You know those motivational quotes with oceans or bridges in the background? The quote says something like “if someone is toxic, get rid of them” or something along those lines.
I did that. Got rid of someone “toxic” to me. I made the choice to take care of myself, to protect my Self because, when it comes down to it, no one can do that but me. It was not an easy decision and it was not done on a whim and it certainly was not made because some motivational quote told me to. I did it because this camel’s back was getting tired. The weight of time was heavy. So, I removed myself from a situation. From two people actually, although one was much easier than the other. Removing them removed an entire part of my life. A huge chunk of it was suddenly outside my reach.
Over the years, things changed and I often considered re-inserting myself into this person’s life. But I couldn’t do it. Telephones ring both directions. So do mail deliveries. This person could contact and call others but never me. Hell, I was never mentioned. And now it is too late. He died this morning. It is not regret that I feel. It is more like I am holding the scales, putting my care of Self on one side and this morning on the other. It is a cold, heavy scale to hold.
And then I am reminded of my invisibility. In removing myself from them, they removed me from them as well. It is as if I never existed. And that is a weird weird feeling. It was happening prior to me walking away. I just made it kinda official I guess. I’d been slowly phased out for years.
He was a strong man but with screwed up priorities. Wouldn’t take one fucking step in this direction. That’s all it would have taken. One wee bit of effort on his part to show me..something. I know he was given my contact info at least once. And I know he knew how to ask for it. But he couldn’t. And he didn’t. So he pretended I didn’t exist and now he is dead.
Dad, I never stopped loving you. How could I? I believe now you understand at least. I wish you had understood a little sooner though.