How to Handle Loved Ones Who Are Unsafe
“Your brother tried to have sex with me,” my girlfriend said. During a jail call years ago, my then girlfriend explained to me how she endured my brother’s unwanted sexual advances. She was uncomfortable and conflicted.
My brother knew that we (my girlfriend and I) loved each other, yet he selfishly tried to sleep with his baby brother’s lover. His actions were like, “Screw y’all boundaries!” I was equally shocked as I was heartbroken.
But like I always did, I forgave my brother and continued to deal with him despite his narcissistic sense of morality.
There were plenty of times where my brother failed to support me. I remember when I had kindly asked him if he could put a fixed amount of money on my books every month. “I know you don’t want to, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do,” was the response I got from my brother. In other words, he had suggested that I should sell drugs in order to get commissary and minutes on my phone account. Selling illegal drugs wasn’t an option. I was a changed man, walking a positive, straight path, but my brother didn’t care.
More than a few times, my brother showed me how little he respected my new way of life. Fast forward to the moment I put my hands in my pockets and they felt like upside-down parachutes. I was miserably broke and I was ready to give up. With my stomach touching my back, I literally begged my brother for some help. Unfortunately, I hung up the phone and walked away from it with an aching heart.
A wise person once said: “Hurt people hurt people.” That is, a wounded individual who hasn’t healed his/her pains will eventually hurt you.
One last episode of my brother’s lack of support was enough for me to say, “I love you and I want you to be happy; but I’m going to do that from a distance until you begin your journey to heal.”
Some, if not most, of us have a friend, spouse, or relative who is unsafe. For our own good, it is imperative that we detach ourselves from toxic relationships and/or unsafe people – especially if you’re in the process of healing.
Before I began my healing journey, there were two unsafe individuals in my life. The safe people in my life had encouraged me to stay away from those unsafe people, but I ignored them. Instead of cutting them off in the beginning my soul went through pain for years.
Having those unhealthy people in my circle hindered my progress. “A wound cannot heal if one aggravates it; it’s a timely, painful process that can’t be disturbed.” — Latif Torres-Robinson
At the end of the day, it was either love them both from a distance or never heal. I chose to heal. And you should, too.