There’s a slough of things that come with advancing age that kind of suck. Arthritis, organs crap out on you, your brain starts slacking off, and you start stockpiling knowledge that you A) needed when you were younger, and B) debate whether you want in the first place. You know the lessons are valuable, but they’re rough lessons, bringing bruises, scrapes, and a lot of scarring.
This particular lesson goes hand-in-hand with the knowledge from Dancing on the Line. I won’t backtrack on that stance: you do need to acknowledge that there are multiple sides to every issue. However, I never said every side was RIGHT. There are certain issues that arise where you decide to draw a line. You plant your feet, you firm your jaw, and you say, “NO!” It takes a lot of courage to find your causes.
It takes more to hold that line.
Friends and even family won’t agree. People you love and admire will say things that shock you to your core. You’ll hear statements and see things that make you want to vomit. Your blood pressure will rise, your limbs will shake, you’ll lose the ability to hear, to see. Honestly, it’s like having a stroke without the medical consequences. You just suffer the mental and emotional consequences. That’s NOT better.
Time to make a decision.
When your mental health is on the line, you have to make a choice. Which is more important: You or that relationship? Keeping people like that around ISN’T healthy, and somewhere deep down inside, you know that. Witnessing that behavior is slowly poisoning yourself. How long do you want to ingest that toxin? When do you finally decide to cut off the drip of venom? After you’re so ill you can’t function? Or when you still have a chance for recovery?
Cutting the cord on a friendship is one of the most difficult lessons to learn. After all, people like to walk around, righteously declaring that everyone is entitled to their opinion. Yes, yes, they are. That doesn’t mean they’re right, and it doesn’t mean you need to be subject to that opinion. Not when it’s damaging to your mental well-being. That’s a load of bull shit.
YOU matter more than that!
This year I learned to wield the scissors. I opened my eyes, and I put my foot down. Because I saw how sick the racism made me. I acknowledged the horror of the religious intolerance. I finally admitted to the basic ignorance of humanity. And I said ENOUGH. There are too many genuine loved ones in my circle – people the hatred excluded – for me to accept the blatant disregard any longer. I cut, and I cut, and I cut.
And now I can BREATHE!
I drew the line, and I’m holding it. Is it choosing a side? Yes, I suppose so – MINE. I make no excuses for what I’ll tolerate and what I WON’T. Are there regrets? Yes – I regret that I thought better of those people. I thought they were intelligent. I assumed they were educated. I believed they were good, thoughtful human beings. And THEY let ME down.
You make your own decisions on your life. You decide what you allow in your space and in your mind. If you feel you can stomach the poison, that’s your decision. I couldn’t swallow anymore.