There is a person in my life that I have an "up and down" type of relationship with. I am not willing to divulge this person's name or other details for privacy reasons. It's not actually that important to this story anyway. For our current purposes, we'll call this person Sam.
SAM I AM
Sam is someone that has been in my life since I can remember and someone that would be very hard to walk away from completely. I love Sam or at least I think I should. Often, I question whether or not I do because Sam is emotionally abusive to me. Sam had an extremely difficult upbringing including sexual, mental and emotional abuse and neglect. It's no wonder that Sam has some extremely skewed ideas of how to treat people. However, Sam only sought help one time and when the therapist said that Sam may be treating me poorly, Sam left therapy never to return.
I DO NOT LIKE ABUSE FROM SAM
Unfortunately, Sam had a large influence in my life when I was growing up and because of the emotional neglect and abuse that I endured, I was conditioned to need Sam's approval. From a young age I tried to get closer to Sam and for short periods it would work. I felt close and connected and even, at times, supported, but then soon into this new bliss of a connection, Sam would turn on me. I would be called names, berated for things that made no sense. I didn't know why this was happening so I internalized it and decided it was me. I was a horrible person and was causing Sam to hate me.
A pattern was born. I get pushed away from Sam by enduring mental/emotional abuse, then I pull away in self-preservation. Sam gets super sweet. I am heard, supported, reached out to, openly loved and given to by Sam. When this first happens I fall into a kind of amnesia. An, "OMG, Sam loves me! I'm not a horrible person!" fugue state. It seems so authentic and real and I'm sure in those moments that it is. But as soon as I fall into acceptance and get vulnerable, Sam strikes again.
NOT WITH A GOAT DONT ROCK THE BOAT
Even though I finally recognized this in my 20's and decided that it was best for me to spend a LOT less time with Sam for my own sanity, it is still hard for me to not "take the bait". It's so difficult to receive from Sam and not to fall into that love and compassion. Hard but not impossible. About 20 years ago I started keeping Sam at arm's length but in a very civil and polite way. Our "relationship" got better but only because essentially I don't ask for anything, I listen when Sam speaks and don't rock the boat - much.
As I've grown in my spirituality and have sought different kinds of therapy, I'm seeing that keeping Sam in my life and living inauthentically around Sam has caused me to feel off balanced. This dynamic even feels abusive to me. I can't be me but I allow and accept Sam fully. Not fair to me. I was getting pretty pissed about it recently.
NOT WHEN I'M SICK - WE JUST DON'T CLICK
I've been sick this week. When I was kid Sam literally stated to me, "I can't have sympathy for you when you're sick because my parents didn't have sympathy for me." Sooooo... as you can imagine, I don't expect Sam to ever say a thing or reach out when I'm ill. But! When Sam is in a rare full-on "Let's be friends and kumbaya," state, I get extra sympathy. Yesterday I got the "blissful, let's connect", Sam. I've been in spiritual awakening solitary mode and not connecting to many people on a personal basis. So, when Sam called and listened to me, gave me sympathy even though I wasn't asking or expecting it I fell right into it and ate it up. It felt so good to be heard, to be unconditionally listened to and given focus.
NOT WITH THE FOX GET OUT OF THE BOX
When I got off the phone, the love drunk hangover hit and I realized that I can't allow myself to think that this could be different now. It's been 45 years of the same pattern. I turned to my Spirit Guides to get outside my box - my limited thinking. What they said changed everything for me with regards to Sam and me. Here's our conversation.
Guides: Imagine that [Sam] has Alzheimer's.
Me: Excuse me?
Guides: [Sam] has endured so much childhood trauma that it's impossible to act any other way unless [Sam] gets extreme therapy. [Sam] has not and probably will not do this. Think of [Sam] as having Alzheimer's and when [Sam] has lucid moments, [Sam] is able to give freely, love openly and share this love with you. When these precious moments arise, you know that they won't last but enjoy them when they are there. Knowing that, due to illness, they are temporary you won't get swept up in the old dynamic but you'll be able to enjoy the sparks of time when [Sam] is authentically connected.
Me: Mind Blown. Thank you so much. That just saved a large chunk of my sanity.
I LOVE PARTS OF SAM
The conversation went on to talk about how I don't have to like all of Sam. Because we share common connections, I did choose to keep Sam in my life. Finding a way to authentically connect when Sam is in a "lucid state" and feel free to walk away while Sam's in a state that means to harm me, is an ideal balance for my and Sam's "relationship". The freedom and authenticity that I've felt from this message have been indescribable. Seeing Sam as having an illness is not only accurate, but has aided me to do something that I could not do before... Forgive Sam.
With a goat, no need to rock the boat, I love when we click even when I'm sick, with a fox, and now that I'm outside the box, I do love parts of you Sam I am.