The other day I visited a psychic. Forget about my vow to never see a seer again; I went because I’m needful of someone who knows what’s next. Either way, she addressed some people previously in my life who I still fought saying goodbye to, completely.
That’s because the thing with me is I really want to believe everyone is OK, nice, incapable of being a using louse. So, when I don’t really take to someone, I think it must be me, that I’m not getting it, that I’m not seeing something I need to, that the person is a good so-and-so. It’s hard to absolutely, without-a-doubt cut the ties to draining people in my life because perhaps I’ve got it wrong.
I don’t trust myself and my intuition.
Yet see, I knew better. With this one woman in particular, my radar hairs went off immediately. She was distant and cold and predatory, in that way where she’s scanning the room for the important people. In the ensuing months since our first meeting, I’d engaged in several conversations with her that are best defined as one way. Most often, she stopped our talks mid-speech because there was someone better over my shoulder and she needed to sidle up to an influential someone who might get her on TV or propel her forward or get her name known.
I rarely understood her motives. They seemed unfocused but with one end game: to be famous. For what, I’m not sure, but there doesn’t always have to be a what.
So fine. That happens. It’s just when the means justify the end that I’m on alert. It was her means and objectives and strategizing to jump ahead and over without looking back at who had given her a hand up that really, really bothered me. Disingenuousness does that to me.
Over time, I personally witnessed behavior from her that frankly, baffled, then disgusted me. Phoniness, arrogance, ladder climbing by presenting a completely duplicitous face to the public, agenda-dizing. Everything had an agenda.
I took to avoiding her.
But our circles would cross, and when they did, I couldn’t help but think, maybe it’s me. Maybe I don’t know her well enough. Maybe I’m just jealous. It must be me.
Until one day, a friend saw me with this person and said my discomfort was all over my face. That I looked tense, that I wasn’t with my people, that I seemed angular and against the flow, and I knew she was right. I’d faked it for so long with this person that I forgot she didn’t have my values or my objectives or my non-userly way of treating people. You know that saying, “You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him?” That was her. I’d glimpsed how she behaved with those she considered unimportant and how very differently she acted with those who met her criteria: 1) popular; and 2) can do stuff for her to get her ahead. And they weren’t the same person.
My friend acts this dichotomy out brilliantly by pretending to pull the more pleasant mask off her face to very briefly reveal the snarling monster face underneath.
So in my heart, I said goodbye. I pulled away. I didn’t want to be around her. I trusted myself just enough to cut the cord.
Of course, this decision came with consequences. Being an outlier isn’t fun, but at 43 years old, I’m OK with not going with the mob flow. Still, as time passed I lost trust again, and blamed myself. Maybe I really didn’t know her. Surely this person can’t be so horrible that I need her out of my life? I could have just misunderstood her.
Until I had an encounter that confirmed everything my heart already knew: this person treats other people like chess pieces and moves them about to her benefit. I finally confided in some friends who whispered back that they experienced this person the exact same way and hadn’t looked back, so why was I?
Because I doubted my intuition and gut.
And back to the psychic.
She sensed that I had this unfinished goodbye in my ether and needed to release it. She suggested I call this person to me in my mind’s eye and tell her sincerely,”Thank you for allowing me to say goodbye to you. You are doing me a favor by remaining out of my life. You’re not my kind of person. Let’s go in peace.”
It turned out that’s what I needed to do.
And this time, I trusted myself enough to know that it was the right thing, exactly.
I write this now because I know that for popularity’s sake, or to toe the line, or yes, to get ahead, some people might forge ahead with negative relationships they know don’t enrich them. And I just want to say, those things? Are fleeting, and the people you surround yourself are so much weightier and meaningful and trust your gut.
And say goodbye if you have to, because who you stand with, becomes you.
Ask your heart. It knows.