Cindy blogged about eliminating toxicity today and I clicked over and read the link she posted about dealing with toxic peopl and I realized that in all actuality, some of the the people who I have allowed to become toxic to me aren't really toxic people. It's my response to them that makes them toxic.
Over the past several years different ones of my children seem to fill this role -- the role of making me overinvolved and anxious in their lives. It is usually when they are caring so little about their own life when I care so much about them. Currently, as you know, this toxic relationship is the one I have with Salinda and it has been that way off and on for the past two-three years.
The article says
They cause other people pain, craziness, and aggravation. They are not hard to recognize. Just take notice of how you feel when you are around one of these people. It will be easy to determine. You will immediately feel sick and experience physical symptoms like a headache or stomach pain. Or you will just feel like you are going crazy, but don't worry that is the true mark of being with a toxic person. Remember this so that you will be better able to identify a toxic person..
Salinda is not like these toxic people described in the article. Sure, she's made some bad choices, and she has some flaws, but she is not nearly like what is described. But my pathetic response to her is toxic and all consuming some days to the point that I get very angry with myself. Her life and her choices exhaust me. As much as I want to do what the article suggests and mentally walk away from her, the more I am drawn in to try and help, when helping does absolutely nothing.
I think that the most interesting piece of this "conflict" she and I are having is that it really isn't a conflict at all -- it's me having a conflict with myself. I need to let go and walk away as her life is sucking the life out of mine. But she doesn't care one bit -- in fact, I'm not even sure she knows what is going on with me. She is so wrapped up in her own fog of teenage girl drama that I'm not sure that she even knows I'm alive. So while I sit and stew about her failing online high school, she salivates over catalogs of $600 prom dresses....
I am getting ready to speak 3 times in the next month about how to survive kids and I need to follow my own advice. I conclude my 12 Survival Tips Speech with the following anonymous quote:
Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the person I can, and the wisdom to know it's me.
Easier said than done. I constantly am battling myself to shut up and not say anything to her, or text anything to her, as she allows her schooling and her social life to sink deeper into despair. She won't let me be part of the solution (and lately, fortunately, has not been blaming me for the situation). But if she is doing her best to shut me out, why can't I just stay out????
But Cindy is right and the author of the article above are right. This silly thing is taking up way more of my life than it should. I need an intervention. ;-)