To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. ~e.e. cummings, 1955
Martha Beck has an article on the people in our lives that just don’t like the “new” you. It’s a wonderful article about the things people will do and say when you are changing your life.
My mom and I have been on the “outs’ for a few years now. Interestingly enough, since I’ve started my “change” of lifestyle so to speak. At one time we were FB friends, then after some minor disagreement she deleted me. When I asked her why, she said “there are just some things a mother shouldn’t know”. Ouch! I went back and read some of my posts, told a few friends and questioned myself constantly over what could I be putting out there that was so damn horrible. I never truly figured out what it was…more than likely, it was her own perception of what she felt I was doing, not reality. I’ve known a few judgmental people in my day, for me, it’s par for the course. So I created a “fake” FB account….that’s where I invited my family to join. I kept it minimal and clean. I friended her and said for her not to worry, there wouldn’t be anything on here that would be too much.
We don’t do much on it. I like some things of hers…she doesn’t like anything of mine. That’s ok. Then one day she posted on my page about remembering when we used to talk on the phone everyday. I said “yes, there were some good times”. She commented back “there were more good than bad”. I chose to let it go after that. It’s not hard to figure out what she was getting to…and there was no point in me saying anything. She saw things the way she wanted to, I see them differently.
She doesn’t like the new me. It’s obvious. I haven’t really been able to pin point exactly what it is about me she doesn’t like so much, but in my many years of experience with her, I can only conclude that it has to do with the fact that she has no control over me, my thoughts or my actions. She did for a long time. At least, she thought she did. We were both victims. The world was against us. It was us against the world, until I pissed her off…then it was her against me, until I subsided.
The other night I as talking to a friend who has recently been weeding some of these same types of people out of her life. She was telling me about how one particular person was being rather persistent in his efforts to keep her right where he had her for so long. I have told her on several occasions that they know the right thing to say. They know the right buttons to push…their talent lies in being able to worm their way back in, and you think that it’s because they care. She wasn’t really having any of it…she’s learned. At one point he pointed out that I was the one who had gotten into her head…and now I was manipulating her. We both laughed. I told her it made perfect sense. He had been manipulating you, so why not assume I am doing the same. It’s obvious, you don’t have a mind of your own!!
At one point my mom had said the same thing to me. I MUST have gotten the idea from my husband. There was no way I would have ever felt that way without his influence. Hmmm…Interesting how they open up the opportunity for you to see how they really view you. Weak. Well, you are not. I am not, and my friend is not. The truth is, those people who manipulate us and degrade us, and try to make us feel bad for not giving them what they want…they are the weak ones. Don’t bother trying to tell them you are stronger than they think…it could literally get physical. My friend and I have both been on that side of the argument.
Don’t let them stop you from changing. You are doing it because you are tired of being beat down, tired of being sad, tired of letting hurtful people be your guide in life. It is wonderful on the other side…it’s bright and sunny and even when the skies are dark and grey, you can find peace and hope. They will never understand. I’m sorry. They will miss out on being with a beautiful wonderful happy joyous person…and that is their loss. You can’t let that stop you though. It won’t be easy, but you will find that it is much lighter when you let go of the person they are trying to keep a hold of. Be who you are meant to be…and love those people from afar.