Well I know I have months of healing emotionally but I had a major breakthrough this past holiday. I feel like an orphan with no real immediate family but I have great friends who will never let me feel so alone and lost again.
I have had to draw boundaries with my family and its been hard, sad – you name it. But I will no longer accept their attitude toward me, it has devalued me for years. I used to go around thinking, “we have always had our differences but we have always worked them out in the past” but now I have accepted that, no, in the past I have always backed down and let them have their way. I tried to stifle, bury my hurt. No more. Now I wear my pain as a badge of honor, courage. I have been through the worst times of my life without my mother, sisters and their children by my side. And I accept now that this was by their choice, not all by design or my doing. I have tried. My conscious is clear. I am done reaching out. I used to walk around thinking, will I ever be good enough. Well I know I am the best. I have a huge heart. I am worthy. Their loss if they never got to fully experience my goodness.
I have read many books, watched many movies, and met many women who have good relationships with their mothers, sisters. So many discuss the mother-daughter and sisterly bond. Each time I hear or see this, unexpected tears would stream down my cheeks. For I could not recall attachment, closeness, memories of this bond within my own life.
I have tried talking honestly with my family. They refuse to understand my view, accept me, refuse to meet me half way. And its finally okay. I have no other choice but to accept and move forward …without them. I am actually writing this right this minute and not crying. Its a first for me. Every time, I wrote about the lack of relationship with my immediate family, I would break down. In the past, I have stayed away, traveled a lot, made sure I wasn’t around. I used to cry when I realized how much of my nieces and nephew’s lives I missed out on but those tears will no longer reach my cheek. My nieces and nephew are old enough now to forge a relationship with me, if they wanted one. I guess they don’t. They have expressed to me in the past how hurt they were about me not being around for a few years. But really? Did they ever think about me and my pain? I am sure they have not.
The past few years, I felt rejected, unloved, unwanted, forgotten. My self esteem has been at an all-time low. My health is poor and my body keeps failing me. And even with all my physical, emotional and financial troubles, I tried to reach out to them. I tried. Not being worth it, had always been my deepest fear; I felt as though they have all proven to me, I was unworthy of their love, acceptance, inclusion by them not trying to work on our relationship. But in reality, I see clearly now, their actions do not make a statement about me; they make a statement about them.
My trying to be worthy to them, was at the root of all my depressions and low self-esteem. I have decided to move on again. I am not going to sacrifice myself, my time, my energies, my money, to them anymore. I have learned that there are some people who are incapable of healthy, loving and mutually respectful relationships I am slowly understanding, I am capable. I have great friends – so I know that I am a loving, respectful person. I have done my grieving. I have shared with them all I had to give. I have tried to follow the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. But I was always the one left more confused, hurt, exhausted, broke – you name it. We all hear how we should be the bigger person, the example of love and forgiveness. And I tried – I feel that I have succeeded. Now. I forgive them and myself. I will continue to pray for them. I will always be happy for their success; and sad for their loss. I will just remain in the background, at a distance. Where they have put me. I am okay there. Now.
I was not being an example of love to myself nor anyone when I allowed my family and even some friends walk all over me. I see now, that I was sending the message that they were more important than me. Every time, I dropped my plans to accommodate them or help them I was devaluing me. I allowed them to think they were more deserving. I was willing to accept the smallest kindness as a huge step forward. Like a dog that always comes home to the master no matter how the master regards the dog. No more.
So many people, even in my own family, believes that a barren, childless woman is selfish, or can’t understand certain things. They regard motherhood as a sacred institution and most regard it as the highest gift. If so, explain to me why or how so many mothers kill their children – physically, emotionally? If there is no unconditional pure love, what is left? For too many years, I felt a void, a lack of empathy and interest, and a lack of feeling loved. For many years, I did not understand and tried to rationalize it. I tried to fix it. I tried to be the good daughter, the good sister, the good aunt.
The more accepting I am learning to be, the happier I am. The more I learn to just let go of expectation, the more I can let go, also, all my sadness. I no longer have to try so hard for them to love me, accept me. I love myself. I accept me. All this has allowed me to understand more and begin to find my quiet sense of being, my peace. I have become more centered. I am no longer invisible, especially to myself. Without understanding, we flail around, we make mistakes, feel deep unworthiness, and sabotage ourselves and our lives. No more. I am happy, at peace. I love myself unconditionally. I used to think my cancer, my accident, my family, my work all defined me. Now I am free from that. I define me. And I choose happiness … with hope in my heart, grace in my step. It’s been quite a journey…and I am looking forward to more self awareness.