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wildgeese
04-08-2012, 08:29 AM
moved from Great Big Sea to Relationships


I have had an interesting week. Which starts tenyears ago...
tenyears ago my sister went through a horrid divorce. I was there for her twentyfour/seven She would even phone at threeam if she needed to. Then she met a new guy and i was dropped like a stone. I didn't here from her at all. Phone calls were never returned, emails not replied to. In twothousand andten when i went off sick with depression and anorexia i (stupidly) emailed her explaining where i was at. I had a nasty email back. I sent another nice email and never got a reply. On Monday i got an email from her saying "Hi, I've been tardy with emails. We're having a party for mum and dad in August, wowe'd like you to come".
As i've not seen my parents for twentyfour years (they threw me out for going to church) and have no desire to see my brother, there is no way i'm going. So I sent her an email back saying "As we've not had contact for two years it doesn't feel appropriate to attend, but thank you for the invite." her reply was "let those without sin cast the first stone".
So her email address is in my spam filter. I've been working at the ED unit with the idea of having no contact with my family - they've made me realise how bad my childhood was (it's weird seeing it through someone else's eyes). They've also made me realise how i continually seek approval from my family and how i'm never going to get it and how damaging that is to me. Years ago i'd be in knots over the exchange with my sister, however i feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off of my shoulders and i feel so liberated. I have the odd email from my parents telling what is going on in their garden and i find the emails really hard. So i decided to tell them i don't want any emails or contact from them. They replied and told me about the garden and didn't say anything about what i'd written. This sums up perfectly how my family don't listen to me. So they are now also in the spam filter :-) Ray is going to answer any phone calls and open any letters.
I went out with work on Thursday night and actually ate :-) It was only a wrap and i didn't finish it, but it was a start. It was so fun to go out with friends for the first time.
I feel so alive; i feel like the weight of the world has come off of my shoulders. It's amazing.

ducksquack
04-08-2012, 10:44 AM
Its sad and tragic when we have family who cant give us what
we need and deserve and are actually toxic to us.

I am happy to hear that you have done what you did so that
you can find freedom and acceptance.

I have removed certain people from my life and altho it was
difficult and painful I had to do it. Positive and caring people
are who I share my life with.

god bless.

wildgeese
04-08-2012, 10:51 AM
Thanks for your post. yes there is a sadness to this week, but also something life affirming. It's a monumental moment in my recovery. I can't wait to see my treatment team and tell them all about it. My husband Ray is over the moon at my decision - he's seen the pain my family have caused me. The famous psychiatrist, R.D. Lang talks of how in a sick family one person takes on the role of the sick person in an attempt to heal the family. I am no longer willing to be the sick person.

Rothie
04-08-2012, 09:23 PM
Good for you wildgeese! I made the same decision over seventeen years ago and while there have been times were it has been so hard to keep the decision, it was the right thing for me to do. I am glad you are feeling the benefits of your decision and have support to deal with it. I could not have done it without my late husbnd's support either. Good for you for taking care of your needs and making the steps to get yourself in a healthier place emotionally.

wildgeese
04-09-2012, 04:18 AM
Thank you. I can't believe it's taken me so long, but so glad i finally did it. Well done you too!
A friend sent me this:

Letting Go of Shitty Relationships
Posted: ******** Apr **************** ********:******** AM PDT
Written by Joshua Fields Millburn | Follow on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+


Some relationships are incredibly pernicious. We often develop relationships out of convenience, without considering the traits necessary to build a successful bond with another person&#****************;important traits like unwavering support and shared trust and loving encouragement.

When a relationship is birthed out of convenience or proximity or chemistry alone, it is bound to fail. We need more than a person&#****************;s physical presence to maintain a meaningful connection, but we routinely keep people around because &#****************; well, simply because they&#****************;re already around.

It&#****************;s easy to develop a connection with a coworker or a schoolmate or someone who&#****************;s always there&#****************;even when they&#****************;re not adding any real value to our lives. And it&#****************;s even easier to stay in those relationships. That&#****************;s because old relationships are convenient, and starting new relationships is difficult&#****************;it requires work. But so does anything worth holding on to.

We&#****************;ve all held on to someone who didn&#****************;t deserve to be there before. And most of us still have someone in our lives who continually drains us: Someone who doesn&#****************;t add value. Someone who isn&#****************;t supportive. Someone who takes and takes and takes without giving back to the relationship. Someone who contributes very little and prevents us from growing. Someone who constantly plays the victim.

But victims become victimizers. And these people are dangerous. They keep us from feeling fulfilled. They keep us from living meaningful lives. Over time, these negative relationships become part of our identity&#****************;they define us, they become who we are.

Fortunately, this needn&#****************;t be the case. Several actions can been taken to rid ourselves of negative relationships.

First, you can attempt to fix the relationship. This is obviously the preferable solution (albeit not always possible or worthwhile). People change over time, and so do relationships. You can change how your relationship works&#****************;be it marriage, friendship, or family&#****************;without completely ditching the relationship.

Sit down with the person who&#****************;s draining the vitality from your life and explain to them what must change in order for your relationship to work. Explain that you need them to be more supportive, that you need them to participate in your growth, that they are important to you, but the relationship in its current state does not make you happy. Explain that you&#****************;re not attempting to change them as a person; you simply want to change how your relationship works.

Finally, ask them what they&#****************;d like to change about the relationship. Ask them how you can add more value. Listen attentively, act accordingly.

Or, if you&#****************;re unable to change the relationship, you can end it altogether. This is incredibly difficult, but it applies to any relationship: family, friends, lovers, coworkers, acquaintances. If someone is doing nothing but draining your life, it&#****************;s perfectly acceptable to tell them &#****************;This relationship is no longer right for me, so I must end it&#****************;I must move on.&#****************;

It&#****************;s OK to move on. You owe it to yourself to move on. You owe it to yourself to be happy with the relationships you have. You are in control.

Moving on is sometimes the only way to develop new, empowering relationships. Starting anew, empty-handed and full-hearted, you can build fresher, stronger, more supportive relationships&#****************;important relationships that allow you to have fun and be happy and contribute beyond yourself. These are the meaningful relationships we all need.

It&#****************;s also important to do your part. You too must add value to the relationship. Not by buying gifts or commoditizing your love, but by showing up every day and rigorously exhibiting how much you care, demonstrating your love through consistent actions, continually going out of your way to help the other person grow.

You see, both people must do their part to grow the relationship. Only then will both of you be satisfied with the relationship you&#****************;ve built.

&#****************;

There&#****************;s an entire chapter in our new book, Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life, dedicated to exploring your relationships in a meaningful way, including a discussion on how relationships change over time and a section about how you can re-prioritize your relationships so they add value to your life.

For free essays from The Minimalists, subscribe via email or RSS.

Please share this essay with others if you found value in it:

wildgeese
04-09-2012, 04:20 AM
well that copy and paste didn't work so well. you can read it here http://www.theminimalists.com/ :-)