Sanity is relative….

The Ties That Bind

       What are the “ties that bind”?  What is it that makes your soul feel bound to one person, but not to another?  As we travel through this journey called “life”, we meet new people, make new friends, go new places, and try new things.  We also lose people, drift away from those we were once close to, and return to our comfortable places, and habits.  Through all of it, there are always certain people, certain places, and certain things that seem to resonate with you, while others weave in and out of your life like leaves blowing in the breeze.  Not to mean that those things didn’t carry importance to you, they just don’t have that tie that seems to lead you back, over and over again. 

     I have met, and known, some wonderful people in my lifetime.  On the same note, I have also had my fair share of “devils”.  I have loved, lost, and loved again.  Friendships have been born, and died, sometimes many times over.  What is most intriguing, however, is the way some of those friends find a way into your very being, and feel like a part of you.  What is sad is that they aren’t always the best friends, or even the friends with the best of intentions.

     I once had a friend that repeatedly caused problems in my life, in my relationships, and even in my emotional state.  Several times we would end the friendship, and go for months, even years, without contact.  When she would finally reach out to me again, even after many years, I would always listen to her apologies, and her pleas that she had changed.  She would tell me that she realized what she had done was wrong, all the while still making excuses for the things so that she didn’t have to take the full blame.  It was always a matter of, “I didn’t mean to…” or “I didn’t realize that…”, and every time, I would give her the benefit of the doubt, and though I kept her at an arm’s length for a period of time, I did always allow her back into my life.  There was something about her, about our friendship, that seemed to be greater than the things she had done to me in the past.  I always believed that she and I were bound, in some way, and that deep down, she had never intentionally hurt me.   I put up with more from her than any person should EVER put up with from someone who calls you a “friend”.  I did, eventually, learn that I was less her friend, and more her toy.  She only contacted me and extended friendship when there was something I could do for her, some way that I could help her.  Basically, if it was beneficial to her, we were the best of friends, but when a new guy came along, or when she wanted to get out of trouble with the old one, I was always her scapegoat.  She took advantage of my good nature, my kindness, and my willingness to help other people.  She used me, talked trash about me behind my back to her other friends, and even to my own friends & family.  She stole from me repeatedly.  For some reason, that tie was very difficult to sever.  It took me a lot of years, and a lot of heartache.  Even now, I can look back at our relationship, and agree that nothing she did was ever selfless.  She didn’t care what she took from me, what she caused me to lose, and I think, she even tried to break me down.  She tried to sleep with my boyfriend at one point, and claimed that she was so drunk that she did not remember having done it.  My boyfriend laughed at her, and I think that bothered her more than anything I could have ever done to her.  Still, I wonder what it was about her that kept me coming back, accepting her lies as truths, even though deep down I always knew better.  I can’t tell you what that thing about her was, or why she seemed to be necessary to my life.  But, for a long time, that is exactly how it felt.  I felt drawn to her, merged with her, like we needed one another, despite the problems she caused, to survive. 

      I no longer feel that way toward her, but I don’t understand why it took me so long, or so much to realize what, and who, she really was.  I don’t understand why I chose to believe that we were friends when she consistently showed me that she would not be on my side, or have my back in any situation. It was just one of those ties that bind that held me to her like a magnet, and I will never completely understand how, or why it was like that, especially when I knew that she was little more than a devil.

     People have used me for their own selfish reasons so many times.  People that I genuinely cared about.  People that I would have done anything for, had they needed me.  Many of these people created ties with me that I have yet to break away from entirely.  There is a big difference between knowing what you need to do, and doing it, and how your emotions still handle the feelings you have about that same person.  Your emotions sometimes betray you in those situations.  Despite the knowledge that I mean little to some of these people than a ticket to something better, I felt that same odd sense of attachment.  That tie that said me & this person were meant to know one another.  What is that tie that binds us to things (and people) that just aren’t good for us?

     Bad people in your life are like bad habits.  They are hard to kick, can ruin your life, and you can never be sure that it is really over. At any time, you are subject to “fall off the wagon”, and take them back into your life, with the understanding that “this time will be different”.  Could it be that only the manipulative people in the world have the ability to mark your heart in that lasting way that leaves a scar?  I can’t say that is entirely true either because of the few really good people that have also left those same marks upon my soul. 

     If it is not manipulation, how is it that people can tattoo themselves into your very being?  What is the tie that holds you so closely to another human being?  It has to be more than love, more than friendship, more than something tangible, otherwise, only the good things would be there, and the bad would flutter away in the distance like a leaf in the wind.  I wonder if it means that some things, some people, are meant to be there, meant to cause the pleasures and pains that they cause, meant to wreak the havoc that only they can pull off so that you can find the path in life that you are ultimately meant to find.  If you think about it logically, every little thing in your life has meaning and value in relation to where you are at this moment in time.  Should there be even ONE change, it could domino into so many changes that you might be a different person, in a different place, and certainly experiencing a completely different variation of your life than the one that you know now.  The chaos theory, in full effect, basically.  Maybe the only way that we really learn the lessons in life that we learn, or become the people we are, is by being bound to the people that we are so bound to. 

     Without some of my worst experiences, I would not have made the decisions that have led me to this place where I am now.  I would not have the benefit of experiencing the life that I live.  For the first time in my life, I have a devoted partner in my life who provides for me.  I am able to focus completely on my goal of completing the Bachelor’s Degree that I always wanted.  I can say that I don’t have to worry of infidelity, or dishonesty.  Had I made one single choice differently, I would not be with the person I am with, living in the place we live, or doing the things that I am doing that will ultimately better my life overall.

     Maybe I can’t fully explain the ties that bind us to the people and things that we cling to so desperately sometimes.  Maybe no one can.  Maybe, just maybe, they are there for a higher purpose, a reason still unseen to our eyes.  Maybe one day we will look back upon them, and realize how they led us to the place where we ultimately found everything we were ever looking for.   Even if we aren’t at the point where we have reached our own personal Nirvana, maybe we can, at least, see how we were led to a better chapter in our lives because of them. 

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2 responses

  1. I can say truthfully that you made a mark on me in the short time we were together ….. I think of you often, and will walk with you always.

    January 5, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    • I could say the same thing for you. I hope that the mark that I left on you helped you, never hurt you, and gave you reason to be better for yourself, and to never accept less from anyone than what you really deserve. You will always hold a very special place with me.

      January 5, 2014 at 11:35 pm

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