You see, when the third party (called person X, for legal reasons) realised that I was no longer their puppet then their perception of me was destroyed. It was like throwing a brick into the centre of a floor to ceiling mirror: nothing can be the same again.
X took a step too far one day and I stood toe-to-toe instead of backing up as I used to do. At first X didn’t know what to do with my altered behaviour so they increased the pressure (sometimes known as bullying tactics) and I still refused to cave in because I was tired of being wronged without using my voice. The mirror cracked. Simultaneously we had both realised that our images of each other had been wrong.
At the end of this incident I felt that I was left with my pride intact and a new perception of X. Time passed and I did not follow the old script of crawling back for any morsel of conditional love that X would care to throw from the table.
What I found was that once I really started loving myself totally I was less dependent on others for scraps of their affection to make me feel better about myself.
The caller (Y) expressed a sense of anxiety about X’s perceived situation and tried to include me in it. I stepped back and explained that living in a constant state of dread and anticipation of something going wrong no longer suited me (I did not add that it also left me teetering on the edge of rejection and I was never good with heights or falling down).
So, the call ended.
I thought about X,Y and all the Zs... for a very short while. Then I exhaled again and went back to my peaceful place.
The beauty about losing the two way mirror is that I can see clearly for miles now.