drop people anymore, not entirely. And it’s not because of that verse, but the verse does express how I feel when I see or hear people talking so fervently about how “healthy people” cut toxic people out of their lives.
Really? Doesn’t that whole concept seem a bit toxic in itself?
Hey guys! This person is struggling with drug addiction so let’s throw them away like a piece of garbage, it will make us better people!
Ok, yeah. It’s deeper, and more complicated, and at some point I would absolutely say yes, walk away. Is he choking you? Walk away. Is she stealing from your purse? Umm, yes, maybe you should distance yourself.
But the point I’m trying to make is that, none of us have never been the toxic one in some way. And if not for the people who stuck by us, where would we be? And what about the people who nobody stood by, where are they? Who are they?
Who am I? Who are you? Are you better than me? Oh, I wear short skirts, am I less than? Oh, sometimes I eat ham, just cold ham from the fridge, maybe a few pickles. I’m a pig right? Healthy people don’t hang out with pigs.
If you don’t like somebody, don’t like them. But for christ-sake don’t go around thinking “Go me! I made a healthy decision by walking away from another human being!”
If someone did something unspeakable to someone, I would be on the first train out of there. No victim should ever have to face their abuser unwillingly.
But the least of these. The least of these. The least if these. How many times can I say that, and still get a chill down my back? It strikes me because the least of these, are the toxic people. For a long time I considered “the least of these” to be rich vs poor. But poor in what? Money? Or in heart and mind? Since the bible talks so much about giving up earthly possession in pursuit of a higher calling, one could safely assume the answer to my question above is: poor in heart and mind.
I really don’t give a fuck what Matthew meant when he wrote that verse. I have my own mind and get to choose to interpret things in a way that helps me understand more about life than what I already know. Sometimes that means taking steps back and reviewing my former self, sometimes it propels me.
People say when a child is acting out it is often for a lack of ability to express themselves in more constructive ways. And I think no less of adults. We may have the vocabulary and ability to explain an emotion, but some things still manifest in our actions and behavior. What to one person looks like an _insert unhealthy behavior here_ might be another person’s coping skill.
Wear your big girl panties is so bullshit. Man up is so mysogynistic. If you believe you can walk away from a past trauma unscathed, baby you’re on autopilot, or in denial, or both. I’m not saying moving on from the past is impossible. But everything that’s ever happened to you has affected, shaped, and molded the person you are, right now. It’s still there, in you somewhere, and it’s always going to be there.
Sooo, unless you were the one who came slip sliding swiftly out of that “toxic” person’s mother’s vagina, and you share their social security number, you really don’t have any right nor ability to judge them accurately.
You may spend 10 years with someone and you’ll still not ever truly know them. How could you? Who truly knows every single thing about themselves?
And if you’re reading this and saying to yourself, “This girl is a nuts. Of course I know myself.” Than kindly, imagine a stagnant pond of water, with moss and little gnats buzzing across the deep grey surface. That is you, my friend. Because life is a river, it’s ever changing. You can’t focus long enough on a rapid swirling around a rock to see all the tiny facets of rainbow light sending electric sound waves vibrating through the air.
If you let your brain decide you absolutely know something, anything 100% to be fact, that fact will stand still. Even as it’s proven wrong, right before your eyes. When you let your brain stand still, you’re blocking the ability to absorb new currency, connectivity, empathy, awareness, acceptance, information, this list goes on and will never end.
I might have had an interaction an hour ago that subconsciously shifted an opinion ever so slightly in the opposite direction. Or I could just decide that I know enough, and have my mind set, and there’s nothing more to it. The first way will allow me to continue to grow and change and evolve as a human being. The second way is akin to building a damn in the river that is your life. *someone told me this a few days ago and it makes me laugh, because it’s true: I am not safe with words. Sorry, I should have warned you. But I digress.
If I shut the door, if I cut you out of my life, because of a slight, or inconvenience: it couldn’t have been because of you. “It’s not you, it’s me.” If I have had it to here . that little dot right there. The period. If I’ve had that much of you, and can’t stand a second more, it’s because I can’t handle it. Not you.
Are there times to walk away? Yes. Are there times to distance ourselves? Yes. Are there times we should lock the door and throw away the key? I think in general no.
Closing the door but keeping the key. That’s what I’m trying to say. Open heart. Second chances. Maybe not, maybe just learning to let go of the hate, or hurt, and opening your mind to how much that “toxic” person must be struggling to have gone so far as to push you beyond the limits of your capacity to handle their behavior. Yes, sometimes we need to walk away. But I think even then, to attempt to understand why whatever the person you walked away from, did what they did, or said. To exercise the limits of your compassion, empathy, willingness to forgive, even if that still means distance, forever. I think that’s something to reach for, and I think it will enrich and expand your human experience.
There is a man, who is currently in prison. He scarred me as a child and I don’t think I’ll ever be strong enough to see him again. I don’t think he’s toxic. I think he’s ill and I think he was desperate not to be who he was. But left to his own devices, unable to control himself. I hope, so truly, that someone chooses to stand by him and help guide him in a way that causes him to get help, so he will never do what he did to me, to anyone else ever again.
Do you understand?
Everybody, even the man who molested me, needs to be loved.
Love changes people.
Don’t let yourself become that stale pond.
If you can’t handle drama or trauma in someone else’s life, and how their life affects you, by all means don’t handle it. But come on and be honest with yourself, and accept that you are not equip to handle that person. Who cares? Who cares if they do whatever it is that makes them toxic in your mind? What you are doing is looking at another human being in a way that says: I don’t have enough love for you to continue this relationship. We’re human, let’s face it, sometimes we simply can not abide.
But let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that we are bettering ourselves by deciding to treat another living human being as if they don’t exist anymore.
Deeming another person toxic is dehumanizing. And convoluted. Honey, if you think you’re better than anyone, chances are high that you are just as emotionally unhinged as the person you’re locking out.
So get over yourself and be honest. Accept that you are just not willing or capable of going there. That doesn’t mean you’re weak, it simply means you’re human. And I don’t know why there’s anything wrong with that.