Anyone that knows me, has spent any amount of time with me, or has read my blog for any length of time should know that friendships are very important to me. I don't take friendships lightly. I have different levels of friendships, but anyone that I consider to be a friend means a great deal to me.
Which, is why I get very sad when a close friend is hurting.
When it comes to my close friends, I don't like to be a person sitting on the side lines offering the generic "I'm sorry to hear that, I'm here if you need me" when I find out a friend is dealing with emotional pain. I want to do what I can to fix the pain, ease the pain, or at least give my friend someone to talk to about it.
Sometimes I get too emotionally invested. Where I become so attached to the problem, that I start taking on the pain as if it were my own. It begins to eat away at me, and I start looking for ways to fix the pain for myself...even though it's not my pain to fix.
This past week, I've been feeling that pain. The pain a friend is dealing with. A pain I want to take away. Yet, I have quickly realized that there is nothing I can do.
I think THE biggest emotional pain that can be placed on someone is pain caused by love. Or the pain caused by the absence of it. Love is the commander-in-chief when it comes to emotions. It has power to keep the peace or declare war.
I remember the first time I was truly in love as a teenager. The butterfly feelings in my stomach. The silly grin permanently attached to my face. The sadness I felt when he wasn't near me, and the sheer joy when he was. The spark that ran through my veins whenever he held my hand, or kissed me. The heat that filled my cheeks when he looked in to my eyes.
And the devastating blow that shattered my heart in to a million pieces the day he was taken away from me.
A pain that everyone told me, back then, would go away. It was "puppy love", it wasn't real, I would find someone new and move on, eventually he'd be no more than a tiny blip to my existence.
But, none of that was true. I have carried it with me ever since, as a scar on my heart.
Love as an adult, though, is so much harder. It requires much more than the carefree wonders that teenage love offers. And as much as everyone would love to live their adult lives as if they were characters in a teen love novel, reality usually doesn't work that way.
Adults bring all of their past with them to relationships. The skeletons in the closet, if you will. Or, the scars on the heart. And for love to really work, each party has to accept these skeletons and scars. Because the only way real, true love will ever work is by having a partnership, an understanding, a bond of trust and respect. And if any of those things falter, so too will the relationship.
But what happens when one is done but the other isn't?
And that's the problem I've been trying to help with...yet realizing very quickly that I can't help. Nothing I say or do will ever help, because it's one of those situations I can't help with no matter how much I want to.
My friend has been in a toxic relationship for a long time. And I use the word toxic, because any relationship that tears down the soul, leaves nothing but sadness and anger, and destroys relationships with others is exactly that: Toxic.
He wants out. He's done. Can't take anymore....Yet, there's one problem. She's not ready to call it quits. She's not ready to let him go. And, the devastating blow? She will do ANYTHING to make him stay...which includes using their children as pawns.
Remember that blog post I wrote a few days ago? Yep. That's where that topic came from.
It's such a hard situation to be in, and I can't imagine what I would do if it were me. Which, is why I have said over and over that I would NEVER use my children as pawns. That's just SICK!!
There's so much more to the story, even more than I probably know about. But, I do know that one thing he does NOT want to do is give up his kids. Which is what any good father thinks about. It's what makes him the wonderful person that he is.
Sure, he can go through the courts. But that takes money he doesn't have, and time he doesn't want to be away from his kids, and the chance that things won't go in his favor.
So, what do you tell someone going through something like this?
Nothing they haven't heard a million times before. And nothing that can help, unfortunately.
It just breaks my heart to see a person suffer like this. It's not fair. I believe everyone on this planet deserves to be happy...regardless of their past, regardless of the mistakes they've made. They should never have their spirits and their happiness ripped away from them, making them believe that being unhappy is the only way to be happy.
I also don't understand how people can be so desperate to hold on to someone that doesn't want them. I mean, the other side. Why put so much time and effort in to making him or her stay, even though they are absolutely miserable? Is that what some people actually think love is? A prison, with no escape. A life sentence of fighting, anger, resentment, and bitterness?
I don't get it. And I guess I never will.
All I can do is sit back, be a friend, and hope that one day he'll realize that nobody deserves that kind of unhappiness. That there are options. That there are people that care about him, and are willing to help anyway they can.
Until then, I just have to watch the events unfold.... because there's nothing more I can do.