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When Someone You Loved Suddenly Feels Like a Disappointing Stranger

·326 words·2 mins

My friends sometimes tell me that I’m lucky because it’s easy for me to walk away when I make my mind up to.

Well, it’s easy provided that all the exit logistics are in place of course. It’s possible for anyone to get trapped in a bad situation if they don’t have the resources, whatever those might be, to escape it. I’ve been there.

But the emotional piece? That’s never been a real obstacle. Because when I’m done with someone, I’m done. And I don’t know how to describe it or explain it. It’s like a switch flips, and I no longer care. Or maybe it’s like a circuit breaker — where part of the house shuts down because things have just gotten too intense and everything feels unsafe.

Regardless, I don’t make the decision to leave a situation lightly — but once I make up my mind to do it, my mind stays made. And it’s fairly straightforward going down that path. And I’m told that this means I’m lucky. Because I’m also told other folks go back and forth on it a lot regarding staying or going.

But I don’t feel lucky. Because that moment where someone goes from a person I deeply admire and would move the sun and stars for — to someone who really needs to fend for themselves and do their life without me in it… well, it’s never pleasant. It’s jarring. It’s a deep loss that is felt instantaneously. Even though whatever disappointing path that led me there didn’t happen instantaneously and was death by a thousand cuts (inevitably a straw that broke the camel’s back-style situation), the emotional toll on my end is all absorbed in an instant. Not processed, mind you. But absorbed.

Someone I once loved has become a disappointing stranger. Because I misunderstood them, myself, or both — usually because I was too hopeful by half.

And now all that’s left is to walk away.


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