It is a joy to awaken in the morning and find myself on the other side of the pain that wracked my jaw for almost two months. To awaken and not rush for a pain killer just so that I could step into my day without the hot searing flame of ache.
I'm getting better.
And in the process, I am amazed by how real the pain was, and how illusory it is now. I can't 'think' it into being. I remember 'how' it felt, I do not feel the memory.
All is good.
When I was in an abusive relationship, every fibre of my being hurt. My joints ached. My mind felt heavy. My brain throbbed. I hurt. I would awaken in the morning and dread those first moments when I started to move. Every joint felt glued together with Crazy Glue. Unsticking myself was an exercise in cracking open the joints and dislodging the glue so that I could get my body into some semblance of motion.
I thought I would feel that way forever.
One day after he was arrested, I awoke, and my body didn't hurt. My joints weren't logy with pain. My thinking was still foggy but without the physical pain, I knew, this too shall pass and I would be 'me' again.
Throughout my experience with the abuser, I had been having a toxic reaction to what was happening to me. It wasn't until I was free that I realized my body had been expressing the affects of his presence through its pain receptors. My body was trying to warn me -- I was ignoring its message.
Glynn, over at Faith. Fiction. Friends. this morning writes a guest post for High Calling Blogs about toxic bosses. He provides some very helpful advice on how to survive their poisonous presence.
The challenge with bosses is -- they are in a position of authority, and as Glynn points out, there are risks to approaching management about their behaviour.
But what of those whom we invite into our lives. What of those whom we engage in contact through our own choice?
While Conrad, the abuser, is someone I invited in, getting him out was another matter.
And that's the challenge of toxic people. Their ability to overwhelm your immune system often lures your anti-virus defenses into sleep-mode.
In the course of four years, nine months with Conrad my defences became so weakened I could not see I was being poisoned. And, as long as I stayed in contact, my anti-bodies didn't have a chance of kicking the poison's azz.
It took Conrad's removal by police for me to begin to see how sick I was. Like my jaw, the pain was a warning symptom of how sick I was becoming. If I'd left my jaw, I'd have become sicker. Instead, a root canal and massive doses of antibiotics later, I'm feeling better. In the case of Conrad, his removal was just the first step. Purging my system of the toxins, cleansing my being of the vile matter that had collected in my thinking and roto-rooting into my soul was the only way to find grace today.
There were many lessons to be learned through that experience -- and the best ones come through gratitude.
I am feeling better this morning. I am grateful.
PS. And my advice on how to cope with toxic people in your life... Disengage immediately. Trying to work with them only makes you sick. :)