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I am slowly learning that some people do not deserve a spot in my life. They do not deserve my kindness. They do not deserve my love. They do not deserve someone who gives and gives when all they do is take without as much as a thank you.
Unfortunately, I am slowly learning that cutting someone out of my life is not as simple as it sounds. I can easily delete them from social media to avoid getting updates on their mini-milestones. I can easily erase them from my contact list to avoid one-on-one conversations. But I cannot stop them from adding me to a group chat with our shared friends, from showing up at the same wedding that I’m attending, from popping up in my life from time to time.
I can sever my own connection with them, but I cannot convince my friends and family to do the same — which makes cutting them out of my universe infinitely harder.
When a person I decided to delete from my life for my own mental health shows up at a family party or a group hangout with friends, my first instinct is to turn the other way, to walk across the room, to avoid them completely. To complain to anyone who will listen about exactly why I have a problem with that person and why I won’t be inching anywhere near them.
However, taking that path makes me look like the bad guy. Like the bitter one. Like the grudge holder who should just get over it. It makes me look childish, when really, cutting them out of my world was one of the most mature things I have ever done. It took courage. It took willpower.
I am slowly learning that cutting someone toxic out of my life takes more than one moment of strength. It takes a million moments of strength. It takes strength not to turn down party invitations when I know they are going to show their face there. It takes strength to keep my comments to myself instead of venting to shared friends or family members. It takes strength to smile at the one person I hoped to never see again instead of giving the finger or throwing my drink.
I am slowly learning that cutting some people out of my world will be a lifelong effort, because even if I am lucky enough to watch them disappear from sight, they will stick in my mind. Their memory will remain. The guilt will remain. Even though they no longer deserve a place in my life, I will wonder if I did the wrong thing by leaving them behind. Even though there is nothing worthwhile to miss, I will still wish they were around from time to time.
I am slowly learning that cutting someone out of my world is not an easy task. I am slowly learning that saying goodbye to someone for good takes a lot of energy, a lot of patience, and a lot of strength.