Monday, November 29, 2010

The Toxic People Problem

This is something that is becoming more and more common.  It's not that there weren't always toxic people.  It's that we aren't "allowed" to do anything about them anymore.  We are taught from such an early age to treat others as we would want to be treated, to always be nice, to be the better person.  In most cases, this works out just fine.

However, there are those cases of the toxic "friend".  The one that owes you money.  "I'll give it to you next paycheck, just let me buy a new Blackberry...".  The one that gives the hidden barbs about anything from clothing style to the car you drive.  "I wouldn't be caught dead with one of those, oh wait, you have one?  Right...".  There are so many different types that I couldn't name them all.  You know the one that is in your life.  We all have one.  Sometimes they end up being people we work with, in which case we really can't do anything about them.  Sometimes, though, we can.

Unfortunately, mine is someone that I've been friends with for the better part of a decade.  We stayed friends through a cross country move or three, through a bitter period where he suddenly became a born again Christian and tried constantly to convert me.  We've been through the deaths of mutual friends and steady decline of his mother.  Through abusive relationships.  Through break-ups and hard luck.  We've shared a multitude of jokes, pranks,  and silly things.  We've shared music, and singing and and long drives in the middle of the night.  He used to be my best friend.  About 4 or 5 years ago, though, we changed.

I grew up.  I went through a whole string of bad relationships in a row, had a couple epiphanies, and decided to change the way I was living.  He didn't.  He continues to party and spend his money on ridiculous things that he has no use for.  On vehicles he can't drive because he has never gotten his driver's license.  On 400 dollar phones, and no, he doesn't need it for work.  All this while owing me almost 300 dollars.  Which he has owed me for about 3 years.  Did I ever really expect to get it back?  No.  Would it be nice?  Yes.  I'm finding myself realizing of late the only reason I continue to suffer through his constant "I screwed up my life again, what do I do now?" phone calls is because I'm harboring some deluded hope of ever seeing the money.  So I'm putting a stop to it.  I told him that he needed to give me the money by November 30th, and that was only because we have been friends for so long.  I don't expect to see it, but I needed to put a date on "it".  On the end of the friendship.

I'm going to write him a long letter, explaining how I've changed and how I feel he hasn't changed.  On how I feel used by him, and just generally letting him know how I feel.  I told Sean this, and he said "Why?  Just don't talk to him anymore.".  Maybe it's just a guy response, but I know personally I would want the closure for myself and for my old friend.

The first thing when dealing with a toxic friend is to realize that they are, in fact, toxic.  Without this, there is nothing else.  It took me a long time to realize this, and I've been struggling with what to do about it for several months now.  You have to realize why you need to cleanse your life of these people.  Toxic people drain your self respect, your health, your sanity.  You need to accept that the issues they have that make them toxic are not your fault.  You need to realize that these people would be this way regardless, and that you have no responsibility to them whatsoever.  If you can't physically cut ties with the person, if you have to see them every day for work, then you need to mentally cut ties with that person.  If you allow them to bother you, to use you, to hurt you, to control you, then they win.  It's as simple as that.  It's all about winning control over your own life again.  When you cut ties with someone mentally or physically, it is important to have a relationship with a good support system in place.  I have my husband and several real friends that I can (and already do) turn to, so the only think I personally need to do is cut the ties.  And let me tell you, writing about it is a whole lost easier than actually doing it is going to be.

A Spell to Remove A Toxic Person's Hold on You

Items Needed: 
Regular Ritual Items
1 Clove Garlic, crushed
A few Kernels of Cracked Black Pepper
A White Candle
A piece of paper with the person's name written on it
A cupful of water

This is best done during a waning crescent moon.  Cast a circle.  Light your candle.  On your altar, mix the Garlic and Black Pepper together.  Rub the Garlic and Pepper mixture on the paper with the person's name on it, saying "By hurting me you only hurt yourself.  I release myself from your hold.  Begone from my life."  Light the paper with the candle, saying, "With this flame I cleanse myself of you.  I purify my life.  I will no longer be held back by you."  Place the burning paper in your cauldron (or a bowl) and as it burns, visualize the person's hold on you being lifted and floating away like ash on the wind, leaving you free.  When the paper has burned completely, pour your cupful of water on top of the ash, visualizing the flowing water carrying the person's toxicity away.  Say, "You no longer have a hold on me.  Like this water, I am free and flowing where I will.  As I will, so mote it be."

Empty the water from the cauldron or bowl down the sink, and watch your toxic "friend" drain out of your life.

I sincerely hope that this helps someone else dealing with a toxic friend, it's not an easy thing to do.  It is necessary though.  We need to detach in order to regain control of our lives.  Even while we are dwelling on what to do about the toxic people in our lives, remember to let your true friends know how much it helps that they are there for you! 

Goddess Bless,



  1. I echo BelladonnasJoy's sentiments and say Good for you! Did the same myself a few years back, wrote a "break up" letter to a friend I had had since the 5th grade. I wonder what became of her now and then, but when the bad began to out weigh the good, I knew it was time to say good-bye.

  2. Thanks ladies. Yes, It's going to be really hard, but I can't not. It's been causing me a lot of stress for a lot longer than I like. Today is the day of the deadline, and I'm in the process of writing my letter. I'll let you all know how it goes!