When I was eight years old, a classmate made herself my enemy…
The truth is, at eight years old, I couldn’t truly conceive of what a real enemy was. I just knew that June had somehow manipulated every girl in my class to meet together one Monday morning at recess. Her goal was to cause drama and trauma while drawing attention to herself. Even at her young age, she was good at it.
“Let’s hate Lisa,” I overheard her demand as I approached the group. Every single one of them conceded, led like lambs to the slaughter, because soon, the same thing would happen to each of them.
Except for Wanda and Wendy- twin sisters who had guts and gumption. Nobody was going to tell these two who they would and would not be friends with. They proceeded to put their arms around my trembling form and escorted me away from the robotic crowd. We played tether-ball and laughed for the rest of the hour.
Little did the girls know, I cried the entire walk home that afternoon, and every day after school for weeks. I developed stomach aches and couldn’t sleep. Like every other eight-year-old, I just wanted to be liked and accepted.
June wasn’t having any of that. Her mechanical heart owned a method of operation which was always the same: Coerce weak-minded people to hate other people, then dictate to them when they were allowed to cease the hatred. Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, Jaws…er…I mean June would strike again with her hater tactics. Sounds like some adults I know. So sad to think this happens among children, too.
The rejection became more than I could bear and I soon feared going to school.
Then one day out of the clear blue, June invited me to her birthday party. My mother instructed me to accept although I couldn’t for the life of understand her reasoning.
Until the day of the party when I saw her from outside through a large window. She was in June’s house, speaking rather fervently to her mother. I stood there amazed as my mother spoke unabashedly. Unafraid.
In that moment, everything about my mother spoke to me of bravery. If she had considered the fact that June’s mother might’ve been a bully, too, she sure didn’t care. There she was, sticking up for me like a mama lion.
I saw June’s mother lower her head and shake it back and forth. Then, she called June and I in from outside. Right then and there, she reprimanded June for her cruel behavior and demanded, in no uncertain terms, that she apologize and do her best to change.
June did change, but so did I, and I learned so much from my mother that day.
I learned that some things are worth fighting for. June’s friendship wasn’t. Wanda’s and Wendy’s was. According to my mother, my friendship was a treasure that the girls in my class didn’t recognize or deserve and I shouldn’t give it away so freely to those kinds of people ever again. And, I didn’t.
Toxic people prey on others like vipers. They’ll do most anything, cross any boundary lines, in an attempt to dominate and control you. They don’t care about you or your needs. They disregard your feelings as easily as gum on the bottom of their shoe. They focus on themselves and are often so incredibly self centered that they are unaware of how selfish they really are. They seem to see other people as puppets or tools, rather than as living, breathing, feeling beings.
It seems like toxic people zoom in on those with low self-esteem. When you can’t show love to your own self, it’s hard to stand up for your own best interests. You may often second-guess whether you should walk away from toxic relationships. You might doubt your gut instincts and ask yourself if maybe your perception is askew or maybe you did something to deserve to be treated with such disdain and disrespect.
When the person you’re dealing with is a hater, be assured that the issue is within them, and is not the result of anything you did or didn’t do.
In this life, it seems the haters are everywhere. We hear about them on social media, television, and radio all day, every day. So, I want to issue you this challenge: Don’t give the haters any more attention. It is not deserved whatsoever.
Then, ask yourself this:
What’s worth fighting for? Probably things such as your peace of mind, your family, real love, freedom, friendships, and career.
What’s worth celebrating? Probably those very same things.
So, know your worth and don’t give any more of your energy over to the haters. Set up your boundary lines and don’t compromise them. Don’t give one more piece of your precious heart and soul away to the “Junes” of this world.
We all have them. You can see them coming a mile away. Those people who we want to run away from the instant we see them. Sometimes, the most toxic people of all come disguised as the people we think we love the most.
You are free to dismiss them from your life without fear. Those who refuse to support you, who say your dreams are “too big”, are committed to misunderstanding you, who can never be happy for you, and just flat make you feel badly about yourself and your life in general.
Forgive yourself and forgive them, no matter whose fault it is that your connection must be severed but make no mistake, toxic relationships must be severed completely.
I’m so serious. Run quickly away from the toxic person in your life but if that that person is you, face yourself.
Face and confront the parts of you that are telling you that you just don’t measure up. Deal with every last one of your insecurities, your doubts, and the feeling that you will never be enough. Face those issues head on, one at a time until you have victory over those haggard thought processes. Get help if you must, but don’t allow yourself to remain defeated. You were born for victory and freedom from self-sabotage.
If there is one toxic person you absolutely need to let go of, it is the person you were in your past. Today is a new day, live in the here and now.
Go where the love is. Stay close to the people- (The Wanda’s and Wendy’s of the world) who feel like sunlight, those who are a safe haven. People who love you with open arms and support you unconditionally. That loyal tribe who make you feel like you are perfect just the way you are. Who help you to see your real strength. That you’re brilliant, and sparkling, strong, fierce, and worth fighting for. Those are the ones to allow in.
Delete, block, unfollow, unfriend, and forget anything and anyone that makes you feel anything less than totally loved and accepted.
You deserve someone in your corner, to stand up for you like my mother did for me.
You are worth fighting for.
You are loved.