One thing that needs to be recognized is that while you go through the process of leaving your abuser and even once you have left, growth can leave your circle smaller and sometimes that is not a bad thing. Sometimes the people you thought had your back are the ones that are talking behind it and sometimes those you thought were rowing with you, are drilling holes in the bottom of your boat.
Before I started my blog, I lost someone dear to me. She said, “I love you but I can’t be with you right now.” It was someone I had known my whole life and was like the sister I never had and she had been completely supportive of me for many years. I’m still dumbfounded as I do not understand but as she spoke, and I tried to understand, it felt like we were talking in circles. I’m not sure she even fully understood what her issue was with me. It came down to her then sounding, at least to me, like my ex. Unsafe, unclear and I realized that I had friends, new ones that wanted me around and weren’t trying to change me and that this, which was readily admitted, was her issue, not mine and as painful as that is, I had to let go. As much as I wanted to self-reflect and I did admit that some of her issues with me were correct and I owned them, those I would not own, she had a problem with and I felt, I could not be 100% wrong in this relationship, especially if I had not known until now that these things were an issue and it was clear, she did not want to bridge the gap that I was unaware had been created. I love this woman with all my heart. I pray for her still and I know we love each other but right now, for whatever reason, she needs space. It’s been 2 years now. Once in a while, I email her a quick note. “I love you and I’m thinking about you.” I do not get a response and that is okay because I am still living pure of heart. I can’t let her take that away from me and honestly, I’m not sure I would have grown as much had she not severed ties. She made me stick up for myself to her. Something I never thought I would have to do because our love had seemed unconditional and maybe the love is unconditional. Maybe it’s all the other stuff that needed to be separated from that unconditional love. Whether or not she loves me unconditionally is not important to me. I love her unconditionally and I respect her wishes for time away. My only concern has always been seeing her at a funeral. I just don’t think we have enough time left in our lives to let that be our meeting ground but I can’t control her process. I’m not the only one who feels the loss. My children do as well, in fact, they bring her up every few months, but I haven’t told them about our conversation. It’s not really any of their business. I just tell them that she has a large family and is very busy. They too, love her very much and her family. So, I let go and my circle became smaller because she is family.
I find as I write my blog a few, maybe 4 people, have dropped as my friends on Facebook. That’s okay too. It is my reality and they know my ex. I’m used to people not wanting to face my truth. Hell, my best friend didn’t even believe it was as bad as it was until I put him on speaker one day and then she sat and cried. She said, “I never thought you were lying. I just didn’t think it was possible for someone to talk to someone else like that.” Yes, it is and it happened every day. She cried and I sat their numb because I was used to it. My best friend has since moved to another state across the country and my circle again became smaller.
What I have found is even though my circle is smaller and I see these newer friends and some older friends less because of logistics, I am happy. I am happy because I am facing myself. I am happy because my life with the narcissist is coming to closure. I miss the people in my life that I hold so close to my heart but I don’t dwell because if I did, I would miss my everyday experiences and they are awesome. I would miss the opportunity to make new friends and develop new relationships and I feel blessed that I can say they have great friends here and all over the country and unlike the family member above who encompassed most of the qualities of my friends, each person, in my life now, brings a different sense of joy and love and unity. It’s true, sometimes friends are the family you choose and sometimes good things, come in small packages and my smaller circles seems to be one of those things.