Guest Op-ed

Your Voice | Letting Go | Guest Op-ed #3

Guest Writer: Anonymous

It’s ok to let go of things and people that causes us pain and distress. Letting go allows for our healing. I understand that letting go in itself can be painful, but it is necessary so we can reach our purpose. Holding on to pain, trauma and people can and will hinder our growth. Trying to stay in a bad relationship, or staying in contact with that toxic family member who constantly puts you down and makes you feel worthless, or says things to hurt you will destroy you. Yes, it is OK to cut family off. Toxic is toxic and being related doesn’t mean you have to put up with it. You don’t have to stay in a bad relationship because you’re afraid to start over or because you’ve been together for years. Letting go can make room for greater things. Letting go clears away what no longer serves us so we can welcome things that will.

I am no stranger to walking away from family. I stopped begging for my mother’s love after 35 years of begging for it. I forgive my mother for everything she put me through and I know God gave me the strength to deal with all that I went through in my life with not only her, but everyone. It was toxic on both my mother’s and father’s side. I did not grow up knowing what love was. I was never lifted up as a child, but made to feel like I was a bother. I was constantly compared to everyone else around me like cousins or classmates by not only by my mom, but my grandmother as well. It damaged me in a lot of ways as an adult. I knew I needed to heal from it but I found it difficult, because the constant berating never stopped. I was still being compared to cousins and everyone else in my age group who seemingly were so much better than me.

When I was about 35, my mother stopped speaking to me for a small falling out. She was the master of the silent treatment. She used to give me the silent treatment as a kid, and it didn’t stop as an adult and because we didn’t live in the same house anymore, it went on for years instead of weeks. Out of the 23 years of my adult life, we only had about a good 5 years where we were in contact. It hurt me to know she was OK not speaking to me, but I got used to it and learned to be alright without her or anyone for that matter. The last time she decided to stop speaking to me, I decided that I would stop reaching out to her. When I called her she would tell her husband to tell me she wasn’t home when she really was. Every time I reached out and she rejected me, it was like a punch to my stomach which ripped open wounds that were trying to heal. I was getting too old, and knew it was time for me to start healing so I stopped calling. I saw her at my uncle’s funeral and decided to not speak to her. I knew she would reject me in front of everyone, and embarrass me. I was trying to protect myself. It would be the last time I ever saw her again, since she died a year later.

A part of me regrets not talking to her, but another part is happy I stuck to my guns. I took the first step to healing by removing myself from a situation that was no good for me. She was my mother but she was hurting me. It hurt to not try anymore. It hurt to give up on her, but I needed to. Although we weren’t speaking for years before her death, she still sabotaged my healing. Every birthday that passed that I didn’t get a call, or every time I achieved something and didn’t get a congratulations would set me back just a little. It hurt, and it hurt bad. It may sound cold to say, but I really started to heal when she died. I always knew that it would take her death for me to really start to heal. She liked hurting me and the only way she wouldn’t do it would be if she was dead. I sometimes prayed for it, and it happened.

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