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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Jade Merrihue

Beyond Loving Monsters.

And the value behind it!

So! You’ve decided to stop housing crazy people in your bed and home.

Congratulations. What’s next for you? The hermit life? Perhaps a nice isolated vacation to a tree house where no one can ever find you again? How about a nice home with plenty of hilarious cats you can talk to?

We’ve all craved some sort of escape. Especially after rollercoaster relationships. But leaving is a bandaid. There are existential golden nuggets to be excavated and found in relationships we all too quickly label as toxic.

Sure, I can look around at my cleaner and quietened house and sigh in relief that I’m making different choices.

But I also must honor the fact, that no matter how intense the relationship or friendship- We chose each other. And most importantly, I chose them.

Linger on that for a minute. Every single toxic, horrifying, or shocking relationship or friendship you’ve ever been in was because of the choices you made to be in them. No matter how bamboozled you felt.

Let’s break this down.

Our bodies are very wise. They can look around our lives and think — we would do well with some boundaries. They also know that we are stubborn, lazy, human blobs who probably don’t want to do the work to develop those. Plus we’re incredibly busy and important and this would just be too much of a waste of time.

Change takes time, strategy, enrollment of others, practice, failure, re-strategizing, talking/torturing more people by re-sharing our goals and failures, and commitment to doing it all over again when it crumbles. I’m getting hungry and tired just talking about it.

So the body, without our consent, will attract us to our opposite. Are you a pushover, doing everyone else's job, sugarcoating how you really feel when someone steals your sandwich?

Cool. Let’s go date that borderline psychopath. If you didn’t have boundaries before then you’ll either develop them or live in a closet in his basement for a little while.

And sure, once we’ve climbed out of said closet (emotional or physical) we’ll most likely have scared ourselves sh*tless, declare celibacy and that we’ll never love again.

We take a look around at what's left and consider how unexpectedly expensive and time-consuming that rodeo was and wonder- I may have boundaries now but why’d he take all my cats? And where are my friends and priorities? Who am I after this very expensive lesson? Should I go get back in the closet? At least there were snacks there and someone to love. And some pretty clear directions on how to exist and function.

Truth be told. If you’ve been fascinated by the complexity of the human psyche before, the simple addition of some healthy boundaries most probably won't keep you from the horrifying wonders of human relationships. They won't save you from the lessons you need to learn. The people you attract in your life, no matter how difficult you deem them are there to balance something inside of you.

You can either go live on an island with your hilarious cats or get curious and start listening to the wisdom in your body BEFORE you’ve crawled into some guys closet. With enough practice, you can recognize the attraction, the impulse as it comes up. You can smile at the impulse to go date that person or let them in your house. You can even hang out with the psycho for lunch — live on the edge of madness for a few hours here and there, possibly get naked. But then return to your non-closeted home and get curious to why that darkness feels so appealing right now. What does it have to teach you? Why is it exciting or intriguing you?

And then when you’re safe and warm in your bed. Contemplating the monstrosity of others and how it can serve you and your boundaries. Ask yourself how many people have lived in your emotional closet before? And do you need to go feed them? Let them out? Possibly offer them a snack and an apology?

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