My apologies to anyone that lives in Flint…
I recently have been disentangling myself from a toxic friendship. In addition to emotional manipulation and verbal abuse, this individual took advantage of my financial generosity and contributed directly to the end of the business I had been running for 5 years.
It wasn’t until my life situation changed drastically last month that I realized I needed to finally exclude this person from my life, despite the fact that I felt like I should keep trying to help them. It was a few weeks ago that I noticed the only time I would hear from this person was when they needed something. However, when I would try to communicate there was no response, even when I told them that I was in the ER.
The realization was slow at first but finally it became crystal clear. I had ALLOWED this person to take advantage of me over and over again but did nothing about it. No one needed to point it out to me… No one had to convince me… I had known it all along and yet continued to allow the toxicity into my life.
Imagine knowing that the water you are drinking is poison, but yet you keep drinking it. Can you really blame the water at that point for the consequences and side effects? Not hardly. But you need water to live don’t you? Yes but you can choose the water you drink. Just like you can choose the people that you hang out with and include in your life.
Friendship is a give and take. At times one friend may be doing more giving and the other more taking. But when the taking is consistent, to the point of destroying the givers life, you’re no longer in a friendship… you’re in a toxic friendship.
At the end of the day I hope this person comes to their senses, gets help and is able to turn their life around. But until I see concrete evidence of change and progress I won’t be drinking that water again.