Today my answering machine failed me. (You remember those things, right? You can actually hear the message when people call….) There is a person who was in my life previously, who, for reasons of personal safety and fear of the unbalanced, I have chosen to remove from my life. This all sounds very simple and surgical. A clean cut if you will. It was, however, considerably more complicated than that. This person has reason to wish to pursue keeping those ties to me, even though I have made clear that it’s not going to happen. When you tell someone point blank, “I can’t talk to you anymore”, that would seem fairly clear. Not if you are unbalanced. I am not unfeeling to this person’s pain. I am aware that I am not the only person to “leave” them, I am possibly the last one of the group to say anything kind to this person and possibly the only one who still thinks about the decision to sever ties. This person called today. I screen my calls for this very reason. And I’m pretty sure they call and hang up about 3 times a week. (I could be wrong, but the number of hang-ups has increased considerably lately.) I have considered changing my number and decided that’s no good for various reasons. I have considered answering once and reiterating that the connection there must be broken, but I am sure this would only encourage more attempts at contact. I am not prepared to “forgive and forget”, as the first has been done, but the latter may prove dangerous to my health or that of someone I love. Still, to hear that voice, even knowing how manipulative this person is/can be, and all the sadness in it…… they have been abandoned by those whom they were sure would never. And that makes me sad for them. It makes me almost wish I could fix it. I know, though, that I can’t. That all I can do is wish health and peace to them, and know that if they allow themselves to heal, they will eventually find happiness. I know this person will carry pain and an emotional scar from this experience, but I also know that I have to do what’s best for me and mine. There can be no middle way on this that I can see. I have gone in circles trying to find it, and haven’t seen it so far. All I can do, is maintain my distance and hope this person will go forward in their life rather than remaining rooted in one place. But it doesn’t make me feel any better about my choice.