People talk a lot about closure. Often closure is falsely depicted as welcoming toxic people back into our lives. People mostly don't know what closure is or how maintain it. There is something about us that randomly drives us to open old wounds. A smell, a scene in a movie, or an old memory floods in and we are taken back to those old thoughts and feelings (that is called being triggered). Some of what we miss is nostalgia; how we wanted things to be rather than how they truly were. Some of what we miss is familiarity. Even if what we knew was chaos, we knew it well and it was comfortable. Some of what we think we need is a nice perfect ending wrapped up with all the morals of the story intact. We want each side to say they've learned their lesson and run swiftly into one another's arms extolling all the ways they've been missed each other. Life isn't a movie or book, though, and the temptation to reconcile can often be a very deceptive form of self-harm and mistrust of self. Your instinct told you to create a boundary. Unless something drastic has changed in the life of the other... hold your ground. So how do you know when reconciliation is an actual option and when it is old patterns of self-sabbotage rearing their head? The first steps are about knowing how your self-sabotage works. Everyone has vastly different experiences, but I've broken down a few to help you start exploring your own behaviors. Peep this:
When you want to reconcile to avoid grief
Yup! This is the primary one hidden self-sabotaging behavior (and with good reason). If no one taught you to grieve, and grieve well, you could be longing to welcome that toxic person back to avoid processing loss. You've run out of coping mechanisms. You can't exercise, eat, drink, sex, sleep, cry, or complain the pain away and you are left at an impasse. So the pangs of loss rise up and you want to answer them by returning to that toxic relationship. Don't do it, Jimmy! Decide that you trust yourself. Understand that grief is cyclical and you might be bearing down into a season where you feel your loss deeply. Take time to learn to grieve, yo.
Nostalgia is a bitch! You are too invested in the past
Remember when? No! No you do not remember. You are remembering a memory and it is vague at best. Moreover, you are likely remembering what you wanted to be reality about someone rather than how they actually were. You left, REMEMBER!? Being too invested in your past is a fear response to your future. LET ME SAY IT LOUDER FOR THE FOLKS IN THE BACK: being too invested in your past is a fear response to your future. And you are asking, "but why Sway?" This one is easy, but has a difficult answer. You are afraid of your future because you don't believe in your own abilities to carry yourself into that future. The bottom-line reality is that you don't trust yourself. Re-evaluate that toxic relationship you escaped from. I'll be a part of the toxic characteristics was the immense control and influence that person exerted over your life. Going back means you get to free yourself from the pressure of solely being responsible for you. Nah, bruh.
You are good enough, you are smart enough, and...
Okay. So maybe people don't like you. This is the third self-sabotaging behavior that often draws us back into toxic relationships. We don't know how to reconcile actually having folks not like us. First you'll need to get honest with yourself. Not everything about you is likable. You post spoilers on Facebook, cheat on your Vegan diet and pretend you don't, and you can be a real grumpy bitch. Your intolerance for people being displeased or not likely you comes from being groomed to please all the people. This form of emotional abuse taught (often by the hands of a caregiver) you to that you can actually impact what people think and feel about you. Not even Beyoncé has that kind of control... and she has Janet Jackson and Jesus levels of control. Increase self-acceptance and understand that welcoming that toxic person back won't change a thing about if people like you or not.
The feeling will pass
Maintaining boundaries, trusting yourself, and grieving well are hard things to do. If nothing else, remind yourself of everything you went through that caused you to cut off toxic person in the first place.
Remember? Yeaaaaah. It was awful!
You don't want to go through that again and you don't owe it to anyone to learn the hard way.
Now go balance your Chi or something...