F is for Family of Origin #AtoZchallenge

F.jpgDear Family,

It’s hard to write a love letter to you given how dysfunctional you have been. Am I really related to you by blood? I never felt I belonged with you.

I grew up to call you confusing names. Deep down I knew my grandparents weren’t my parents, my mum wasn’t my sister and my uncles weren’t my brothers. I said the words, but they felt off somehow. Until I figured out the truth, it didn’t sit right. No one spoke about it to me openly, of course. I had to work it out on my own.

I felt so alone amongst you. An oddball. Didn’t know what to make of it. I wondered whether I took after my dad’s side of the family. Since I’ve never met him, I could only guess. But from the snippets of your conversations, it sounded like I didn’t belong with them either.

Sometimes, I wondered whether there was something wrong with me. My dreams and aspirations seemed to be out of your world. Your priority was to keep me small and safe. I wanted to grow big and fast. I thought if I grew up and ran away far enough, you couldn’t stop me from growing.

Sadly, when I left, I took you all with me. I’ve been carrying you and your notions of life and love for a long time.

I’m letting go of those old ways now. They haven’t served me. I found a new world where I’m much happier. I’m letting go of you too. Surely, it’s not nice for you to be dragged around either. I thought if I let go, it means abandoning and betraying you. Actually, sometimes letting go is the most loving and compassionate thing one could do.

I still love you, and always will. Thank you for giving me my life. Thank you for caring for me the best you knew how to.

With much love, G xx 

Thank you for reading. This post is a part of the April A to Z Blogging Challenge. My theme is ‘love letters’. And while you are here, let’s connect on Facebook and Twitter too.

 

 

49 thoughts on “F is for Family of Origin #AtoZchallenge

  1. “Actually, sometimes letting go is the most loving and compassionate thing one could do.”

    Resonated. It takes a lion-heart to be able to do that, though. Rare that level of courage and compassion.

    Bitter sweet nuanced love-letter.

    Best wishes,
    Nilanjana
    Madly-in-Verse

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is bitter-sweet, and it is a hard thing to do. But holding on to what we’ve outgrown doesn’t serve anyone. I feel I’m not only setting myself free, but freeing them too to be who they are. Thank you for visiting.

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  2. What a powerful letter. What a courageous letter writer. So many of us feel we are the odd one out. For you, those feelings were justified. I’m pleased to see how much you have grown despite your dysfunctional family beginnings..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your kind words, Norah. I’ve tried very hard to fit in without much success. I felt guilty accusing myself of arrogance towards them. They are who they are and I’ll always love them. But my path is somewhat different and it feels a huge relief to embrace this reality at long last.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I can identify with those feelings. It is difficult when you don’t fit in, always figuring it must be your fault, that you’ve caused it in some way. But that is not always the truth and you find that you must stand apart to be true to yourself. Congratulations on seeking and finding your own solid ground.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you Gulara – very much. It’s so affirming to have your words said when I find it hard to articulate them apropos me myself and my family dysfunctions…
    There does come a time to let go – ‘Actually, sometimes letting go is the most loving and compassionate thing one could do’. Maybe it is all one can do for one’s own self as well … Thank you again, from the bottom of my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have met very few people in this world as brave as you. Most of us try to cover up and present a more palatable picture to ourselves and the world. “Actually, sometimes letting go is the most loving and compassionate thing one could do.” – I am turning this line over and over again in my head.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh Gulara, I can SO relate to your family love letter. I didn’t have the same dysfunction as you, but there definitely WAS dysfunction in my family. My parents really became angry when my therapist told me that family isn’t necessarily those related by blood. Family is people who support you and have the same interests, who you enjoy being around. I too have had to ‘let go’ of my family… it does feel good!! Boy, REALLY BIG HUGS to you!!! Keep changing and letting go! You deserve to be happy… MORE HUGS!

    Liked by 2 people

    • What a beautiful practice to channel the pain into a poem. It must be powerful, because our emotions can carry a strong charge. Thanks for visiting. Good luck with the challenge!

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  6. Families are the oddest group of people, I think. Your family was particularly dysfunctional and your love letter is very moving. You write a sentence that resonates with some of my own familial experiences: “sometimes letting go is the most loving and compassionate thing one could do.”
    I fully agree with you.
    Again, this love letter theme for the A to Z challenge is an excellent idea. Best to you, as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for that letter and the kindness and love it included. Even at the age of 56 I continue finding beliefs, attitudes and behavioural patterns I developed growing up in an unhappy and dyfunctional family. I am still close to my family,. They themselves grew into the people they are through being brought up in dysfunctional families. I love them and have learned to appreciate them as they are. I was lucky because I was able to see and understand which patterns led to the problems we have had for generations and I was able to chose to start a healing process. Sometimes I feel sad when I see how their lives developed and what unhappiness they have had to deal with. Discovering “old patterns” in my life I see as a chance to develop as a person and I am grateful for these chances. I wish you all the best for your healing process.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your comment. I could repeat your comment verbatim. I’ve been on a healing journey for the last decade and finally seeing my family’s patterns for what they are. It helps me to be more compassionate towards them. I too feel sad to witness their predicament. And sometimes, I feel I’m doing healing for all of us. It may not dramatically improve their reality, but every little helps. Many blessings.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Dear Gulara,
    This is getting creepy in a good way 😉 I met my birth-father twice at the funerals of my grandparents, who died after I just found them. I started to look for them, since I felt the need to explore my roots. Unfortunately my father isn’t a pleasant person. Somehow I feel lucky my mother divorced him, and she did that twice, so I’ve got two great fathers which replace my ‘real’ one.
    After 43 years I finally cut of the connection with my mother. We always have had a hate-love relationship and it got worse since I started to express my own opinions and more importantly my own feelings. We just don’t connect and it’s hard to let get go of your mummy. I will always love my mother, but I just can’t live with her anymore.
    And isn’t the feeling about letting go and setting your self free so double? Feeling free and without the emotional conflicting pain, but still in pain because it hurts at the same time. In my case because my mother can’t except me for who I am.
    As I just responded in a reply of you at my blog; yes it’s great to find similar minded people via internet. And – if you want or not, ha ha – I included you in my blog ‘family’. Kind regards, Patty

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing so generously, Patty, we have so much in common. Amazing. And although parts of your story make me sad (because I resonate so strongly), I’m glad you are getting freer and learning to let go. Here are some snippets of my relationship with my mum. It might be a difficult read, so feel free not to follow the link, but I’m moved to share because I understand that conflicting pain you mentioned in your comment. https://gularavincent.com/2016/01/19/dear-mum/

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      • I read your story about your relationship with your mother. I’m so sorry for you, because I can feel your pain.
        After a -what feels like- lifetime of emotional blackmail, I finally decided to cut the ‘cord’ between my mother and me. Unfortunately my (half-) brother has become like her and just this weekend I made the hard decision to cut him off also. The idea of another few decades with the same emotional games…I just can’t do it anymore. But yes, it hurts.
        Even more, since I will always, always, love them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s it, isn’t it Patty – we hurt and we love them. I am so sorry you are having a hard time, but sometimes we have to do what we have to do to look after ourselves. Many blessings to you!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I wonder how many people really feel they fit in? And how many people would benefit from the ralisastion that letting go is better for all than hanging on? Even with someone I loved, my father, I had to let go, distance myself, to be me, to rallied I needed to do things for me and not in a facile effort to please and be wel thought of. The good thing is two years or so after we reattached but in a far healthier away. We were now adult equals, friends at last and that went right up to and beyond his death. It didnt seem compassionate at the time I prised my fingers free but you’re so right in that it was the best action in the long run.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Can I just say how much I love your comments, Geoff. You share so generously and I love getting to know you better. It’s amazing how taking space to find our own centre can help healing relationships. Thank you for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I wonder how hard writing all these heartfelt letters must be, and yet how liberating at the same time.
    I can’t relate to your story but I know the benefits of letting go. Either way, I like when your letters come up in my inbox. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. “Sadly, when I left, I took you all with me.” Doesn’t everyone do that to a certain extent? It’s natural, even if it’s not good for us. I’m so glad you’ve learned to let go… ❤ This really hit me: "sometimes letting go is the most loving and compassionate thing one could do." #truth

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Once again, although our stories are different, I relate to feeling like the odd one out in my family of origin. Like you, I could see there was a broader world out there and I wanted to be part of it.
    I know, too, about the ways of thinking about life and love that we absorb from our families. It’s so hard to cast these sometimes very dysfunctional ways of thinking adrift, even when they’re not serving us well. We can’t beat ourselves up too much for that, though—we learnt these lessons from the minute we were born.
    Sometimes, too, I think we want to bring our families with us not only because we want a family, but also for them, too. We want them to have the enjoyable experiences we’re having—a freer, bigger life. The thing is, as you say, they don’t want to come on the journey with us, and we drive ourselves silly trying to force them, and by not giving up hope they’ll come. The thing is, although we can imagine a much happier life for them, they don’t want to travel with us and prefer to stay where they are.
    Best of luck with this challenge. I’m really enjoying catching up on all your posts! x

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s so true, Louise. I think I often resented my family because I made so much effort to drag them out of that darkness. But in the end, it’s a free will. I can’t force a change on them. And I can’t bear dragging them around either. Feels like an important decision to let go. Thank you so much for catching up on my posts. I’m sorry I haven’t visited in a while. Just barely keeping up – life is intense. We take turns to get unwell, I’m back to work, etc. Hopefully, things will settle down in a week or two.x

      Liked by 1 person

      • I completely understand the need to rationalise your time, especially when you’re busy and/or sick. Please don’t ever feel bad on my account, and if ever you’re thinking, ‘Should I visit Louise’s blog or spend ten minutes with my family?’, spend it with your family! 🙂 xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for your sound advice, Louise. It’s not one or the other though. In some ways visiting your blog is like visiting a family, plus I’m a better person after I read your posts. So, my family benefits indirectly 🙂 Thank you very much for being so understanding. Have a lovely w/e.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: April’s Reads | Cammies On The Floor

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