when do you stop?

i don’t know when you stop being gracious.  when do you say enough is enough, you’re walking all over me, stop it already!  i don’t know.  i was taught to turn the other cheek.  to take the heat, cover the other’s shortcomings, and keep my mouth shut.  i think i know when to hold my ground if i’m being taken advantage of by someone who will continue to do so until i put up my hand.  i’ve done it recently.  it’s absurdly difficult for me.  i bend over backwards to excuse their behavior, explain, accept, tolerate, and even cover their bizarre foibles from others so that they’re not thought badly of.  i defend someone i don’t have a real relationship with to those i have an important relationship with.  just because …. i really don’t know.  i feel compelled to do what it takes to make any relationship work. 

any. 

i’ve guilted myself for years over two friendships that were lifeblood to me at the time, which i walked away from.  one was due to them trying to shut down my discussions about mutually painful topics, and the other cut me off due to my choice to wear pants to church.  i accepted that cut, realizing it was an absurd criteria for a friendship.  it had to get that absurd for me to stop trying (it was broken long before) and i still to this day have twinges of guilt that i didn’t try hard enough. 

i take every hiccup in a relationship extremely personally, and on some level blame myself.  the friend that shut down my discussions?  still do feel guilty over that one, that i didn’t somehow manage to fix it.

i’m not god, relationships are two sided, and i know it’s just plain not all about me.  why do i feel a pathalogical need to make them work, even if it’s simply a relationship of convenience, and not one i sought our or really care to cultivate or continue?  yes, i want to live in harmony, that’s part of it.  my home is my haven, or rather should be, and it’s not been that at all lately.  i reduces me to tears pretty regularly.

there’s the question of why the connection has been “allowed” at all.  is there a point god’s trying to make with this, that i’m supposed to figure out or endure or teach him, or is the point that we both need to learn how to holler ‘nuff?  we’re both notoriously bad at that.  a libra and a sag, goes to figure i suppose.  last time i hollered after a “just one week pretty please he’s really depressed and his girlfriend kicked him out” boarder stayed 6 months, and i saw him more than my husband.  it took 6 months, proving my point.

i just don’t know when enough is enough.  i really don’t.