When Saying “I Love You” Means Getting A Restraining Order


Setting boundaries with someone close to you is super fun.

That is if you think conflict and hurt feelings are super fun. And if so, WTF?


A friend of mine has a complicated relationship with her father. She has a highly scheduled life, he hops a plane and shows up at her door with exactly zero warning and stays for a week. She’s brutally honest, his version of truth is whatever sounds most impressive at cocktail parties. Then there’s that thing where he turned a blind eye to my friend being emotionally abused by her sister because that’s no fun to tell at cocktail parties.

Ah, family. Good times.

His last surprise visit resulted in my friend locking herself in her room for three days. She didn’t pee for over twenty hours. No en suite bathroom. Total bummer. Why such drastic measures? Well, aside from the unexpected call to come get him from the airport, he spent twenty minutes explaining to her how clever he’d been about lying to her her whole life.

And if you think I’m going to leave you hanging about what he lied to her about, you’re absolutely right. None of your business, y’all.

I guess you’ll just have to trust me that it’s a doozy.

I don’t know what he thought he was going to happen, but if it was having his daughter try to throw him our of her house for three days? Mission accomplished.

When she and I ended our conversation, the restraining order hadn’t been filed yet, but she was seriously considering it. With the full blessing of her mother, by the by.

Sometimes the people who are suppose to be our protectors, our most trusted place to land, our confidants, our unconditional love, totally shit the bed. And that betrayal is profound. It is deep. It can be life-altering.

That’s when you have to say, “enough”.

But, that’s the easy part.

The hard part is putting “enough” into practice. To cut someone that close to you out of your life hurts. A lot. And the desire to cave because “maybe it will be different” is a powerful thing.

But you can’t. Because it won’t.

That doesn’t mean it will never be different. It could, eventually, if that person does some hard work to fix the busted and proves it.

But Sharideth! He said he was sorry!

So what? They all do. You have to remember that an apology is only placation if there is no real change behind it. If you never do hear an apology, that’s easy. Bye bye.

Protecting yourself is not a crime. It’s healthy. Not just for your own peace of mind, but also for the protection of current or future relationships.

And that hole left behind by the person who took a dump in your heart? Fill it with people you actually can count on. Create your own family of friends who have your back. Those who understand your value.

Don’t mourn what you don’t have. Raise a glass to what you do have.

Let’s face it. Some people suck. Hard. Surround yourself with those who don’t.

What say you? Ever had to cut someone out of your life?


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