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Monday, July 23, 2012

The Art of Saying Goodbye

How we are socialized can pose great challenges as well as strengths in our lives today and tomorrow. One strange thing I have come to discover about myself is my poor inability to say goodbye. My friends especially tease me on this odd trait and I must admit a simple act as bidding someone farewell can take me close to an hour or so to do( I know am quite the chatter box).

Now this might not seem too tragic on the face of it, but I have been wondering for a long time now why some people (women especially) stay in relationships that long turned sour. Is this a bad case of the inability to say goodbye?

Am not sure why relationships ever get to the ‘it’s complicated’ stage. I imagine any form of relation with others should be for some sort of gain or benefit that both of you derive. It could be for companionship, love, support, encouragement...The list really is endless…but I fancy it should have some positivity in it.Never do we hear of people enthusiastically searching for pain, regret and bucket loads of….you get the point don’t you!

So why is it that these people still stay when the happiness quickly fades away and in comes rivers of tears? They are more sad than glad to be with these same people who once made them tingle and now make their hearts race with anxiety and panic attacks!!Doesn’t getting your running shoes on quickly come into mind?

I know various scholars and theories have been put forth on why people stay in such dysfunctional and often abusive relationships. Many a times it could be because of how we are socialized. Culture and religion further fuel this issue. Now  as asserted severally before, I do love my culture and my religion, but I love me too…this might not seat pretty with my clan elders or with the  clergy and laity but I chose to settle this matter with St Peter and God Himself when the time does come. I have thus concluded that leaving such crappy relationships whatever the form is literally as easy as A-B-C.

A-  Activate your self Esteem.

After spending time with anyone who abuses you physically, mentally or emotionally, yourself-worth and self-esteem are often in the negative zones. These people have mustered the skill of destroying the human spirit with words, acts and omissions. Most victims stay putt in these cycles because they believe nobody else will want them and believe the expression better the devil you know….Your first step to running from this destruction that faces you is to activate your self-esteem. Most abusers first tactic is to destroy your own self-image. Once you re-build this they will feel threatened and might realize they no longer have their claws stuck into you.

Hung out with people who make you feel good about yourself. Do stuff you enjoy and get repairing that lost self-esteem.

B-   Be Bold.

Now I don’t mean go out and buy an AK47 or hire an assassin. Depending on what form of abuse you face be very careful on how you approach this matter…i.e. tell the brother to take a hike! If he is the violent gladiator, I think it is common sense to tell him with serious manpower behind you. Or whatever will make you feel safe given he might not take those words too kindly. Be bold –is actually more for you than it is for him. It is acknowledging that things did not pun out as planned and it is perfectly alright to end this NOW. Get rid of the water proof mascara and as Ciku Muiruri says in her article ‘Killing for love? That’s plain daft’-allow yourself to cry a river, build a bridge and get over it!

C-   Call it quits.

And finally be firm with your decision to leave. It is mentally and emotionally exhausting for you and for us to still be your friend if you keep back-stepping and forgiving this one person who causes such mayhem and chaos in your life that we have to help clean up. Forgive him yes but from a distance…again more for you than it is him! You deserve to be happy inside and out and it is never alright to let someone deliberately trample upon your dreams, desires and wellbeing.

There you have it…saying goodbye simplified!


  1. great stuff Kate.....getting the reason as to why things happen the way they are is what becomes hard and saying bye becomes simplified if u have the reason at hand.

  2. A very nice piece Mbui as usual :-)Unfortunately I think it is very hard to unlearn some of the things that are so deeprooted in our psyche i.e unsocializing and resocializing ourselves. It is also sad that some people internalize abuse and start believing there is something wrong with them (thus the need to rebuild their self esteem - with help certainly!). The influence of the society around us (Family, friends and just collective societal norms) does not help either, especially due to double standards, applying different sets of rules to women from those applied to men and judging women who have "failed" in relationships very harshly . To top it up, for some there is real fear of consequences which could include more violence. If you add the dynamics involved in the cycle of violence especially the honeymoon stage where the perpetrator will after the violent act go down on his knees and beg for forgivennes you have the perfect recipe for entrapment! I do agree however agree that it is doable and the place to start is to rebuild our self worth because this helps us realize that we deserve much more than we are getting!

  3. Hey,I agree re tuning some deep rooted stuff you have learned must be very hard but it is possible.And how true is it that some people we know have internalized abuse and think it is ok and the norm!!!Could I task you to write some an article on the cycle of violence from a professional point of view..I know many would want to read it.

    Kenny-I hope you share this with your guys too

  4. Sure girl! Will look for sometime and do it..