Category Archives: toxic

In Memory of Me …

I have just not been able to write as much as I would prefer lately.  So many thoughts, words, complete sentences in my head … but having a hard time expressing myself without crying at times.  Been so busy building walls so others can no longer hurt me, that I just can’t express myself in the only real way I know.   Sinking into depression … I know I am but I am not sure what I can do differently, right now. I feel lost, alone, insecure, idle, forgotten, bored … Emotional flu … yes that is what I have, lately.  Tired of feeling – especially sorry for myself.  So it’s taken me awhile to write this post.  Sometimes my hurt overwhelms me.

Anyone who really takes the time to know me, understand my life – they would know I have never had a good relationship with my mother and her daughters.  My sister is having knee surgery and will be staying with my Mom, so whenever any one of my sisters visit, even for a few hours every few months, my mother tends to be even more cruel to me.  For some reason, this past Friday we were talking about someone we knew and how they died with no family.  My mother then proceeded to tell me that I should save money to make sure I can pay for my own burial since no one would help once I die and I shouldn’t think to burden anyone.  Now I know deep in my heart that my family couldn’t care less if I lived or died.  I have known this far too long.  And sadly, yet obviously prudently, I already took measures for my burial many years ago after my first bout of cancer.  I reassured my Mom very calmly that I already took care of things for when I die.  Then I just went upstairs to my safe place, my own apartment, and just cried for hours.  My mother will never know how much she has hurt me, how much her words hurt me.  Just when I think she can’t hurt me anymore, I learn that it’s just never going to stop.  My skin just isn’t thick enough sometimes.  My heart breaks a little more each day when I am around her.  I try so hard … try not to let her words bury me alive.

So many hours I find myself too weak, too sad to do much of anything which only makes me sadder. I try.  I am in pure survival mode.  Don’t need to be saved. I need to be found and appreciated for exactly who I am.  I need others for my voice right now.

Quotes that speak to me, for me …

“Sensitive suffer more, but they love more and dream more.”  – Augusto Cury

“A sensitive soul sees the world through the lens of love.” – Unknown

“Having a soft heart in a cruel world is courage, not weakness.” ― Katherine Henson

“You soak up others’ moods and desires like a sponge. You absorb sensation the way a paintbrush grasps each color it touches on a palette. The ethereal beauty of a dandelion, the shift of a season, the climax of a song, or a certain stirring scent can awaken such wonder they’ll become your very breath itself – moving through you as fuel does to fire and wind does to waves. ~ Victoria Erickson

I have to keep reminding myself to love myself first and foremost … I have been on my own longer than I have ever been with anyone, loner by nature, alone by choice.

I’m here – I’m a survivor – and you can, too!  Everyone has to deal with their own situation, but my method is ‘distraction’.  My pain, worry leads me to writing.  Peace, acceptance, quiet, serenity, empowerment … keep loving myself.  Keep striving to have a decent life.  I have to remember who I am – that is how I will get through this life … with grace in my step and hope in my heart.


Narcissistic Mother

This weekend was to be about my step dad and his special birthday.  Last few years have been tough – he was forced to retire, he got sick with prostate cancer, after surgery seemed to be doing a little better then he had a stroke … it has taken quite a toll on him and he has aged a lot and continues to be fragile.   I try to spend as much time with him as possible and I find many little things to celebrate, keep him busy and smiling.

He is originally from Ecuador so today I wanted to take him to this great Ecuadoran restaurant but my selfish, narcissistic mother decides she is too sick to go out, and she goes on and on about how we don’t care about her – since we decided to go out without her. Mind you she is the healthiest 70+ aged person I know  physically; but mentally is an entirely different story.  She wants to stay in her room, feeling sorry for herself, lying to herself and anyone else willing to listen to her.  I refused to allow my step dad to suffer in solitude any longer.  Life is too short.

My step dad and my mother have been married for 34 years. Throughout their marriage, my mom has tried to control virtually every aspect of his life, including what he could say, what he should eat, what he should wear, who he could be friends with — the list goes on and on. She did the same to me throughout my childhood – is it any wonder that I moved out before I even finished HS?!  She attempts to control me throughout my entire adult life, too.

She calls me many times a day to find out where I am, who I am with, what we are doing — and to reprimand me on my behavior.  I help my mom every day, with almost every aspect of her life. She continues to criticize and reprimand. There is no one else who will help care for her, and she has no real friends – although she does talk, really tell tall tales – to her younger sisters living in Florida and Puerto Rico.

All my life, I have always yearned for a normal relationship with my mother and now especially I want us to peacefully and respectfully enjoy our few years together. I love and respect her very much, but I am ashamed to say, I don’t like my mother. I love my step father – especially for putting up with her all these years.  But he does deserve to have some life of his own.  Even if that means having to deal with my mother’s wrath afterwards.  Life is way too short to stop living your life because someone else can’t deal with it.

I find my mother to be nasty, bitter, hateful, argumentative, un-supportive and the meanest person I know.  She’s always been this way, but it’s getting worse as she gets older … or maybe my tolerance of her behavior has shifted.  I can’t talk to her nicely or try to explain my point without her snapping at me and starting an argument.  If you say to her “why are you arguing” she says, “You are, not me”.  It’s always the other person, never her.  You are damned if you talk to her, and damned if you don’t talk to her.  It’s like walking on eggshells all the time.  You never know when the venom is coming.  She talks about people in a nasty manner.  She lies and when you call her on it, she denies it.  She starts trouble with my step dad, me – even my 12 year old terrier.   My three older sisters barely have anything to do with her in the last ten years.  No one wants to be around her because she is so nasty.  Sadly, she is toxic and I have given up hope she will change or see the error in her ways.

So I count to ten, I write, I vent to my friends, I cry and I pray.  I pray that God keeps giving me the strength to deal with her because on those rare moments when I can get her out of her room and she smiles – she makes me so happy.  I cry, I pray, I keep moving forward … with grace in my step and hope in my heart.

 

 


Giving myself permission …

I feel like an orphan but it beats being the black sheep, the victim, the scapegoat, the whipping boy – well girl. Giving myself permission to walk away, stay away, limit my interaction with my dysfunctional family.

Today was my niece’s wedding and she looked beautiful. I used to think it was a shame that I didn’t really have a real, warm nor loving relationship with her. But she is 30 years old. Not a child. And she has made no real attempt at being connected with me. I have three older sisters who have always made me feel excluded, different, unloved. And sadly that just spilled into their children.

I debated for months to attend the wedding or not. But I chose to attend. But after learning where my assigned seat was, and being there for an hour and no one really spoke to me, cared if I was there or not – I left. I have also decided I am done. I no longer feel the need to attend any more family gatherings out of obligation, guilt, etc. I am done being ostracized, ignored, blamed for their own lack of awareness and insecurities.

For the past 40 years, it has been extremely painful for me trying so hard to fit into this dysfunctional family I was born into. I have always been the sickly, nerdy, introverted one. I feel like I have spent a lifetime trying to win their love and approval, but my efforts have consistently been met with indifference, coldness and even disapproval. I have spent years sacrificing my physical, mental and emotional health in toxic relationships under the notion that we have to because these people were my family – but no more. Yes, it’s time to terminate these relationships when the only contact I have with them is really just negative, strained. This contact only serves to bring me down, makes me feel I am not good enough, or I haven’t done enough for them. No more.

I am learning to accept that when my family members exclude me, it has very little to do with me personally. It’s all about them, who they are, their past experiences, their unmet needs, their inability to communicate in healthy ways, their fears, etc.

Rationally, logically – I get it. But I am so sad, hurt, lost, alone … yet I know I have to just find a way to calmly let it roll off my back. It hurts a lot to disengage fully but I know I need to. I have tried repeatedly in the past, but I am done. I need to be done. I deserve to be happy. My pain and wounds run deep. But my wanting, trying and failing at having a real relationship with my family leaves me feeling more alone. And then if I tried anymore, it would just bring out the worst in me, regardless of how evolved and self-aware I know I am. And the stress wreaks havoc on my health – which right now is too precarious to further compromise.

As I got older, I couldn’t understand why there was such a disconnect between us and why our relationships were so superficial. They have rarely shown me any willingness or ability to improve the relationship and all my past efforts to improve it, left me feeling worse. I used to sit, think, make myself sicker with anxiety and question all. Was it low emotional intelligence, poor self-esteem, bad upbringing, jealousy, or narcissistic personality … I am beginning to accept I will never fully know. I am so tired of my confusion, my grief and angst. Tired of my expectations not being met.

My heart is forever broken – I wholeheartedly thought my family was supposed to love me unconditionally and support, encourage me in good times and bad. But throughout most of my lows and highs in my life, they have not been there, they have shown very little interest in me, and sadly I don’t think they even know who I am. I know they don’t know who I am – impatient, sensitive, thoughtful, wistful, quirky, quick-tempered, brutally honest, super smart, socially awkward, brave, scared, lonely, tired, dying slow death…I know they don’t know how I feel too much, think too much and wish too much to be normal, physically healthy, and just fit in.

It’s my time again to be selfish, keep to myself. I will forever love them, but from a distance. I can no longer put myself in situations where I feel more estranged, alone. I don’t deserve it. I will continue to keep my heart open, with understanding even compassion but for myself as well. We will all have to learn how to cope with our own bitterness and regret, and continue to find the emotional strength and motivation to create positive change in our lives.

Today was hard. But it will prove to be beneficial to me in the long run, since it makes me aware of my deepest fears, wounds, and longings. I have the courage to look in the mirror and use what I see to work on my own growth … with grace in my step and hope in my heart.


Like a Winter Tree, Letting Go….

“There is a big difference between giving up and letting go. Giving up means selling yourself short. It means allowing fear and struggle to limit your opportunities and keep you stuck. Letting go means freeing yourself from something that is no longer serving you. It means removing toxic people and belief systems from your life so that you can make room for relationships and ideas that are conducive to your well being and happiness. Giving up reduces your life. Letting go expands it. Giving up is imprisoning. Letting go is liberation. Giving up is self-defeat. Letting go is self-care. So the next time you make the decision to release something or someone that is stifling your happiness and growth, and a person has the audacity to accuse you of giving up or being weak, remind yourself of the difference. Remind yourself that you don’t need anyone’s permission or approval to live your life in the way that feels right. No one has the authority to tell you who to be or how to live. No one gets to decide what your life should look like or who should be a part of it. No one, but you.”

“You don’t ever have to feel guilty about removing toxic people from your life. It doesn’t matter whether someone is a relative, romantic interest, employer, childhood friend or new acquaintance- You don’t have to make room for people who cause you pain or make you feel small. It’s one thing if a person owns up to their behavior and makes an effort to change. But if a person disregards your feelings,ignores your boundaries, and “continues” to treat you in a harmful way, they have to go.”
― Danielle Koepke

Striving for…“The greatest step towards a life of simplicity is to learn to let go.”
― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free


The past…no longer haunting….

Sometimes, some days more than others I find myself stalled, stuck in memories of the past.
As I get older, I find myself reminiscing about the past more, getting wistful, being disappointed. As I learn more about myself, more self-aware, I discover more about whom I really am and what I truly want, and then I realize that there are changes I need to make. I feel like I have matured so much the past few years, and am finally understanding and accepting the lifestyle that I have been living no longer fits. Unfortunately, some of the people I have known forever no longer see things the way I do. So I find myself trying to cherish all the great memories, but needing to move on.

Lessons learned the hard way for the most part…

One can learn from their history, but we can’t live in it. You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present. Some things just aren’t meant to be. Everything from your past does not belong in your present. To hold onto relationships and circumstances that have already moved on without you is to stay stuck in a place and time that no longer exists. Moving on doesn’t mean you completely forget the wonderful things from your past, it just means that you find a positive way of surviving without them in your present. The past never changes. You can spend hours, days, weeks, months, or even years sitting alone in a dark room, over-analyzing a situation from the past, trying to put the pieces together, and trying to justify what could have or should have happened. Or you can just leave the pieces in the dark and walk out the front door , put one foot in front of the other, breathe and keep moving forward.

Life is truly shorter than we think; so much taken for granted. While you are complaining about all the little problems in your life, somebody is desperately fighting for their right to live. You are responsible for each minute in your life. It is up to you to make the most of each day. One day, someday, suddenly, there will be no more minutes.

Playing the martyr, the victim is like holding onto pain which is just self abuse. Our past has given us the strength and wisdom we have today, so celebrate it. Don’t let it haunt you. Replaying a painful memory over and over in your head is just another form of self abuse. Toxic thoughts and people create a toxic life. Make peace with yourself and your past. Try and stop focusing on old problems and things you don’t want in your future.

I have learned that some things are just out of our control. Let the things you can’t control, happen. Moving on can create positive change. You may blame everyone else and think, “Poor me! Why do all these crappy things keep happening to me?” But the only thing those scenarios all have in common is YOU. And this is good news, because it means YOU alone have the power to change things, or change the way you think about things. There is something very powerful and liberating about surrendering to change and embracing it – this is where personal growth and evolution reside.

New opportunities are out there waiting for us all. The world keeps reinventing me…and I am embracing my life, with its myriad of opportunities. Taking ownership of me…♥


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