For several decades, I've had a fragile and contentious relationship with someone close, faults assigned equally. At some point, I decided it was time to offer up the olive branch. I pulled up my big girl panties and took responsibility for my part in our differences. Although I heard no reciprocal words of apology, I let it go and moved forward with renewed hope the fracture was permanently sealed.
The peace lasted for about two years when my hopes diminished, finding out I was covertly maligned, everywhere, including social media. I received hateful messages from people who believed the lies, including some I considered friends. The betrayal by someone I should be able to trust and lean on was devastating, and anger rose ... but not at the perpetrator ... at myself. You see, this wasn't the first time being hoodwinked. This last transgression was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. The last remnants of trust evaporated from my heart, and I said to myself, "NO MORE."
It's sad to let go of someone that should be an integral part of my life, but I finally realized that some things just couldn't be fixed, and continuing attempts to rekindle such a brittle relationship would invariably reap the same results. It reminds me of the saying, Fool Me Once - Shame on You, Fool Me Twice - Shame on Me. We should always give people a second chance, and possibly a third, but then it's time to surrender. If our side of the street is clean, we shouldn't have to cross over to their side, time and time again, just to get run over.
My priest once told me there are people that are so toxic they can inflict emotional as well as spiritual damage which will eventually draw us away from God. He assured me it was okay to protect myself and close the door as long as it was without malice or thoughts of retribution ... and most importantly, done with forgiveness in my heart.
Something we should always remember: