Hugging a Cactus!?

Cindy Tillory Avatar

“When people show you who they are, believe them.”

Random Instagram Post
Photo by Scott Webb on

I may date myself by mentioning this but you know the song “Predictable” by Good Charlotte? The intro goes: “Something isn’t right, I can feel it again, feel it again. This isn’t the first time that you left me waiting. Sad excuses and false hopes high. I saw this coming still, I don’t know why I let you in…” yes, I was an emo kid in high school, but that’s not the point, this 19-year-old song has been in my head as I was thinking about certain situations that keep happening in my life. a lot of times I want to believe in the best in people, but many (and I do mean MANY) times that is often not the case. and it’s hard not to be bitter about it. these days I understand that when it happens it’s not a Me-problem but a Them-problem. “Hurt people, hurt people” and so on. Sometimes it’s a matter of the frog and the scorpion, where it’s just in someone’s nature. Whatever the case, I feel compelled to help, you offer, they accept, then things go wrong.

Photo by Oziel Gu00f3mez on

I’m learning to accept that it isn’t wrong to offer help in good faith, but there are people who see that and can use and manipulate situations and people. so offer small, better to under-promise than to promise to someone who isn’t truly worthy of that.

I understand that not every relationship is going to be 50-50, 100% of the time (nor should it be), but if there is no effort on one party’s half it is a shitty relationship. If you find yourself justifying their actions more so that they do for themselves, maybe just step away and assess the worthiness of this relationship. I have had to do this on more occasions than I am proud to admit. I often refer to these kinds of relationships as “hugging a cactus,” where the act of giving your affection to another person causes you harm. And much like hugging an actual cactus is both painful and futile. I have hugged so many cactuses in my 33 years on this planet! I am trying to stop, but it’s not an easy process and if you have feelings involved with a person then it can be infinitely more difficult. Therapy is very important if you are noticing these patterns and helping you to recognize these behaviors so you can find people worthy of who you really are.


Cindy Tillory

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: