If I’m dead to my family…

I realized this morning that if I am dead to my ENTIRE family, then it was time I moved on. I know this will take time and small steps. It will be 3 years soon since I have heard from them and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt I never will again. So the only one suffering here is me so I need to let them go.

The only way I know how to do that is a burning ceremony. So I burned my baby book, my childhood records, my “I am a twin” because I am NOT a twin. I am wife. I am a mother. But I am not a daughter or a sister or a cousin or a twin.

The book had to go.

After that I went out to the prairie and watched the sunset, listened to the birds, and lived right in this moment of just me being me.

56 thoughts on “If I’m dead to my family…

  1. You are amazing, Bethany. You are super smart, incredibly artistic, deeply insightful, caring and empathetic, strong and determined. Your posts and your pictures inspire me on a daily basis.

    I know it hurts like hell having a “family” who cares more about appearances, more about social standing, more about things, than about their own flesh and blood. I know it hurts like hell, because my narcissistic, selfish, scapegoating, gaslighting, projecting family is exactly like that. We are born with a yearning deep inside to connect with our people. When they shun us, for whatever reason, it feels like you’re be killed. I call it “soul murder.”

    But how awesome it is that you have your own loving family now. You also have your blogger friends. And you have your awesome self. You don’t need those losers. And they are losers, because ultimately it is their loss.

    Aren’t you glad you aren’t one of THEM? I know I am!

    Liked by 4 people

    • You summed up my life!!! Better than i could!
      I AM glad i am not one of them!!!!
      Soul murder what it felt like at first but now it seems double edged and possibly soul liberating.
      Thank you for always being there for me

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you for the link, TS. I just read the article. Excellent description.

        I’m sorry your mother did that to you. Every child needs, and deserves, love, empathy, and affirmation, especially from his or her parents. Being truly loved is as necessary for a child’s development and survival, as air to breathe, water to drink, and food to eat.

        I have survived some extreme traumas. Some unbelievably extreme. But the most hurtful and damaging trauma, in my experience, is the trauma of not being loved by my own family of origin, especially my parents, and most especially my mom.

        My dad was diagnosed with schizophrenia when I was twelve, then a couple of years later his diagnosis was changed to multiple personality disorder, which I believe was the correct diagnosis. One of his several personalities was terrifyingly evil. He once stopped the car on the Oakland Bay Bridge and carried me over to the rail — I was a toddler then — chanting that he was going to throw me off. I can still see the small boat bouncing in the waves so far below, and feel the cold steel of the railing against the back of my bare legs, as he almost – almost – almost did it, before changing his mind. And all the cars and trucks zooming by, and no one stopped.

        Another time, my dad came so close to murdering my mom, that I thought she was dead. He was arrested, then hospitalized — that’s when his initial diagnosis of schizophrenia happened — and then, a few months later, my mother tried to gas us all to death. I was 12 when this happened. December is when it happened. Yeah, the holidays are hard for me.

        With parents this crazy, believe me, they weren’t like the Brady bunch the rest of the time. Many, countless other traumas and abuses happened.

        But — the worst trauma in my life by far is the trauma of not being loved by my crazy parents. Being scapegoated, gaslighted, lied about, ridiculed, rejected, rejected, rejected, over and over again. This has left the biggest scars on my heart and has done the most damage to my soul.

        But I am extremely fortunate. Like Bethany, I now have my own small family that loves me. I have also had a lot of good therapy in recent years, the most effective of which is neurofeedback. I am happier and healthier today, at the ripe old age of 64, than I have ever been in my life, and I am very grateful! My PTSD was at its worst when I was in my teens — before PTSD was even an official psychiatric diagnosis — and again in my forties, when I went through my last divorce. I don’t know how I survived all that pain! I almost didn’t survive. But I am so thankful that I did, because today my life is GOOD.


  2. Ashes to ashes, now the Phoenix may rise πŸ’“. Like some of the others have said (and you as well), this made me sad. And yet, happy at the same time. It feels like tears, but with the faint beginnings of a slight smile, one that I hope will grow with time, as you get used to your wings. I think that you may have been pre-grieving before, a 3-year stint in limbo, and now the grieving process can begin in earnest. With any luck, time will heal. At least, it will help you get used to the horrible treatment you endured from those people. I see the fire as symbolic, of permanent transformation; while it can’t be undone, maybe it’s better left that way. I believe you chose a path of letting go and healing. Those journeys have usually been painful, in my experience. But they lead to greater freedom and lighter spirit weight. I believe it’s better to do this than to hang onto their dead weight. They only hold you back; they don’t help you grow or appreciate the beautiful soul that you are. Walk with your head held high, girl. I think you took a very important step today. I’m sorry that it hurts, and that it has even had to come to this (because of what they did and failed to do), and hopefully it won’t hurt too much or for too long. We’ve got your back πŸ˜ŠπŸ’—πŸ’—

    Liked by 5 people

    • I’ve been stuck in the anger phase for a long time. It is time to move past that into acceptance. I HAVE been in limbo you nailed it!
      Yes, permanent and best left that way. I needed closure so I created it.
      I was stagnated with them in my growth as a human being. I am glad to be free of them but mourn what I wish were but will never be.
      Lots of love to you for having my back!

      Liked by 3 people

      • You rock, girl 😘. I hear you, so much. Anger is so natural, so powerful (as opposed to cowering in fear), and yet it can be so damaging to us πŸ’ž. I’m so happy that you’re going through the process of letting go, and I think the burning was so perfect. Burning is a very powerful and serious concept, perfect for situations like these! πŸ’ͺ. Your word “stagnated” is spot-on, as in, I know that feeling! So is the concept of mourning that which you wish were reality, but the acceptance that it isn’t (because acceptance doesn’t mean they’ve won; you’re going to have the last laugh here, I think! It just means that you’re not letting them hold you back anymore. It’s a seizing a position of strength that is rightfully yours and they had stolen it by withholding it from you. It takes some force to seize it back for yourself). Better to accept than to fight, because with people like that, it’s fruitless; you deserve to have your energy for yourself, not for them to siphon it away from you. You go, girl! Lots of love to you, too! πŸ’–πŸ’–


      • I was so weak for so long and depressed that when the anger came at the realization of the magnitude of them and all they did and did not do and it has waxed and waned. But it is unhealthy for me to stay there so I need to move forward and away from their negativity.
        I need every ounce of energy I’ve got left. I’m so over allowing others to drain it out of me and explaining myself. I surround myself with people like you now that lift me up and clarify and validate!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. So sad…so glad. I can almost see little faces peeking out of he dark spot in the clouds. You have the spirit to carry it through, although I have trouble imagining any family that does not treasure you. But so be it..


  4. This is sad yet liberating at the same time. I know others have said this, but still wanted to comment because it was the first thing I felt. I’m sorry, but at the same time, I’m happy for you too. (Pain free) Hugs my friend.


      • You are very welcome dear. I can feel that this could have not been easy, but is life ever. I’m not saying that to disregard of what you had to do but because it’s never easy to execute the things that ultimately make our burdens lighter.
        I did nominated you for an award to be published tomorrow, but there is no need to participate if you don’t want. I understand if this is not your thing, but felt more people need to hear your message and you are here because you have a voice that needs to be heard and acknowledged. Much love and strengths to you. Hugs


  5. Here’s to freedom from the social conditioning that obliges us to stay in unhealthy family relationships. Walking peacefully away is often the better remedy for self preservation. Your past may be part of you but you are so much bigger than your past. I felt sad reading your post too, because you deserve so much more consideration and support than your family can give you. Sometimes it is hard to acknowledge that it will never be the way we want things to be. I wholly understand the family thing, Bethany. I no longer chose to live my life conforming to other people’s expectations, especially when they are abusive, and their expectations are self serving. Letting go of people we love is hard. Staying in unhealthy family relationships is worse. Loving yourself enough to have the fortitude to move peacefully on while letting other’s go takes courage. Doing it because you love yourself enough to know that it is the most beneficial thing to do for self preservation is demonstrating that you love yourself. May the healing of your wounds start in earnest. Be gentle with yourself. Grief needs time, and gentle patience. Accepting what we cannot change, letting go of expectations, accepting and loving our fragility … having more compassion for our wounds and where they have led us …. we can be better people in the long term, for all the hardships, by staying true to ourselves… that is true healing. Thinking of you. Be kind to yourself.🌻

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much. I just read some of your blog posts that i found very helpful too.
      I am learning compassion and self love and focusing on that instead of broken relationships that only harm me. It is a little more difficult than I thought but i am working on it every day

      Liked by 1 person

      • I feel you are doing remarkably well. You are incredibly strong… it takes enormous courage to help oneself move on when there is no support from family. Look at how much you have had to overcome. You are always trying to create Peace and happiness for yourself. You are inspiring others and helping them too. It is so important for all of us to remember to be compassionate and loving towards ourselves. Go gently, Bethany. You are an inspiration to me. If my posts have helped you, then it makes writing them worthwhile. Take good care. Big hugs, from across the ocean xxxx


    • It had deep meaning and allowed me to do what I needed to do to keep moving forward. I know that that past residue will pop up but i wanted to do something significant to mark a milestone of a decision. I wish you the best

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Your “family” is much much MUCH bigger than you think! Google “Math Class: Who are you?” and you’ll see what I mean. Life began 4.75 billion years ago! We are all part of that ever-widening, ever-branching tree. We share 90% of our genes with horses and 40% even with crayfish! These creatures, large and small, are all our cousins. We’re all family. Anyway, I think you’ll like the blog post referenced above. You might also like this three part series on “Family Matters” – https://petersironwood.wordpress.com/2017/04/30/family-matters-part-one/


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