Update Post, Family Changes: A New Year, New Challenges

I wrote a post nearly 4 years ago, whereby I questioned the forgive and forget mantra when it comes to family.  I wrote also, that I was done allowing my family to control me.  When I read back through this post I can see that I was a mess, both in sentence structure and grammar, but also in the waves of emotion I tried to conceal.  I was forcing objectivity while hurting so badly.  It is never easy to walk away from a family that does not support you as an adult.  A woman who is trying to find her way in the world, judged from the foundation out. 
But I am very proud to report a few things.  Number one, I closed the door on a family member who emotionally abused me.  Number two, I opened the door to a family member that had been closed out of my life for years.  We offered each other forgiveness and love and are working diligently to have a real father daughter adult relationships.  And I couldn’t be more thankful that he came back into my life during this dark timeline that I am in.   
I broke free of my families hypocrisy.  And rejected the notion that I had to accept them and their words and actions, while they talk about me behind my back and judge me.  Acceptance is a two way street.  My biological dad and my renewed relationship with him is based on this principle.  We do not judge each other, simply try to understand and support.  We are no longer re hashing past events, but rather forging new memories and experiences.  He found peace, and I have found my inner voice.  I can not lament the closed minded people who share my blood.  I can only be grateful to have relationships with those who are open and genuinely love life, themselves and me. 
Finding unconditional love within a few of my family members has helped my confidence in the dating world as well.  I am more open to new partners and less jealous of the past.  It took a few years to really see the truth in who I am and who my partner is. Now that I can, well, I treat myself with the respect and pride I deserve. 

In a Utopian world, this post would be about everyone in my life forgiving and forgetting.  However, this is the real world and this post is celebratory.  I have forgiven myself and by forgetting the past on an individual that never thought I could or would, I have found peace.  Here`s to new and amazing beginnings.  Why wait until 2016 is officially over to move forward?

The Toxic, and the Closed Door

When I wrote, broken but more than a mere statistic, it helped me.  It allowed me to let go of any trace of discomfort I felt coming from a broken home and being non monogamous.  So my aim, is that by writing the following, I am able to find the same level of peace.  To finally let go of some of the dreams that haunt me when I wake up and to find a sense of release from the pain that I want to not be there.  I admitted that I came from a broken childhood, what I am going to admit now is quite a bit more recent and feels like enough time has passed that it is time to let it go.

I have not had any contact with my mom in nearly 3 years.  I chose to close the door on our relationship because quite frankly it was unhealthy and was hurting any chance of my sustaining loving relationships in the future.  I was physically hurt and mentally chastised by her since I was 17 years old, maybe longer, but admitting that would help nothing as I was a child.  I was taught that my physical appearance mattered more than who I was inside, or that education was less important than being a sensuous and manipulative partner.  I tried for years to be her voice of reason and prevent her from hurting herself or those around her.  I failed, and became a weaker person in the process.  I lost years of my life trapped in  conflict and unaware that I was caught in a web of hate and gossip.  I couldn’t break free for longer than a few weeks at a time.  I finally was able, with much support from my loved ones, to walk away.

Every  time we spoke for nearly 10 years, I had to walk on egg shells.  I could never tell if she was going to freak out, start crying, yell or hysterically laugh.  She was so unpredictable that I dreaded answering her calls, and even began having a beer in my hand prior to answering the phone.  I tried not answer her with anyone in the room because I was embarrassed that someone would overhear how we spoke to each other. 

I recall an instance when I had my wisdom teeth taken out.  My boyfriend at that time was too busy to take care of me so he pawned me off on my mom.  Things were OK day one.  She made me soup and hung out with me.  Day two, well, it was completely different.  Not only did I have my wisdom teeth out, but I had sprained my ankle 4 weeks earlier playing soccer.  So I was a bit of an invalid.  My mom and I did what had done a million times before, we played Mario Party, to pass the time.  Here we were, laughing and gaming, when all of a sudden the mood changed.  I teasingly said that if I stole her star I would win the game.  She jokingly said that wouldn’t be fair and I laughingly said, that it would be fun and we could play again after wards.  Well, I stole the star, and she went from happy to insane.  She started screaming that that was not how I was raised and that I was a horrible person.  I called my boyfriend in tears and he sped the 45 minute drive to pick me up.  I was screamed at for the entire time.  When he arrived, my mother actually called me a bitch and kicked me in the recently sprained ankle, laughed and slammed the door shut.   I was 22 years old at the time.  This story is not the worst, or the strangest but it is one that I have replayed over in my mind countless times not really knowing what to make of it.  It does show the lunacy that I dealt with, the immaturity and a brief moment of pain for me.

I had no idea how to handle the Jekyll and Hyde, personality changes of this woman, but I tried until my early 30’s.  I tried so hard.  And the result was pain, and conflict within myself.  I realized that I would never want my children around such an unpredictable woman.  And if I didn’t want my kids around her, why in the world would I want myself around her? 

The reality is that I have closed that door, for all the right reasons.  And now it is time to let the memories go.  There is no reason to hold onto all that anger.  To set free the moments that linger in my memory, the hate, the pain, the wondering why I don’t deserve to have a mother love me for who I am.

Cutting Out Toxic People: A Stupid Downside

A few years ago, I stopped having a relationship with my mom.  I have written a post about it, and although I am still unsure as to whether it is necessary to post it public or not, just writing gave me a lot of clarity on the issue.  Also, a big bonus, was that I no longer dream about her, ahhh the power of writing.  Just to summarize, in case I do not post it, she was abusive, and unwilling to continue counselling with me or work to move forward from her previous treatment of me.  So I made the decision to no longer keep the toxic person in my life, a decision that I made to ensure that I am in control of my life.  More power to be who I am, free from that detrimental blame game.  Who I am is on me, and if you have been following my last few posts, you know where I am heading with this.

Unfortunately, I was unprepared for one little side effect of not having my mother in my life.  It turns out, that people who are close to me, are interpreting me gaining control of my life and cutting out abuse, as something to fear, for their own relationships with me.  Rather than analyzing whether or not they are treating me, in the same manor of respect that I treat them, there is an underlying fear that I will just cut someone out for no reason.  Almost that a few now pussy foot around me.  I don’t know quite what to make of this.  Am I expected to bash  my mother and tell everyone the horrible things that are a part of my childhood and teenage years to gain sympathy for my choices?  Am I expected to have to justify my past decisions? Or to make promises to current relationships, that I will never close the door to them no matter what?  Is each relationship supposed to be equal in my life?  

I am at a complete and utter loss.  Making the decision to end things with my mother, was nearly a decade in the making.  We went through not talking, rules to be in the same room together, counselling, and every level of communication tactic we could think of.  In the end, I was exhausted and tired of crying.  I closed a door to gain my sanity and better control of my life.  It was a horrible experience, and one that I hope NEVER to have to repeat.  That being said, I will not tolerate abuse.  And I hope I have learned to never let a relationship get that bad again. 


But why on earth would a very dear family member, throw in my face that they are worried I will just shut them out too?  I now have to deal with something incredibly painful, with someone who really doesn’t have any fear or worry and just put me in this conundrum out of anger.  I don’t particularly want to have to justify myself to anyone but me.  I know what I have done and I have what I feel are valid reasons.  And honestly, I am happy, so who the fuck cares if I have someone in my life or not?  Being a parent does not give you the right to treat your children with abuse.  Being a child does not mean that you have to tolerate abuse just because they gave you life.  And damn anyone who wants to make me feel guilty for finally having peace, sanity and happiness.

Badge of Honor and Cone of Shame

Some learned behavioural traits you wear like a badge of honor, or in other words you carry daily and have a real sense of pride.  And at other times you feel you have been forced into wearing nothing but a cone of shame, those loathsome traits that are the Hyde to your Jekyll.  I’m discussing those traits and emotions that I was raised with and carried into adulthood.  It seems that in most situations science states that environment plays a larger role in how we develop and grow emotionally than just genetics alone.  Environment presets the filters that allow us to see the world and interact with it.  And these presets come from friends, the education system and of course family. 
I like to think in a perfect world, your family is responsible for encouraging you to show off the best traits you have.  By shaping you, with healthy and high reaching goals, in preparedness for venturing into the big world as a contributing member of society.  In my family, this was not quite the case.  In fact, looking back, stubbornness, and childish behaviour were encouraged.  It was the ironic badge of honor, that thing that confirmed we were from the same blood line.  These childish and immature emotions, passed on from one generation to the next were what bonded us together as one family unit and thus encouraged.  My parents mirrored that of their parents, and of course I am writing this because I see it in myself at times of emotional stress, or have had it pointed out to me in frustration.  I see in myself the ability to lose control of my emotions, to act out in a childish manor when I don’t get my way, or worse just being plain stubborn for the sake of being stubborn.  As I said, growing up, I had two generations who would see these traits in me, and smile, knowing that this was the way our family was.  Never putting their foot down and then tell me that this behaviour was wrong, and highly unproductive.
I commend my grandparents for figuring out later in life that this behaviour needed to stop, and to make effort to end this negative cycle. With that said it may very well be too late for their children to ever understand the affects of the negative emotions that they encouraged in their offspring.  And now here, entering my 30’s I am just starting to understand and ensure that this emotional devolution is stopped before a new generation begins.  I envision a time where children are praised and supported for being happy, inquisitive and explorative.  Rather than showering us with encouragement when we show signs of being stubborn, single minded and emotionally volatile. 

I am breaking the chain of silence and acknowledging that I know where I want to repair the damage, and continue building a better and more emotionally stable me.  I wrote this post without blame, as I am responsible for the emotions that I posses.  However knowing where they come from assists me in ensuring that negative feedback loop is not replicated.  Change and growth only occur when a person recognizes a problem and makes a conscious effort to stop the behaviour, and once stopped, learns to build new habits.  Followed then by the task of replacing the changed behaviour with new and positive emotions.  I have outgrown my cone of shame, and am replacing that with my head held up high, in full control of my emotions whether I was raised that way or not.  Let the amazing relationships build up from here.