Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Take it all down

Today has been a difficult day, and it's not over yet.

There's a relationship that's broken in my life. It's been broken for years and over time, it has gotten more and more broken.

I tried to fix it starting a few years ago. However, the dynamic of it was such that anything I tried to do, backfired.  The history - and there was a LOT of history - got in the way.

Now it seems broken beyond repair. Lines have been drawn in the sand. Boundaries set and breached, over and over and over. 

In desperation, looking for some sort of sign, a prayer on my lips and an aching in my heart, I turned on the TV and thought maybe I could just put my mind in neutral and quiet the revving motor, the chest pains, the loss of appetite, the anguish. 

What I saw was an episode of a well-known Canadian home renovation show. The host was examining a floor that had water leakage problems and nobody knew where the leak was coming from. After excluding the obvious suspects, he decided to rip up the floor.

It was a beautiful hardwood floor. Shiny, glorious. "Take it all down," he said. "We'll find out what's causing this problem." 

Out came the crowbars. Up came the wood - splintering in all directions as the workmen did their duty. It was ... obscene. All that beautiful wood. 

"Danger" courtesy of
Michelle Meiklejohn at

But underneath ... underneath it, someone had put plastic between it and the concrete slab. The concrete was cold; the wood was warm. The plastic made a perfect place for moisture to condense and cause the problem. 

Just a piece of plastic. Put in the wrong place.  Dear God.  

That's when my sign came. 

Sometimes, to fix something that is very wrong, everything has to go. It all has to go out the door, and be done right  -  and the right way too  -  from scratch. 
 Time to make a clean break. Splinter even the good things so that they are unusable, clear it all out, lay a good groundwork and do it right this time.

In my relationship dilemma, I believe that means (although I am scared to death) making a clean break as well. The way things have been going is not good; it is time to put an end to it, to say goodbye, to remove the source of the situation and lay the proper foundation: one based on each individual taking responsibility for his or her actions. 

No more who did what to whom first. No more majoring on minors. No more trying to do the same thing, over and over again, expecting different results. 

No more enabling. No more wheedling. No more manipulation. No more intimidation. 

That's going to take some hard work. And the hardest of all will be when the relationship crowbar comes out. When we (with much fear and sadness) say goodbye to what was. 

Even if it hurts. And it WILL hurt.


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