Toxic Relationships

We all have them.  But cleaning them up can often be quite the chore.

What I found in my life was the most toxic relationships were the ones that were the closest to my heart.

I loved my Nanny (who I have mentioned before and who was my Dad’s Mom)!  I loved her more than just about anyone else in my life.  But she loved her son.  She loved him so much that she used my love for her to manipulate me into a relationship with my Dad.  She would call and cry and tell me how worried she was about my Dad.  She would beg me to call him.  She would would say that it was my Moms fault that my Dad had issues and that I should not hold it against him.

I would only respond, “I know Nanny.”  Or “I will call him Nanny.”  But I did not know and I would never call.  Then a week or so later the call would come again, “Honey, did you call your Dad?”  And I would lie and say “I tried but he did not answer. or Nanny, I have been so busy I have just not had a chance.”  Lies.  All lies.  I would be full of guilt and anger after every call.  But I loved her so much (and I still do even though she is gone).  This went on for literally years.  Even visits to her house would go pretty much the same way.

For a while I tried to avoid her.  After Mike moved out I disconnected the home phone and only had a cell phone.  When she would call I would let it go to voice mail.  Then I would cry listening to her messages.

Sinead and I spoke about toxic relationships and identifying them.  Then coming up with a plan to “clean” them.  Turning them into healthy relationships.

Identifying my relationship with my Nanny as a toxic relationship was hurtful, but honest.  Identifying it as one of the most toxic relationships was devastating.

I rehearsed a conversation over and over with Sinead on what to say.

Then one day I called my Nanny and told her that my relationship with my Dad was between him and I.  I told her I would call him when I was ready but not until and if she wanted to call me she could but any conversation about my Dad was off limits.  I told her as much as she hurt for him, I hurt for me.  I then told her that I loved her very much but once the conversation of my Dad was breached I would hang up the phone.

It was months before she called again.  

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4 Responses to “Toxic Relationships”

  1. I can’t imagine how hard that conversation was Veronica.

  2. So poignant… so understandable. Moving forward takes chops.

    ~meredith~

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