Ending any relationship is hard, ending a toxic one can seem like a ping pong match to outsiders. As the soon to be survivor bounces back and forth between being with and not being with their partner. With each successive wave of back and forth, danger and confusion rise as she gives in to hope and goes back to the devil she knows.
Why does she go back?
Because she believes him.
He apologizes, he says he gets it. He’s so contrite, so sincere. She hardly notices the blame shifting as she falls once more for the good that she just knows is inside him.
She must make sure she’s not throwing the baby out with the bath water. She’s not one of those women whose so picky she can’t keep a decent man.
She doesn’t see that he’s not a decent man.
Just that she’s not the kind to be influenced by those feminists and family haters that don’t believe in sickness and in health.
And really, it is a sickness like he said. And he’s trying.
How can she stay away when he needs her so much?
He wants to heal, but he needs her. He needs her to be there and be his reason to heal. He can’t do it on his own.
Neither can she.
She needs to step outside her isolation and reach out. To find support for her, to leave his healing to his supporters. To learn how to love without hurting – the whole of the village needs to be called forth to give her the strength to let go of the illusion that she is powerful enough to change him. She only has the power to change herself and he is the only one to change him.
Until she understands this, every leaving is a practice run. And that’s okay – we need those to learn how to fly. No matter that we look like a ping-pong to those outside…statistics say we will bounce out seven times before we succeed…
Every run is a practice run, until we understand that words are not enough to heal – that action is the key.
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