Thursday, February 11, 2010

White Flag

That's it. I'm done. Putting up the white flag. Throwing in the towel.

I give up.

After spending the last 15 years of my life trying desperately to connect with my family, to build relationship, to feel loved and accepted, I have finally realized something -

It's not going to happen.

No matter how hard I try. No matter what I do. No matter how badly I want it.

It's simply not going to happen. Ever.

We will never be the family that enjoys closeness and sharing and understanding. We will never be the family that picks each other up when we fall and encourages each other to follow our dreams.

Our entire household was always built on guilt and shame and making others feel so bad that they did what you wanted, or at least quit fighting for what they wanted.

I can't do it anymore. I just can't. It's too exhausting. It's too painful.

It's emotionally unhealthy for me to keep trying. It really is. Being around my family makes me crazy. Seriously insane. And I hate it. It is a toxic relationship, and one that I have to get out of before I go down with the ship.

I love my parents. I love my sisters. Very much. But we have never had a bond or a closeness that families have. We have never been able to depend on one another. We've never been able to help each other pursue our dreams. Our relationships are based on conditional love and guilting others into giving them what they want. It's about constant rememberances of past failures and future grievances. It's about making the other person feel bad enough that they give in or give up.

Yet, I still feel guilty for walking away. The same guilt and shame that has been instilled in me since I was a young child is still there. I feel like I'm abandoning them. Not to mention that I'm terrified of being alone. Without my family I am - alone.

But that HAS to be better than living in a world where nothing I do will ever be good enough. It has to be an improvement over being constantly judged by people who are impossible to please. To feel like a failure because you can't live up to some unnamed expectations from the people who are supposed to love you unconditionally. I assure you, the love is very conditional. I just haven't for the life of me been able to figure out what the conditions are. God knows I've tried.

So it's time to let go. It's time to stop being party to this insanity. It's time to say "Enough is enough".

I'm not talking about a family who simply can't get along from time to time. I'm talking about a family with serious deep seeded issues that have destroyed us as individuals as well as a unit - but that we managed to hide so well that often we could even convince ourselves of the lies.

I just can't do it anymore. I will never be healthy or sane while trying to live this way.

So, I quit.

They win.

I am walking away. Alone. On a journey to a life free of the guilt and shame and judgement I know so well.

I know there is more to life than this. And I hope someday, they will too.


  1. You aren't alone you will always have me! Even when you don't see me I will be there! And you have God! You may have a hard time seeing faith in trying times bu this is God giving you an opportunity! Not sure what fir but find it, take it, and run! I love you and always will! You are an amazing woman, and mother!

  2. Don't know what the drama is about this time but I do know that making a statement like this is healthier than you might be recognizing. It is not them winning or you quitting. It is simply what it is. Don't let either of the other ideas add to the baggage. And, you are not alone, either in kind or spirit. There are people who love you unconditionally. That does not mean they will alway like your choices or agree with decisions but does not diminish their feelings. If it does, then it was not really love to start with and you are both better off moving forward. In kind, I say - "There is not a family in existence that is not dysfunctional. Some families simply embrace their disfunction while others try and hide it." For mine, some of both, but the worst is the side that tries to bury it. For yours, it was hiding it all the way, buried deep. Do what you have to do but do not have regrets. It is okay to mourn the loss of someone but do not focus your energy on mourning what never was. Learn from your past and move forward with your own mistakes. I told Kym - "There are plenty of mistakes to be made in this world. Take the ones I made and learn from them but do not repeat them. Make your own." Hope she - and you - do that. Take the good parts of your childhood and teen years and pass those along to your boys. Determine that the bad parts you will try not to repeat. You won't always succeed because we each are products of our upbringing and, try as we might, that influences us good and bad. But, accept that too, and do your best - for you and them. I believe your family does love you in the only way they know how - some people just are not capable of the kind of love other people need to thrive. Don't hold it against them - just accept it for the limitations it has and find a way to make that be enough. Believe me - I am still learning how to be a parent so maybe they are, too. It does not stop when the kids turn 18, or 21, or even move out. Sometimes it even gets harder. Knowing I made mistakes that I did not see until sometimes years later and hoping that Kym sees it for what it was - me making the best choices I could for her at the time, with the knowledge, resources, information, whatever I had at the time. I even feel like I failed you when I probably had an opportunity to speak out but did not know how to approach things. For that, I apologize to you. You can move on from the past and be a better person and mom for it. Making a definitive decision to do so is the first step and now you have posted it for the world to see so there is accountability for doing it. One foot in front of the other, one step at a time and allow God to lead.

  3. That sucks, but i totally see how you are doing the right thing. It's impossible to be happy trying to please people that can't be pleased. Praying for your peace as you walk away & that maybe one day in the future the deep seated issues can be healed & the family restored.

  4. YESSIREE~! AGAIN - We are twin-like here :-) Gotta love disfunctional families!!!