In my battle to conquer the demons of my past, my depression, and to make peace with the person that is me, I’ve come to the realization that in order for me to grow, I have to let a lot of people, baggage, situations, and the past go. You’d think I’d be more than happy to do this since I’m on a determined mission of good-life living, but in reality I’ve found it to be some of the hardest work I have ever done. Especially because a lot of the letting go involves my family.
As I come to terms with my parents and the massive issues they’ve given and shifted to me as I grew up, I’ve been able to see and relate to how necessary it is for some people to completely let their families go. Toxicity is a sonofabitch, and sometimes for your own sanity you have to let almost everyone, even the flesh and blood go. I’m also seeing how NOT easy it is to just completely walk away. I’ll probably never get to that point because I do have affinity for some of those folks, and can deal with them in small doses, but I admire those who have the strength sever ties completely if necessary.
Letting go is the hardest because only then are you truly alone. You become an island, finally responsible for your own thoughts and actions–no longer ruled by the need for outside vindication/approval and the thought of ‘what if so-and-so doesn’t like this?’. Only answering to your own desires and needs. And that is a scary place to be if you’ve never been taught how to hold yourself up. Most people get taught over the course of their childhood and adolescence how to live according to themselves, but I did not.
As miserable as was for me, it was almost comfortable having that ‘I may not get any support from these people no matter what I do, but I’ll keep on trying to get praise from them’ feeling. Letting it all go has been like losing my identity in a way. For the last almost thirty years my identity has been pain and anguish in some shape or form. This whole process of cleansing and starting fresh has been like learning to ride a bike without training wheels for the first time knowing that my center of gravity is the only thing keeping me aligned.
Where do I go from here? I have no idea how I’ll deal with the majority of my family in the future; what I do know is the way I ended up at this point is way beyond wrong. Some it is my own doing, some of it I’m a victim of circumstance and a family unwilling to acknowledge and (attempt to) mend its dysfunction. I felt guilty for making the choice to take care of me and make my fledgling new family (me, D and our *hopefully soon to come* children) as healthy as possible, but I refuse to be my own victim any longer. I’ve already forgiven, so it’s up to them how they want to participate in my life. I’ll never stop loving them, but love is just as effective from a distance.
I’m so proud of finally being able to wake up without the weight of world on my shoulders. It’s been such a liberating experience that I’ve managed to lose almost 20 lbs without even trying. Amazing how anguish can manifest itself as pudge. More amazing is the fact that I’ve finally learned that happy applies to me too. Happy finally applies to me….