Roads that Twist Love

Have you ever come across someone who could break your heart, no matter how far away from them you could get?

Sister MirrorI had a best friend like that; no matter how often we did or didn’t speak, she could somehow open a wound just by existing.  I know that sounds odd, but all those years ago, when we once were so close, the bitterness of her wounds began to run too deep and widely.

It’s been years since I was last within her grasp, but even now I never know who I will run across or when something will let me know that her reach may be interminable; infinite maybe.  Probably.

Her ways back then were so needy.  She needed to be the biggest, the best, the most regarded, and the only.  She jealously guarded her needs.  She would place herself squarely in front of whoever was to be her latest trophy for career advancement, for recognition, for friends, for love.

I know where those wounds began, I know what they’re from, but what I don’t know is why they became stuck within her, why they screeched a halt to her ability to see with light.  I’m not even certain when that started, but one thing for sure, the child within flat-lined any more emotional development.

She needed special, which was measured according to what was special to someone else.  Coveting, I think that’s what that’s called, except she needed to covet up close and personal.  It really didn’t matter what the source of the glitter that caught her eye: someone else’s community recognition, someone else’s parental praise, someone else’s loves.  Nothing was off limits, as even I would eventually learn.

There were signs when things started heading south for her.  Accusations began to overtake any conversations, then retributions were meted out generously. Punishment of choice -malicious slander and brutal betrayal. Soon anyone near was indicted and we would all get turns at being the source of her poisoned well. Hell hath no fury like un-eased fears.

After a while, despair was not about living off the guilt of who did her wrong; within a few years of committing 6 of the 7 deadly sins, it was completely about how her own guilt was smothering her. The only way to keep ahead of that is to hit, numb, and run.

There was one moment when she realized the source of her pain was really found in a mirror, but it was only a brief dawning.  Besides, time is stopped for the inner child. They believe they have forever to tilt at windmills and they never really see how much the world has kept turning without them.

Someone told me recently how much he had loved her so many years ago.  I know how that felt, when we knew her. I live with the loss of that long ago love too. I don’t hate her – anymore, but I did learn that it’s not necessary for the both of us to drink the poison.

I also now know the opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference.  When we weren’t serving the purpose of total agreement with her, we got to experience her ‘or else’, and we were cast out without second thought. Some of us kept walking. I’d learn that a certain level of indifference was life-saving. Leaving the well to save oneself is not casting a stone upon another.

I don’t think of her every day anymore and I don’t feel that hurt either. Once in a while, I may fleetingly think about that someone I used to know.  I don’t try to understand any of it either. The most I will do now, is simply wish love and good health for her, and to continue in my own journey to move on in the same.


Thank you to some people who inspired me to finally work out years of rumination.  Although I’m pretty sure they don’t know exactly what they said, I hope they’ll see some reflection of the thoughts they shared: Roberta Boulette, Christy, Melanie, and Rachel – Sisters to me, one and all – thanks.

22 thoughts on “Roads that Twist Love

    • Thank you, Tony. Yes, we do have our share of lessons and heartaches, don’t we? It does get better, if the scar isn’t picked too often. I will send over the best of wishes for this ride on your heart.


  1. Once again, my kindred sister, you’ve elegantly said what probably each of us has experienced at least once in this life. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head… The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. And she is the one who is broken, not you. And as such, you can’t fix her but she can break you if you give her that power. Congratulations on moving forward. I love you! ❤


  2. Sounds like a complicated friendship. I have had a couple of those in my lifetime- a weaving of love and hurt that can be hard to entangle from. Good for you for speaking your truth and letting go. I feel the weight lifting at your release!


  3. “It’s been years since I was last within her grasp” This struck right to my heart! Someone within my immediate family has managed to push me further and further away with similar behavior. My love was deep, and still is, but for a ghost of the past, I have truly become “comfortably numb.”
    “I also now know the opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference.” Oh how true, and nothing pains me more than someone’s indifference to me that I care about, but this person’s behavior has also prompted indifference in me towards them. I forgive and try to understand them, but I cannot forget the many years of the same conduct you speak of and maybe worse. It’s very difficult to distance myself because of family circumstances, but these poor souls bleed the life out of those who cater to their tendencies, and I had a strong desire not only to survive, but to live again! Thank you! Well written and expressed.


    • Hello Merle – thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and commiseration. I think you were able to understand my words and point exactly, and I’m glad they were able to offer you some understanding too. I’ll wish for an even brighter tomorrow for you.


  4. Toxic people are like chicken pox re-emerging as shingles. The bumps are gone, the memory is gone, and then wham! And the subsequent pain is far worse and longer lasting than the original.
    I do so hope writing it out helps you get it out of your head and that it re-emerges less often.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “Leaving the well to save oneself is not casting a stone upon another” so very true, like so much else in this post. It took me a long, long time to figure that out. Thanks for putting it into words, Robyn.


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