Recently my good friend has been struggling with his communication, his interactions, his relationship with a woman he was dating. This whole process from the moment I found out he was dating this woman has been strained and stifling for him and well for his friends who watched this emotional destruction. I have been supportive and nonjudgemental as long as possible. However, the past few weeks have had me speaking firmly to him. I have condensed my ideas and advice into one word: EJECT. It has become a mantra as he vents. we say “eject, eject, eject. ” I think this helps us both feel at ease as we help him have permission to walk away.
This has been a very insightful and rewarding experience for me – helping him to close the door on an unhealthy relationship. I recently did the same in my own life and it was excruciating. I stayed in an unhealthy relationship for years. I became a different person when I was with this friend. I became someone I did not like. During the thankfully last tumultuous spat with this person, I found myself exhausted, fearful and almost emotionally paralyzed. Another close friend tried to stay impartial but very graciously said, “it doesn’t have to be this awful. You are not this person with anyone else. Its time to stop. Its OK. You are not a bad person if you recognize you cannot change the toxins but it is bad if you keep ingesting them. It’s OK – hit the eject button.
I did. Without a lengthy goodbye or discussion. I just did it. Eject. I walked away and closed a door – whatever metaphor you want to put on it. I was sad and torn. I didn’t get a chance to tell this friend my side of anything or hash out my feelings and frustrations. I didn’t respond to accusations, blame or delusions. I didn’t try to compromise, console, or attack. I just hit eject. It sounds like exactly the wrong way to do it but it wasn’t. Sometimes it is better to just stop. Another great person in my life said, “The thing about banging your head against the wall is how good it feels when you finally stop.”
So recently I found myself stronger and more insightful and humble. I was able to tell someone else that although it can be draining, embarrassing and horrible to be entwined in a toxic relationship, just know that it is ok to simply hit the eject button. Eject, eject, eject. I care very much for my friend and it is difficult to watch him caught in a whirlpool of toxic faux love. I know I can’t tell him whom he should fall for or date. I support him in his decisions but I also can’t stand by and watch someone else diminish the person I care for and admire.
He has hit the button.
He now is more direct in his statements. Owning his actions, his feelings and contributions to all of his relationships. It is amazing how wishy-washy and self deprecating he had become. (It is very reminiscent to what I was doing all the time not so long ago.) I am very reflective of how far I have come this year in my own self worth and appreciation because I am able to help someone I am friends with let go of a demon. Eject. Eject. Eject.
I know I will come back to these realizations for me and in helping him. It is now empowering because I am coming out of the haze of defeat and guilt. I am emerging into a new phase of loving myself and honoring the good that I put out in the world. I hope I help my friend get there too.