Tossing Branches

Winter Tree The wind’s up today, the cedars along the back fence dancing. The deep drilling pain in my sinuses has gone down somewhat, and the crick in my neck from sleeping all tangled up (B does not like the sound of branches hitting the roof, and tries to crawl into me when that happens) is easing with stretches and ibuprofen.

It’s funny how the world can begin to seem a brighter place when you make the decision to not care about toxic people, or to direct everything from them into the jaws of the spamblocker. It’s so intensely liberating. By “not caring” I simply mean letting go of any idea that they can be reasonable, or that their opinion should have any impact on how one lives one’s life. Letting go of any idea that one is required to interact in any way, or give any credence, even internally, to their views.

It takes a lot for me to get to that point, but once I do, it’s liberating. To just drop the baggage and walk away.

My ex-husband used to say “in every problem, there’s a gift. What’s the gift here?” Once, as I was panicked over something a particularly toxic relative of mine had sent to the house, I called him. He listened patiently, as always. (There were reasons we lasted a decade or so.)

“Well,” he said, “in every problem, there’s a gift. What…wait. Hang on.”

A long pause. I thought he was checking on something at work, but when he spoke again, it was with some surprise and no little amusement.

“You know what, babe? There’s no fucking gift in that. That’s bazonko-nuts. Just get rid of it. Throw it in the trash.” Another short pause. “I’m sorry. I keep forgetting how crazy [that certain relative] is.”

I can barely describe the deep, intense consolation I felt at hearing that, or at tipping said box of emotional bombs into the rubbish bin. So often, toxic people play divide-and-conquer, engage in gaslighting, and isolate their targets. The salutary application of a friend’s sense of proportion and perspective is galvanizing. It can make one break down weeping in sheer relief, and give one all sorts of strength.

So today is for letting the wind sweep all the detritus out, one way or another. Also, to give thanks for spamblockers.

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Ruthanne Reid (@RuthanneReid)
Ruthanne Reid (@RuthanneReid)

Beautiful update. Thanks for sharing this!


It is rare to find an allied opinion. Loyalty and respect are so precious.

Shared genetics don’t necessarily mean “family.” And getting emotionally castrated by other people who claim to have my best interests at heart just makes me question their loyalty (and intelligence). I agree that it’s healthiest to simply disengage from all toxic elements, no matter what the rest of the world has to say about my choices.

Thanks for writing about tough situations! I respect the realness!


good for you!