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I have several toxic people in my life and have no idea what to do about them. 

One of them is a co-worker. I thought she was a friend. In fact, she played that role very well. We used to do things outside of work and we shared many a confidence. I know quite a bit about her personal life and she knows some parts of mine. Of course I never divulge all parts because I don’t ever completely trust anyone.  I’ve been told by a couple of other people that she is nothing but a snake in the grass. I have now started equating her to the snake in the Garden of Eden. It is really a good analogy.

After working with her for so long and working so closely by her; it is now hard to separate myself from her. Additionally, I am trying to change my attitude at work and she makes it extremely hard to do. I realize I should not allow anyone to affect my attitude however it is so hard when I have lived almost my entire life conforming to others wishes in order to maintain the peace. She will start complaining and griping and next thing I know, I’m agreeing with her or doing the same thing. Plus the gossiping is so out of hand, I would need to work in another building in order for me to not get caught up in it.

So how does one extricate oneself from this toxic person? Keep in mind that she will use all I have told her against me if she thinks something is amiss. How does one change their attitude when you suffer from PTSD?  How does one stop trying to be a “people pleaser” but still be a team player when you truly don’t trust people yet want to “fit in”?  Such a juxtaposition…..
One of the other people which are toxic is my younger sister. She is truly unhappy in her life and therefore, takes it out on everyone else.   No matter what is going on, she is simply just foul. She can find no pleasure in anything unless she has a direct compensation in some form or another.   She is simply no fun to be around and criticizes everyone. 

How do you be around someone like that?  How do you maintain a relationship with someone like that when the arguing and criticisms remind you so painfully of your childhood?  
I believe I have rid myself of the married man. He, of course, was very toxic for my life. Why, do you ask, did I maintain a relationship with a married man?  Well, when I first met him, he wasn’t married and I fell for him hard. I thought, in my strange way of thinking, that he was “the one”.  Yes, I thought I had finally met the man I was going to settle down and marry. Obviously that was not to be part of my life plan.  I’ve maintained this relationship for 7 years now. However, I do believe it has come to an end finally. I thought I had ended it last year, but then he reached out to me at the end of the year and I succumbed to his charms. If I can cal the, charms. Perhaps it is more that I was lonely and feeling unloved and he provides me a sense of love, companionship, and makes me feel wanted. All in some odd and weird way. 

Anyway, he stopped over one Saturday morning to see me.  I never knew when he was going to stop over.  I was on my way out and in a hurry. I needed to get to an appointment and I was walking to the appointment. He thought I was being mean I came to find out later. Me – being mean – how strange. Especially when he is the one who belittles and thinks he is “joking” yet he is actually being a bully.  Don’t ask why I’ve stayed with him for so long. I can come up with a myriad of different of reasons; however why get into that?  Don’t we all justify our actions all the time?  The point, at this juncture, is that he is gone from my life. This is what I needed to happen and it has been accomplished. 
I have other toxic people. Some I am able to identify. Some I think are toxic but still need to ferret out and be sure.   One of the, is my father whom I’m trying to decide if I should have a relationship with at all or not.  For my birthday recently he sent me a card which was Snoopy giving me a hug. Said nothing about “Happy Birthday” or anything about my birthday. And seriously – Snoopy??  I’m over 40 years old – not under 18. However I will leave my father for another time.