So, after ignoring the blog for most of the year so far, I am apparently wordy today. Go me?
I read a great post earlier called When Is It Time to Walk Away and it has me feeling inspired. Because it's nice to know that someone can understand, without details, that they may not have all the information about why I've made a decision, but it can still be the right one for me.
I am so over everyone telling me that I need a relationship with my mother. I love the people who don't try to tell me that they know better than I do about what I need in my life. No one but me (and possibly Ace) knows what all happened to cause the relationship to be so unhealthy that I needed out. No one but me should decide if I was being harsh or burning a bridge or just that I need to change that decision. And the people who truly care about my happiness either know enough to know that I am happier without her in my life (and why) or to know that they don't need to know the details unless and until I share them.
I read the post out loud to Ace. Then I talked about the fact that I expect to tell our future children something about why they (and I) don't have a relationship with my mother. They'll figure out that my step-mom is not my mom at some point, based on the fact that I call her by name, if nothing else. They'll have questions, and the younger they are, the simpler the answers will be.
I doubt that I'll ever tell them everything. They don't need to know all the details, and I don't remember all of them anyway. I remember enough to know why I stopped the relationship. I remember enough to not let nostalgia for the good times convince me that the relationship would be healthy if I tried to start it back up. I remember enough of the good times that the thought of her doesn't hurt so bad. I remember enough to not want to see her, because just being in the same place is awkward and frustrating.
There are things in this life that I will fight tooth and nail for. My relationship with Ace is one of them. That is a relationship that is worth the work, and usually it doesn't feel like we are working at the relationship. My relationship with my sister is another. I'd love to be closer to her, but we've almost always had a distance separating us (the age difference, if nothing else). But I'd work and try and push to keep a relationship with her. She is worth it. And she wouldn't make me do all the work.
I don't really have a point. I can't say things better than that post did. Sometimes, it's time to protect yourself.
I stopped a toxic relationship with my mother. I survived the emotional abuse that she heaped on me (and it was emotional abuse, which can damage a person nearly as badly as physical abuse can sometimes). I know that just because there were good times, that doesn't negate the bad times. I don't life my life based on the things she said. I don't blame that past on my current situation. I understand that emotional abuse is still abuse, and that I deserve better. I know that some people will never understand, and I don't let them make my decisions for me.
If you have never walked in my shoes, lived my life, you can't know what has caused me to make my decisions. Maybe I am not as strong as some people. But there are people who would be amazed at what I have survived. We all have something we are struggling with. Sometimes, it's time to stop struggling and let it go.
If you ever need to tell someone something without them judging you for making a decision, I hope that I can help. I care and I'd be happy to listen/read. I understand loving someone who hurts you. And I understand letting someone go because the hurt is too much. I know that I can never fully understand your life, just as you can never fully understand mine. But I'm here. And I care.