Today I found the courage and resolve to let go of a toxic relationship. I made the decision that it is a positive step to dissolve such a soured relationship.
I have discussed this sort of problem before when I decided it was healthier for me to back out of associations in some cases, while generally looking to build positive relationships in my life, and consequently the community around me. I dealt with this while writing "A Year of Living Positively" as I went through a couple of episodes with people who breed negativity in my life. I never felt comfortable with them. They were people who made me feel smaller. Back then I asked myself, "Why stay attached to people who cause me to feel lousy, and invoke behaviour I do not like in myself?" Best to remind myself of my own self-worth and know when it is worth it to leave, stepping back defeats negative factors and strengthening the positive.
It seems like departures take place far too often in life. I guess only a few people are fortunate to have a more secure grounding and live genuinely in nurturing social environments. I believe that kind of situation to be rare.
It is always painful at one level or another to break away. It is also a mental adjustment. You know when it is healthy to do so when your body relaxes and you can breathe better once the step is taken. Nagging thoughts as well as feelings dissipate. It is harder to accept in certain circumstances, though, like when a purely social association is involved, or, worse, when it revolves around a social cause or community service. When the object is to assist others or provide a friendly occasion, why are some people fearful enough to let their anxieties or resentments or desire to dominate get in the way and rupture what could and should be a positive experience? I don't know, but I know I don't want to be around them, even though it may interfere with one of my set goals, desire for company or ideological or political aims. If it is a destructive situation and the fight is not a life or death matter, then leaving may be a solution.
At the heart of the matter in my story today is a spiteful woman who does not like hearing "no" when she wants something. She is vengeful. She caused some wrecking of a non-profit association last year, which I was able to repair. She had spread gossip and negativity because a conference turned down her application to present. She retreated into the background but she got extremely busy on the internet, particularly in social media promoting herself, and self-publishing this and that to construct a facade of an expert. Just when things with this organization got back into the upswing this year to the point where I thought things had stabilized because we had organized successful public events, she is at it again. Her demands to make a presentation to members was rejected by a leading figure (me)and she again resorted to personal attacks and gossip through her circle of friends to thereby inflame a situation and distort information. She has too much influence socially and she is able to manipulate those volunteers still active at meetings, and they have too little experience and insight to see through it and appreciate the larger picture. This person is never concerned about others or the state of the organization; rather, she talks about herself and her views, trying to build herself up by knocking others down, and can see little else. By her indirect interference, she has practically destroyed the Chapter this time around. I was the target of her vengeance and spite. I could no longer endure and threw in the towel. I cannot function in such an atmosphere any more.
I do not know how my accusers will be able to rescue the organization. As things stand, there is not much skill or will left to do it. I tried. There is nothing more I can do anymore. I was very uncomfortable and endured put-downs, hostility and coldness all along for the sake of the larger cause, safeguarding an important service to the community here, but I can no longer endure.
To the main protagonist in the drama to beat me down, I suggest she get psychological counseling. For me, I can now fulfill a 2015 New Year's pledge to withdraw from volunteer work by allowing myself to drop this last standing volunteer commitment and set myself free from the possibility of any such wrangle occurring in my presence in the midst of altruistic benevolent activities again. Sad, but that's the reality.