friends in ___________________

5 September 2019

In my case, for some time in my life, I was filling in the blank with “Misery”. What about you?

Are there certain patterns in your relationships that you have to own up to?

My deepest childhood programming for how to survive life was centred around behaviours that I thought would protect my mother from criticism and pain. I was the 4th of a family of 5 daughters from the only living son of the first wife of a then deceased grandfather whose 2 wives had carried on an undercurrent of competitiveness even after he passed.

Each pregnancy that my mum went through carried so much hope and therefore as much, if not more, disappointment as each baby turned out not to be a son who could carry on the family name and therefore be heir apparent to the family legacy. In fact, it was considered shameful. How complicated. How twisted. Good news? How backward it all sounds today. Bad news? I was, and maybe in some parts, still living the repercussions.

Growing up unconsciously that way paved the way for me to become easy target to those who wanted to give me love so that I will give them even more love to appear in my life.

My unconscious beliefs were that I was hugely responsible for the happiness and also pain in others’ lives, that I was not good enough and that’s why I was causing others pain, if only I could do things better for them so they felt better to have me in their lives…My life was centred around making others feel good because I was not good enough. I wounded up meeting people that kept me in manipulative dynamics in big and small ways. I was drawn to those who seem to have my interests at heart, but end up being hurt by them. These came in the form of friendships at or through work and also romantic relationships. One after the other, as though they have all queued up to put me through a series of lessons until I finally recognise them.

As I look back, I can identify patterns that are now red flags for me to know if I am engaging in a potentially manipulative and toxic relationship.

For me, the common traits of the other person include:
The person is highly talented.
The person is eloquent and have a good command of English.

The person listens well and can be insightful.

The person appreciates my talents and usually praises me for some traits that they personally lack.

The person shares their unreciprocated love and longstanding love-hate relationship with his/her mother, and a somewhat or totally absent father.

The person starts asking me for advice and confides deepest hurts and desires with me.

The person likes to hang out with me, but he/she usually gets to choose where, what and how we do that.

The person always gets the last say even when he/she finally adopts my perspective.

The person wants me to celebrate and appreciate him/her, and will ask me blatantly for praises.

The person can get upset if I decide to do things with other friends or not involving them, even if he/she does not enjoy that particular activity.

The person likes to tell me what is good for me and what is bad for me. He/She has no qualms in telling me what or where I am lacking in the name that it is good for me. The person likes to ask me the same. In our personal interactions, he/she later uses these good and bad points that I share against me, however it benefits him/her at the moment.

The person turns out to be controlling.

My part in the dynamics:

I had relied heavily on others to make me feel good and therefore also feel bad.

I did not take accountability for my own happiness, joy and sense of self worth.

I was often blinded by the beauty and potential of people, and allow those with “stronger” opinions to lead me.

I did not pause and take stock of my own personal values. Instead I allowed myself to be strung along by “stronger” personalities and opinions.

I had allowed my own emotional need for approval and acceptance for others to be the main factor in deciding my actions.

I was missing ME in my life. “Will the real Scarlett please stand up?” I had never and not known how to put myself as priority. I constantly gave in and even psyched myself that my endless sacrifices were all in the name of love. In other words, I gave love a bad name. I had lived in ignorance and victimhood, thinking that my little sacrifices will somehow make the world a better place for these others. At this, I roll my eyeballs and also laugh lovingly at myself.

Years of self work and the final culmination in a one single person who wielded an influence and demands of a hundred times of all the others combined, finally woke me up in December 2017. It took me half a year to physically walk away from an unhealthy love-hate relationship of 5 years. In the name of unconditional love, universal oneness and compassion, I have laughed, cried and persisted in the midst of love all encompassing, agonising emotional pain, torturous self doubt and confusion that comes from swinging from the most high exalted bliss into bottomless abyss of resentment and loathe in matter of moments from the person praising me, then blaming me for his plight and then asking for forgiveness, and then chiding me again for some past matters…blaming me…pleading with me…apologizing…blaming…and then..and then…

Perhaps I have experienced the immense capacity of true universal love and compassion to embrace others and their darkness enough, that one day I finally decided to turn it on myself. As a dear friend once commented jokingly but truthfully, “You must also be sick to be going through that.” “Good point.

Where am I sick?” I thought to myself as we both laughed heartily over my plight.

This is not a good story. This is ugly and yucky. No, it is a good story. It is a good story because I get to share my ignorance and foolishness so you may also own up to yours if you have them. It is a good story because it may inspire someone who is stuck in an unfulfilling relationship to finally wake up to reality. It is a good story because from now on, I can only make better choices. It is a good story because it is a necessary part of my journey towards self mastery, and maybe it is a catalyst for yours.It is time for change.

I began to toy with that question. Those who have done sufficient inner work will tell you that they welcome that finger pointing to self. In truth, it always eventually end with the self as the starting point. Therefore, I do not blame anyone for their part in my story. It was what it was. It takes time to clean up the mess inside me that caused these, and it is constant work in progress.

So is working the light in me. Working the light is to take full accountability and shine love, light and laughter on my entire imperfectly glorious self. I can only agree that perhaps the other persons were merely reflections of me to varying degrees. The gargantuan expectations and pain in the dynamics were coming from my own inner darkness and my inability to meet my own darkness with LOVE.

We merely danced a dance of lack that we mutually and collectively shared, and no amount of what others are expected to give can fill that up. I have made these friends in misery because of my own miserable lens about life and self. Our meetings multiplied our darkness exponentially. Only my own love can now support me to become whole. Only my own attention can wake me up to change the beliefs that once held me hostage. Only my own devotion to giving myself the recognition, acceptance and nurturance can make me wholly loved, appreciated and at ease.

I encourage you to examine your relationship patterns if you feel stuck in unfulfilling relationships.

Get insights so you understand your relationship to your own life and self. Practice boundaries, unconditional self love and turn inwards and embrace divine love first of all. Be so completely at one with Spirit, the Universe or God your divine partner, whatever name you give it. Learn to support yourself and let the divine support you. Experience Grace. It is probably the most fulfilling relationship, you’ll see it when you believe it, quoting Dr Wayne Dyer.

Get to know yourself better. Weed out the distractions in your life. Start to focus on your personal growth and fulfilment. Let your knowing of what you want and what type of relationships you want attract the right people and situations in your life.

If you are experiencing emotionally manipulative and controlling dynamics in your relationships, you may wish to read this. This is a huge red flag that should not be ignored. If you would like someone to coach you through your patterns and beliefs, be sure you can reach out to me privately. Just send me an email at and schedule a chat.

Just as it is time to be completely devoted to my self and honour my own loveliness and worth, and live towards my splendour; so it is yours. If we may meet, may we dance a dance of wholeness, and be friends in perfect ecstasy.