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Knowing When Enough Is Too Much

Updated on August 18, 2011

When is "enough" too much???

I've always asked myself that question. When I've asked other people that question, they give me vague answers that don't even remotely answer the question or cutesy answers like, "'Enough' is never too much when you love someone." Honestly, it made me gag. It also made me wonder if any of those people have ever stepped a single foot outside their front door, placing into the bowels of the thing we call "life", and actually experiencing what it feels like to have your throat ripped out, heart shredded to pieces, and your face stomped on. I wonder...

Before I try to understand how one person can fathom how much they can handle or not, I'll lay down a few stories/examples for those of you who have never been in such situations (Count yourself lucky).


When it comes to friends, it's a little easier to draw that line of "enough". I cherish the friends I do have because my life is a private place. I keep myself semi-closed up to most people because I don't have the greatest amount in trust for people (you'll see partly why later). I find no problem in helping a friend however he/she needs, whether it's being a support system, covering up "naughty" stuff when the parentals come by, or sliding a few dollars toward my friend in times of need. But there comes a time when it's just straight up using me and not appreciating what I do. I had a friend like that that I dropped faster than a hot frying pan I just grabbed with my bare hand. As if being used wasn't enough, this so-called "friend" lied to me more times than I could count. One of those lies (that continued on even after she supposedly told me the truth) was about her boyfriend who wasn't real at all. And when I say "wasn't real", I mean, he wasn't real! He was imaginary! Yes, a 28-year-old woman with an imaginary friend. Well, friends, I should say. Supposedly there was two of them and they were both fighting over her many times. (Wow, even imaginary friends have dramas?!?).

Although I understand that she, as an only child, had to compensate for her lack of siblings and friends, I do not understand the concept of a make-believe boyfriend. A small child with an imaginary friend is somewhat "normal" to me as I've seen more than one child with an imaginary friend. But when it comes to a grown woman, it makes me wonder if the receptors in the brain are connecting or sending signals to each other. I seriously wonder, not as a joke, but as a legitimate question. She was convinced that these "friends" were real and would often have odd mood swings for no reason at all and would often blame one or more of her "friends" for it. It was crazy and so hard to follow along. I'm not a fan of drama, so that already sent up a red flag. "Three strikes and you're out", right? The third strike was when she texted me to tell me she had told her mom she was with me when in actuality she had gone to a friend's house (a real, living, breathing friend. Or so she said). I wasn't comfortable with that, but I let it go. Not too long after that, she texted me to tell me she told her mom she was staying at my house, when in actuality she was staying at another friend's house. (I met that friend, so I know she's a real, living, breathing human being). I told her not to use my name anymore and to stop lying to her mom. She really wasn't happy after that.

Can you blame me for putting my foot down? She uses me to keep her company because she has no one, "borrows" money (that she has never paid back), "borrows" my clothes (still haven't gotten my stuff back and every time I ask, she ignores me), lies to me multiple times, and then uses me to lie to her mom so she won't get busted. What kind of friend is that?!? That was definitely more than enough!

When it comes to a relationship with a friend, it's easier to draw the line because you have no biological connection to the person.  No matter how long you have known a person, there comes a time when you just have to put your foot down and let the person know that what they're doing is wrong.  In the experience earlier mentioned, when any person gets lied to, it's hard to trust that person again.  Although I am extremely forgiving and do forget things for the betterment of a relationship, when the lie continues on and keeps getting drag on and on, there comes a point when you just say, "That's too much."  Granted I would have loved to have kept our friendship, I cannot sit here and say I would want to sit through any more of those lies.  When you're reached the point of preferring not to have a person in your life, no matter how long you've known him/her, than have him or her in your life, then you know you've reached that point of it being "Too Much".

When it comes to friends, being used by someone you trust, you reach a point when you think, "So what has this person done for me?"  A lot of times, the answer is "Nothing".  If you can find that place before it's to the point where you want to sue your friend, then you know you've reached the point of "Enough".


A thousand times more important than my friends are my family. I would literally kill for them - they are that important. So when a family member of mine had mentioned about struggling with his business and house, I jumped at the opportunity to help him. I dropped my whole life to help him. It was like a snowball effect as things started off small, with them slowly escalating as time went on. I'm sure I had my part in "adding fuel to the fire", but the blame cannot be put on me. If I and everyone can see a problem, then there must be a problem, right? No, not according to that family member. We're all wrong and just picking on the other person (who is not a family member). More and more things started happening, so it was brought to the attention of my family member. Again, we're all wrong and just picking on the other person. My family member tried explaining things to us, which we did understand and have sympathy for, but when is enough, enough???

Was this person stealing from members of my family enough? No. Was this person lying to my family enough? No. Was this person spending my specific family member's money like there's no tomorrow enough? No. Was this person abusing our family enough? No. Was this person driving everyone, including that particular family member crazy enough? No. Was that person wrecking my family member's car more than a handful of times (literally) enough? No. Was this person causing my family member to turn against his entire family enough? No. Was my family member losing 99.9% of his family enough? No. When is enough, enough???

I'm sure some people will say that it cannot be only one person's doing that would ruin my family member's life like that. No, I'm sure we all added to it. I've admitted to having my part in it, but I do not take the blame for any of those things mentioned above. I can honestly sit here and say this person is fully to blame. He knew what he was doing and it was his intention to do it. If he is not happy, he wants to ruin it for everybody else. And because my family was not about to cooperate with him, he wanted to get rid of us all. Goal accomplished and now my family member has practically no one left. Everyone is against him and no one trusts him. If there was any actual "black sheep" of the family, this family member would not be it. This family member would be an elephant in the middle of a herd of sheep - sticking out like a sore thumb, in no way, shape, or form ever going to fit in with everyone, and no one cares for this person as this is a sheep farm and an elephant has nothing to give. I'm sure the elephant could prove himself, but when no one around trusts you, how can you? It's like try to lead a river in a different direction using a needle. Fat chance!

When it comes to a relationship with a family member, it's a lot harder to put your foot down because you love that person.  You want to give that person a chance, so you often let things slip by without even noticing.  But when a family member chooses someone who is of no blood relation, adoption or anything of the sort, over you, the family member, the sting left on your heart and mind last longer than you could possibly imagine.  If it were a boyfriend/girlfriend type of relationship, it's a pretty normal thing for someone to side with their significant other, thinking their family just doesn't understand you.  But when it comes to someone who is "just there", it's a little harder for everyone to understand. When the time comes when the person decides you're not as important as that other person, you feel like your world just imploded on itself.  Your heart crushes, you forget to breathe, and you feel like you can't go on.  When you've reached that point, you will definitely know you have reached the point of "Too Much".


I admit to not being the friendliest of people when it comes to the girls my brother dates, but I do give them a chance. I'm just not the "miss perky" and super friendly, "let's be best friends" kind of person that they hope they'd meet. Hell, I'm not like that in normal life, so why would I fake it?

My brother has dated his fair share of, to say it lightly, losers. There was only one girl that I actually liked, started to get along with, and would have been okay with my brother marrying (if that were to be the case). Of course, none of them worked out, including the relationship with the one girl I actually started to like. The last one he was with was a real winner. She used my brother like the sucker that he is. If he were an orange, she'd have squeezed him for every single drop of liquid in him, then proceeded to scrape every bit of zest from him. As if that wasn't enough, she'd then proceed to take whatever was left over to burn to use as fuel or burn for warmth - that's how much she used my brother. He was an idiot to let it happen and not put his foot down. You would think that was enough, right? No.

My brother is now dating another "winner". I knew this girl before they started dating. We were all friends and they were supposedly like brother and sister. Since when do you date your sister? Strike one. I (and the rest of my family) find out they're "together" from complete strangers. Strike two. The girl puts a curse on me. Strike three. Although you may not believe in stuff like that, when it happens to you and doctors can't diagnose you, healers won't touch you, and there's a mysterious mark on your arm that moves all on his own, you start to believe. Her friend (the stranger) tries to kill me. Strike four. Wait a minute, we're on strike four already? Shouldn't the first three have been enough? Guess not. He chooses her over his family. Strike five. She starts using our one of only 2 cars to go where ever she please, with no never-mind about us and whether or not we need the car of not. Strike six. That's doubled already. She leaves her junk in my mom's car (the car she was "borrowing" from us without any though to give a single dollar for using it) and remembers she needs something, forcing my mom and I to break from our schedule just so she can grab her stuff. Strike seven. My mom and I jump into the car to pick up and spend time with some family friends, but the car is a mess. Again, no never-mind that the car belongs to my mom and possibly, just possibly she might need to use it. So of course we have to clean it. Strike eight and nine (cause I HATE with a passion having to clean up other people's mess). We go to use the car for a volunteer function, but there's all kinds of junk in the trunk too! My idea was to just grab everything and toss them into the trash or something. My mom is the bigger person so she bagged it all. Strike ten for making my mom clean! She disappears cause now she doesn't have a car to go disappearing with. Strike eleven.

Thank God, Moses, Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Peter, Paul, and the gospel she's finally gone!!! My mom told me not too long ago that she hasn't been around for a while. It doesn't mean their relationship is over - it just means she isn't around. Where is she? Am I supposed care??? (Laughing my butt off). It's funny that even my mom doesn't care. I know deep down inside she does care cause that's the type of person she is, but generally, she couldn't give a flying rat's behind.

When it comes to relationships, that's when things get complicated. Whether you're the one in the relationship or the one observing it, when to say "Enough" is a little harder.  If you're the one in the relationship, it's hard to look past that "veil" of happiness.  You're in such bliss with being with your significant other that you aren't always able to see what everyone else is seeing.  I'm guilty of doing that myself, but when most of the people I know are saying the same thing, I stop, listen, and look around to see if I can see what they're seeing.  Our family and friends are only looking out for us, they do not want to hurt us.  But if they see you're on the path towards pain, if it means hurting you right now to keep you from greater pain, I'm sure those who are true to you will do what they need to do.  I have and will continue to do all I need to protect those I love from getting hurt.  I'm even more protective now that certain events have swayed my way of thinking and feeling.  Some may call me a "heartless b*tch", but I take that title and wear it proudly knowing my family knows how I really feel.  I don't beat around the bush and make you wonder what I'm thinking.  But when is enough, enough?  If you're the one in the relationship, when you realize all the things your family has been saying about your significant other are true, that's the point when everything is "Enough".  If you've discovered all the things your family has said after you have shooed them away and told them you'll be fine on your own, yet you had your heart shattered and stepped on, then you've reached the point of "Too Much". 

I can't tell you what you need to do to get over something that has hurt you.  Perhaps you need therapy?  Perhaps you need a huge container of Ben & Jerry's?  Perhaps you need to escape to Bora Bora for a month?  We all recover from a traumatic experience differently.  All I can say is the best way to get over something is to counteract any negative, painful, sad memory with ten times as much happiness.  But if you've reached the point of not wanting to get up and out of bed, you feel sluggish, you don't want to even talk to anyone, then I would suggest you take a visit to your doctor.  Depression is a very serious and very real illness.  You should not be afraid of what your doctor will think or be afraid to talk about the way you're feeling.  Doctors are in their field because they want to help.  Please get help if you feel in any way your feelings, emotions or personality has changed.


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