I fired a client on Tuesday, but followed up with an email today. In no way did I expect his response, which came just minutes later:
I just finished reading your email, I am saddened but, I completely understand your stance. I want to thank you for your involvement up to this point and it really meant a lot.
Thanks again, and I wish you the best as well.
He closed with a positive note about my future, and expressed a desire for continued friendship. I was stunned.
My email had been direct. I explained the two reasons I could no longer work with him on his project, and closed with well wishes. I’m not sure what I expected, if anything at all, but it was not this.
His email doesn’t change my mind or the situation. I still can’t work with him, and I’m not debating taking him back. I truly don’t think the pattern will change, and even if it did, I am not in a place to take this on right now. But how grateful am I that this was his response? Because so often when you set a clear boundary, that is not the response. I know it could have gone very differently.
I am sad. I feel a little crushed, even. I hate so much that I can’t help, because I want to. I’ve been in tears off and on all day because this hurts. I spoke with a mentor about it this morning, and she supported my reasons and decision and shared her own, similar experiences. She understood why this was hard for me, and hard on me.
But rather than experiencing the relief that one might expect, I feel a bit heartbroken. It’s not rational, but it’s how I feel, and this whole situation has also been a battle against the past. My existence for nearly six years has been a daily battle against the past, but one I fight slowly with slow movement forward. This all happened very fast, and it’s hard for me to not blame myself, to hold my ground, to not collapse. I don’t feel well.
I have learned a lot this week, and I will have to operate differently moving forward. There’s so much value to that. Hard as this has been, I know now what I would not have known before. I’ve taken steps to protect what I’ve built and determine my own value. I’ve taken a hard step in entrepreneurship, a hard step in overcoming the effects of trauma and a hard step in being honest in relationships. I think I need a nap.