Sometimes Support and Kindness Show Up When You Least Expect It

Sarah Saxby

Sarah Saxby

I'm an intuitive coach and visionary focusing on personal transformation and spiritual business coaching. I'm here to support your creative endeavors, develop holistically, and empower your highest sense of direction so you can see what you have been missing to achieve personal and collective potential.

black and white photo of a woman with both hands to her eyes

I’m not entirely sure why I decided to alienate myself from all of my friends during my relationship with Robert Stevens, but I sure did.

He didn’t think it was appropriate to share the details of our relationship, particularly the sex part, with my friends. He would always get angry when I would challenge him with something like “why don’t you ask your male friends if they get laid 4 times a week?”

He would tell me that I should not compare our relationship with anyone else’s because we are different, he has different needs. But he would also say that he’s sure that they did, yes. This was really a very small piece of the puzzle when it came to me giving up my friendships, but it’s significant.

It was all part of the slow and methodical process of me, essentially losing everything that is me. Talking to friends became too difficult, it caused problems. And besides, something inside of me knew that if I shared any of the things I was going through, they would have held me accountable, and surely, they would have followed up with me DAILY until I got the hell out of that situation (damn those good friends!).

I didn’t tell my friends because I was too embarrassed to admit that I, of all people, was living my biggest lie, to date. Not only was I too afraid to rock the boat in that environment, I sure as shit wasn’t ready to make any drastic moves.

But you know, I totally could have told my friends what was happening. No judgment and they would have helped. Basically, because they are “those” friends. You know, the ones that would grab a shovel at 3 am with zero need for an explanation?

friends happily chatting in the field of flowers

I would do anything to get back the time that I lost with them over the years. I sacrificed those amazing souls for the “safety” of my familiar ego. Fortunately for me, they have shown back up in my life again in so many ways and the words “blessed” and “grateful” pale in comparison to how I really feel and I’m not sure I could ever relay to them how important and special they all are.

You all know who you are and I love you, tribe.

However, I didn’t sit down to write this blog about my amazing friends, but actually to acknowledge where love showed up when I wasn’t expecting it.

Now when you’re dating a narcissist, if your stock goes up, then theirs goes down. What I mean is that you can better yourself ONLY if it in some way benefits them. If you advance, they feel inferior. It’s like there’s not enough abundance to go around.

Any sort of self-improvement is frowned upon and there may even be some manipulation to get that improvement to stop. Sometimes it’s obvious, sometimes it’s like a snake, but it exists. For me, I was in a place where I just gave up. The fight was too hard – whether it was the money I didn’t seem to have, the places I wasn’t “allowed” to go to (like to the bank by myself), the incessant hovering, or even the hacking into my social media.

I mean, shit, if I wanted to buy moisturizer for my damn face, I had to use my Health Savings Account. (And yes, I am dead serious about that). So, rather than care about myself, I just gave up. But I hated it. I missed the old me who cared about how I looked and how I felt… so I decided to start running – like with my legs. ME, running! I was the one with the 0.0 bumper sticker and proud of it!

Now, as you can imagine, this newfound activity was met with resistance by Robert. He said to me “Why do you want to run? It’s not good for your back and you’re not built to run anyway”. Looking back, I’m not sure why I let that bother me but I’ve had many a therapist tell me that I was looking for validation from him.

The fact that he wasn’t excited for me, or at the very least, supportive of his partner taking on this new endeavor is beyond me. I allowed that comment to hurt me more deeply than it should have, but allow me to introduce to you someone that unexpectedly turned that around for me and gave me hope.

black and white photo of an old man representing Grandpa Bernie from the article "Sometimes Support and Kindness Show Up When You Least Expect It" by ComfortableHell

We will call him Grandpa Bernie. Grandpa Bernie was my neighbor and I would say he was probably in his 70s. He’s retired but stays quite active, he also volunteers every week at the animal shelter. He’s the sweetest person and I always felt that he could somehow sense my sadness.

Whenever I would see him, he would always ask me how I was doing, but never just once, it was always followed up with a “are you sure?” Nonetheless, one very early and cold morning I went for a run in the neighborhood and saw Bernie across the street. I could tell he was saying something to me so I took my earbuds out and asked him to repeat whatever it was.

I have to say that what he said to me made me cry, but not just cry, I mean, once I was out of his sight I sat down on the ground and cried like a baby. It was so incredibly special and the most sincere comment I’ve heard in years.

What he said to me was “I am so proud of you.” He didn’t have to tell me that. He wasn’t concerned that I was somehow becoming “better” than him. He wasn’t jealous of me. He didn’t expect anything in return. He was just… proud of me.

That was a pretty big turning point for me in many ways, you know why? Because I want AND DESERVE a partner just like that! I want someone that is going to look at me and say “that’s my girl and I am proud of her,” period.

Grandpa Bernie proved to me that authentic, sincere people do exist, and no, they’re not all in their 70s, stay positive! Bernie may never know the power of his support and kindness and how big of a part that played in my awareness and awakening – but just know that it can and will show up when you least expect it.

image of three girl friends happily chatting with quotes from the article "Sometimes Support and Kindness Show Up When You Least Expect It" by ComfortableHell
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