What do you do when your brother, sister, grandma, aunt or cousin – are unable to understand your struggle?
Are unable to fully see you in your pain and understand the reasons behind your decisions?
The reasons why you may have chosen to go no contact with your parent?
What do you do when those assumingly important people tell you, ‘but it’s your mom!’
OR ‘Come on, he/she is getting older, …you’re going to regret this!’
‘She had a rough life. Be easy on her.’
The list goes on.
What do you do with your thoughts?
How long do you keep defending yourself?
When is it time to think about cutting them off, too?
What I’ve come to understand is that people will see what they want to see.
People will feel what they want to feel.
Your family members will believe what they want to believe.
And they can only meet you, where they have met themselves.
It is with that understanding, I am able to release the control and expectation that just because we are blood-related, we have to remain involved.
That I somehow have to try harder, stay longer and put up with more.
Respect is earned.
That the people in your life earn the right to hear your stories and your truth.
And sometimes, even after that effort, they aren’t going to get it.
And there’s a difference between not being able to relate because you haven’t experienced it and diminishing and simplifying someone’s experience because it makes you uncomfortable.
I’ve had friends who knew my truth and while they couldn’t comprehend my reality, they also never questioned me.
I’ve also had friends minimize my experience and tell me I am over reacting.
I have brothers’ who I’ve lost contact with because they don’t realize what they are asking of me.
Family members who haven’t chosen this life path and don’t understand that consistently asking how my mom is doing after I’ve told them a handful of times that we are no longer communicating, is actually disrespecting me.
I’ve also had family members who tell me they know and that she did it to them and encourage me to live the life I’m pursuing.
I’ve gotten angry.
I’ve been frustrated.
I’ve felt grateful.
I’ve had to make drastic decisions.
But most importantly, I learned that I don’t have to collect my evidence and defend my memories.
I don’t have to explain why I feel and operate the way I do.
How I was and am affected by my life circumstances is my choice.
I can’t keep minimizing myself to fit other’s people comfort zones.
I can’t keep defending myself so much only to run out of energy for my own shit.
I finally decided that I was ready to move forward.
I wanted everyone in my life to grow with me.
I wanted everyone to heal (and this was including my mom, at one point) and for us all to live healthier lives.
I spent years RELENTLESSLY on this mission.
Only to consistently end up in rage, confusion and ALONE.
It was painful but I had to admit it hurt more to stay in the cycle.
To continue dancing with the narratives about me of, ‘You’re too much. You’re too intense. You have too high of expectations.’ –
I was tired of doubting myself.
I wish it were simpler but it’s not.
So I surrendered.
And it looks a lot like disconnecting from people who one would naturally just put up with.
I learned that the more I engage with people who offer excuses for my mom’s behavior or suggest that I soften up a little bit, the more I stall my own healing.
The more I actually have distant compassion as I realize that those people suggesting that, offer that same over extended lenience to people in their own lives.
And now, after doing a ton of my own work and spending a lot of time alone to finally understand what’s important to ME, — the most valuable insight I can offer when it comes to your family is that blood doesn’t matter.
Mental health matters.
And if there’s someone who consistently doubts you, questions you, criticizes you, faults you or minimizes your experience – that isn’t someone you want to be around.
Why spend so much time leaving one toxic relationship to replace it with another?
It doesn’t mean they are bad people.
What it means is simply that, that is where they are at.
That is what they allow in their lives and you do not have to agree with that.
A lot of us are first generation healers and that comes with a ton of trial and error.
The education is one thing but the implementation for what you have learned is completely a different thing.
In order to get where you have never been, you will have to do what you have never done.
That is how important your health is.
That is how important your life is.
And the more time you spend defending yourself, explaining yourself, over and over to the same people about the same situation –
The less time and energy you are going to have for other things.
The less opportunity you are going to give yourself to learn what it’s like to not live like that every day.
A healthy life doesn’t mean there won’t be any conflict but in this case it DOES mean no longer needing your family members, much less anyone, to understand you.
Sometimes dynamics need space and growth happens and you can reconnect.
And sometimes they don’t.
the only opinion that matters here on out, is yours.
I know that’s easy to say and it’s easy to read but I promise you, it gets easier to walk.
Saying no thanks to;
pleading your case for the 100th time,
repeating your standards and boundaries constantly,
reminding your family to not talk to you about certain things
or having to constantly clarify the actual truth,
Will slowly but absolutely surely, do wonders for your self worth.
let alone what it does for your energy.
I believe in you.