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re: How do you let go of what hurts?

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Dear Debster1822:


 "Letting go" is one of life's biggest challenges. How do you "let go" of the blindsiding unprovoked pain/hurt inflicted by those we assume we could trust? Or how do you "let go" ot the need to be needed? Or how do you "let go" of the fantasy that if you're there for others they will reciprocate? But specifically, we don't "choose" the family we're born into, but we can choose the family we need that can and will affirm and celebrate us. That may mean finding the courage to severe the umbilical chord that keeps us linked to family members who only know to take and rarely give ()that includes parents and siblings).


I am a firstborn (oldest of five) so I'm used to being the counselor- mediator- fixer-upper- problem solver-ever cool headed sibling-son-friend. I even majored in Psychology for crying out loud!  At one point in my life I realized I was following a script I had no part in writing. So I learned to draw lines in the sand and establish boundaries with everyone. While I'm there to support when I can (I do love my family), I don't allow anyone to corner me into not living my life in order to help them live theirs.


My sanity and equilibrium have been saved thanks ironically to the trials, storms and losses God allowed into my life. They were all perfectly orchestrated to encourage me to "let go."  No, it wasn't easy, pretty or tidy. At times I felt punished. Yet as I prayed and humbled myself before my Creator I began to understand that I needed to rely on a wisdom much higher than mine. So I can now love with a wise, yet caring "detachment."


As someone advised, continue loving yourself. It means embracing who you are quirks and all. You will then find it easier to attract those who would never expect you to put your life on hold for them.



 

"Holding a script you had no part in writing!"  Great line!  Makes you want to scream "Who wrote this @#*&%$@#*&%!!!!"   I want a re-write!" I've never seen any of your responses before, but I so enjoyed your reponse, I wanted to reply. I also studied psychology, mainly to try and help myself heal myself.


I also studied acting and the interesting thing about lines is, you can take a line and read it differently and have a totally 180 degree affect!!  I loved doing that during rehearals. Then I started doing it in life.  I would pause, wait for it, knowing what I want to say and say it,  just with a different intonation. I stopped losing my temper, or at least controlled it, by coounting to 5 taking a breath and delivering the angry words with love instead. I made it an acting exercise.  It was quite an experiment.  Sometimes I would have to say, "Hmm, let me think that and get back to you." I would pretend it was all business. Anyway enjoyed your post.  Look forward to hearing more from youwww.aarp.org/community/editor/fckeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/regular_smile.gif" />!

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re: How do you let go of what hurts?

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Message 2 of 17
In Response to How do you let go of what hurts?:

  As much as I try  I fall into the same trap of wanting to be a part of the family.  I think I go over board by trying to be the go to person for everyone.  However, I am always measured so with one slip of imperfection I am ostricized which is so devastanting for me.  I tried therapy and was told I am a resource and when I am not needed I am let go.  I paid for the realization yet I do not think I accepted it to be the truth.  I know deep in my heart that it is the truth but how do you accept that as a fact when it entails your family. 


How do I protect my heart.  Usually I shut down and like a turtle I disappear into the shell only to stick my head out when I think I can be useful.  I try disecting myself to come up with a rational reason as to why this keeps happening usually being extra hard on myself until I convince myself that "this too shall pass".  It usally does but not without leaving scars. 


I know from the amount of good - great friends that I have that I am a good person an a genuine friend to all that I come in contact.  This keeps me going.  Yet I suffer the pain often when I interact with my family.  I continue to rebound telling myself to let it go and let them go!  I think I am worth being happy and I love me and knowing this keeps me strong!

I feel your pain and lived your life. My family was always finding fault with me, my husband, my children. Every once in a while they would stop talking to me for a period of time and I would try everything to get back in their good graces. The worst part is that my mother would take sides which would always make things harder. When my father was alive he would intercede but once he died I felt really alone. The final straw came on a summer vacation. 


About seven years ago on a family vacation my youngest sister and I had a disagreement and instead of working it out she decided it would be better not to talk to me at all. We were at a resort and she was staying with me and my daughter. She went to my other sister's condo and to this day I don't know what she said to them but I got a call from my sister telling me that she would be picking up my other sisters belongings and that she would be staying with them for the rest of the vacation.  My daughter and I were left out of all the plans we had made as a group but we had a great time in Orlando on our own.


When we returned home I tried to reach my sister and resolve the problem and was told by my mother to stop harrassing my sister with unwanted email and phone calls. That was in the summer. That Christmas I was informed that no one would be coming to my house for the holidays.  Needless to say I was hurt and angry. It was not the first time that my mother took sides and I am always the one who gets left out. 


I don't know when it happened but at some point I realized that the holidays were more joyous and that my life was more peaceful without my family. At this time of year I still long for big family reunions like you see in the movies but I know that I no longer want to be with my own family. In this past year my sister has tried to contact me by mail with one of the worst letters ever. Apparently now that I am at peace with their decision to cut me out of the family they want me back, and they feel I should "get over it". 


 Life is too short to spend even one minute with people who don't appreciate you and make you feel bad. Love yourself and be thankful that you have good friends and spend your time with them. Good luck! 


 


 


 

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re: How do you let go of what hurts?

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Message 3 of 17
In Response to How do you let go of what hurts?:

  As much as I try  I fall into the same trap of wanting to be a part of the family.  I think I go over board by trying to be the go to person for everyone.  However, I am always measured so with one slip of imperfection I am ostricized which is so devastanting for me.  I tried therapy and was told I am a resource and when I am not needed I am let go.  I paid for the realization yet I do not think I accepted it to be the truth.  I know deep in my heart that it is the truth but how do you accept that as a fact when it entails your family. 


How do I protect my heart.  Usually I shut down and like a turtle I disappear into the shell only to stick my head out when I think I can be useful.  I try disecting myself to come up with a rational reason as to why this keeps happening usually being extra hard on myself until I convince myself that "this too shall pass".  It usally does but not without leaving scars. 


I know from the amount of good - great friends that I have that I am a good person an a genuine friend to all that I come in contact.  This keeps me going.  Yet I suffer the pain often when I interact with my family.  I continue to rebound telling myself to let it go and let them go!  I think I am worth being happy and I love me and knowing this keeps me strong!




Wow, what wonderful wise people
responded to your question!  All were great as well as your
own writing.  I too have been a resource for my family and
when I became the one in need of support, some of my family
disappeared, on my husbands side.  I couldn't comprehend
why, and nine years later I'm still shaking my head in dismay
with them.  We've had more love pour out from friends than
we did certain family members, lasting love and caring. 
There is no rational reasoning why some people don't love and
care unconditionally, when we do just that, for them.  We
have to remember to open the window to release those balloons
(as another wisely suggested) as often as necessary to diffuse
the pain others cause us.




 





In our case we were not
over our sons death the following Monday after our son's
funeral.  I guess we were wallowing in their eyes as they
said "get over it".  And when we couldn't bring
ourselves to cheerfully host the traditional two days of intense
family gatherings at Christmas at our house (our first without
him) they were ticked off because we broke
tradition.  Even though they had grown children of
their own they had no clue how we missed our son (we lost him to
suicide from undiagnosed depression) and how I fought to get my
life back to normal after the nightmare and
"whys".   A grief counselor saved my sanity
and I learned that the problem with the relatives were NOT
mine, but theirs.  I hope you will accept that fact as
well.  Don't let them cause you pain.  Some
people "just don't get it".   Yes, you
are a good person as is quite evident from your story. 
Embrace those who
do
support you and let yourself rejoice that you are very
worthy of their love and the love of self. 




 





Just a couple of my personal
tricks to feel peace within are:







(1)   Dip a spoonful
of peanutbutter into a can of prepared chocolate frosting!







(2)   Write Gratitude
Lists.  They can be done anywhere if you carry a tiny
tablet and pencil anywhere you go.  It works!  They
make me smile.







(3)  As another suggested,
a pet!  I have two lapdogs that cuddle on either side of me
and love me unconditionally, even right now as I write
this.  They make me smile too!




 





Peaceful thoughts for
you.  What a great question you offered us! 



















Me and Rambo having quality time.

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re: How do you let go of what hurts?

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Message 4 of 17
In Response to How do you let go of what hurts?:

  As much as I try  I fall into the same trap of wanting to be a part of the family.  I think I go over board by trying to be the go to person for everyone.  However, I am always measured so with one slip of imperfection I am ostricized which is so devastanting for me.  I tried therapy and was told I am a resource and when I am not needed I am let go.  I paid for the realization yet I do not think I accepted it to be the truth.  I know deep in my heart that it is the truth but how do you accept that as a fact when it entails your family. 


How do I protect my heart.  Usually I shut down and like a turtle I disappear into the shell only to stick my head out when I think I can be useful.  I try disecting myself to come up with a rational reason as to why this keeps happening usually being extra hard on myself until I convince myself that "this too shall pass".  It usally does but not without leaving scars. 


I know from the amount of good - great friends that I have that I am a good person an a genuine friend to all that I come in contact.  This keeps me going.  Yet I suffer the pain often when I interact with my family.  I continue to rebound telling myself to let it go and let them go!  I think I am worth being happy and I love me and knowing this keeps me strong!



OMG! Hey D, been there and done
that! The whole story... I too, lived in and worked in



Washington


,


D.C.


I just retired three years ago
and came back to live in



Guanajuato





Mexico

. I so relate to your feelings. I
just joined this forum. But the stories, the words, the experiences
that everyone shares are incredible.




How do you let go? You asked... In
my life and experiences, I let them go a thousand times. I
start by letting go one-hour-at-a-time. The memories come back, but
each time I say to myself, I won’t let it hurt me so much
this time. I give myself permission to analyze the reason why it
hurts so much. After I analyze it to death, i try to burry it
but instead, I let it go again like a helium balloon. Each time
it comes back I choose to let it hurt me less and off it goes again.
I have this imaginary window that I use for painful memories. I
believe it´s the window that goes directly to my Lord in
heaven. He knows what to do with it, I don´t. So I practice
this "letting go" on daily basis and it is my hope and
prayer that you begin TODAY. me


 

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re: How do you let go of what hurts?

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Message 5 of 17
In Response to How do you let go of what hurts?:

  As much as I try  I fall into the same trap of wanting to be a part of the family.  I think I go over board by trying to be the go to person for everyone.  However, I am always measured so with one slip of imperfection I am ostricized which is so devastanting for me.  I tried therapy and was told I am a resource and when I am not needed I am let go.  I paid for the realization yet I do not think I accepted it to be the truth.  I know deep in my heart that it is the truth but how do you accept that as a fact when it entails your family. 


How do I protect my heart.  Usually I shut down and like a turtle I disappear into the shell only to stick my head out when I think I can be useful.  I try disecting myself to come up with a rational reason as to why this keeps happening usually being extra hard on myself until I convince myself that "this too shall pass".  It usally does but not without leaving scars. 


I know from the amount of good - great friends that I have that I am a good person an a genuine friend to all that I come in contact.  This keeps me going.  Yet I suffer the pain often when I interact with my family.  I continue to rebound telling myself to let it go and let them go!  I think I am worth being happy and I love me and knowing this keeps me strong!

  Hello Debster,


I think I can relate a bit to your situation.  I got on well with my father; but, the mother was a different story.  It wasn't that she needed me; she just didn't particularly like me.  In fact, her mother didn't much care for me either.  I loved to read, draw,  go for walks with my dog  in the woods, go fishing and berry picking with my dad, and help him in the cheese factory.  She wanted me to be interested in baking cookies and appreciate that she gave me home perms so that I could look a little like Shirley Temple.  You see the problem, right?


The day after I graduated from high school, I moved to Madison, Wisconsin. I lived in a house with seven other girls.  I grew my hair straight and down to the middle of my back, got a part-time job and enrolled in art.  She thought I should go to a two year nursing school and commute from the parental home while I was in school.  If you're interested in more details, let me know.


Back to your situation, here are two posssibilities:  As soon as you feel drained by a family situation, call a friend; but, don't talk about family at that time.  Talk about what you enjoy talking about.  The second idea might be to have a pet.  You take good care of them and they always look at you with love in their eyes.


Well, take care.  Hope to hear from you.

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re: How do you let go of what hurts?

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Message 6 of 17
In Response to How do you let go of what hurts?:

  As much as I try  I fall into the same trap of wanting to be a part of the family.  I think I go over board by trying to be the go to person for everyone.  However, I am always measured so with one slip of imperfection I am ostricized which is so devastanting for me.  I tried therapy and was told I am a resource and when I am not needed I am let go.  I paid for the realization yet I do not think I accepted it to be the truth.  I know deep in my heart that it is the truth but how do you accept that as a fact when it entails your family. 


How do I protect my heart.  Usually I shut down and like a turtle I disappear into the shell only to stick my head out when I think I can be useful.  I try disecting myself to come up with a rational reason as to why this keeps happening usually being extra hard on myself until I convince myself that "this too shall pass".  It usally does but not without leaving scars. 


I know from the amount of good - great friends that I have that I am a good person an a genuine friend to all that I come in contact.  This keeps me going.  Yet I suffer the pain often when I interact with my family.  I continue to rebound telling myself to let it go and let them go!  I think I am worth being happy and I love me and knowing this keeps me strong!

  Debster,


I think I am feeling a lot of  the same things you are, and my wife is as well. Children seem to exclude us from their lives, we can't seem to agree on a plan which isolates us from eachother. It seems like the effort put in is met with more demands, and less appreciation. I don't think I can stop doing for the family, nor should I completely. I hope my wife feels the same way. I just have to reward myself with the knowledge that what I did was the right thing and from my heart. This may be the only reward we get for the time, or forever in some cases. I do have to make sure that I have other outlets to invest myself in that will bring a more immediate response, if only making someone smile. I think the thing that bothers me most is that we pour such a tremendous part of ourselves into our families so we expect a tremendous return. It is not always the case, so I learn now. Not that the investment was wasted, just that it hurts and our family has more power to wound us than the stranger whom we help and may never see again. When we feel our family has fallen away it can seem like our purpose in life went with them. I am looking for more ways to assure myself that there is still purpose in life and my family is still one of them. Time changes things. We just have to survive the tests time has for us. Hang on, find joy in the smallest things. We have to encourage each other.

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re: How do you let go of what hurts?

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Message 7 of 17
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Dear Debster1822:


 "Letting go" is one of life's biggest challenges. How do you "let go" of the blindsiding unprovoked pain/hurt inflicted by those we assume we could trust? Or how do you "let go" ot the need to be needed? Or how do you "let go" of the fantasy that if you're there for others they will reciprocate? But specifically, we don't "choose" the family we're born into, but we can choose the family we need that can and will affirm and celebrate us. That may mean finding the courage to severe the umbilical chord that keeps us linked to family members who only know to take and rarely give ()that includes parents and siblings).


I am a firstborn (oldest of five) so I'm used to being the counselor- mediator- fixer-upper- problem solver-ever cool headed sibling-son-friend. I even majored in Psychology for crying out loud!  At one point in my life I realized I was following a script I had no part in writing. So I learned to draw lines in the sand and establish boundaries with everyone. While I'm there to support when I can (I do love my family), I don't allow anyone to corner me into not living my life in order to help them live theirs.


My sanity and equilibrium have been saved thanks ironically to the trials, storms and losses God allowed into my life. They were all perfectly orchestrated to encourage me to "let go."  No, it wasn't easy, pretty or tidy. At times I felt punished. Yet as I prayed and humbled myself before my Creator I began to understand that I needed to rely on a wisdom much higher than mine. So I can now love with a wise, yet caring "detachment."


As someone advised, continue loving yourself. It means embracing who you are quirks and all. You will then find it easier to attract those who would never expect you to put your life on hold for them.



 

  "... At one point in my life I realized I was following a script I had no part in writing...."


 


You hit the nail on the head.  Sometimes I think Monty Python's Flying Circus is writing the script of my life, and at other times I think it  must be Stephen King with a little hlep from Nancy Grace.


 


Once a writing coach said something to me, kind of as an aside, but it always haunted me:  "Be careful starting a novel, because if you don't finish it you might live it..."

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Message 8 of 17
In Response to How do you let go of what hurts?:

  As much as I try  I fall into the same trap of wanting to be a part of the family.  I think I go over board by trying to be the go to person for everyone.  However, I am always measured so with one slip of imperfection I am ostricized which is so devastanting for me.  I tried therapy and was told I am a resource and when I am not needed I am let go.  I paid for the realization yet I do not think I accepted it to be the truth.  I know deep in my heart that it is the truth but how do you accept that as a fact when it entails your family. 


How do I protect my heart.  Usually I shut down and like a turtle I disappear into the shell only to stick my head out when I think I can be useful.  I try disecting myself to come up with a rational reason as to why this keeps happening usually being extra hard on myself until I convince myself that "this too shall pass".  It usally does but not without leaving scars. 


I know from the amount of good - great friends that I have that I am a good person an a genuine friend to all that I come in contact.  This keeps me going.  Yet I suffer the pain often when I interact with my family.  I continue to rebound telling myself to let it go and let them go!  I think I am worth being happy and I love me and knowing this keeps me strong!

Dear Debster1822:


 "Letting go" is one of life's biggest challenges. How do you "let go" of the blindsiding unprovoked pain/hurt inflicted by those we assume we could trust? Or how do you "let go" ot the need to be needed? Or how do you "let go" of the fantasy that if you're there for others they will reciprocate? But specifically, we don't "choose" the family we're born into, but we can choose the family we need that can and will affirm and celebrate us. That may mean finding the courage to severe the umbilical chord that keeps us linked to family members who only know to take and rarely give ()that includes parents and siblings).


I am a firstborn (oldest of five) so I'm used to being the counselor- mediator- fixer-upper- problem solver-ever cool headed sibling-son-friend. I even majored in Psychology for crying out loud!  At one point in my life I realized I was following a script I had no part in writing. So I learned to draw lines in the sand and establish boundaries with everyone. While I'm there to support when I can (I do love my family), I don't allow anyone to corner me into not living my life in order to help them live theirs.


My sanity and equilibrium have been saved thanks ironically to the trials, storms and losses God allowed into my life. They were all perfectly orchestrated to encourage me to "let go."  No, it wasn't easy, pretty or tidy. At times I felt punished. Yet as I prayed and humbled myself before my Creator I began to understand that I needed to rely on a wisdom much higher than mine. So I can now love with a wise, yet caring "detachment."


As someone advised, continue loving yourself. It means embracing who you are quirks and all. You will then find it easier to attract those who would never expect you to put your life on hold for them.



 

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re: How do you let go of what hurts?

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Message 9 of 17
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 I went through something like that. My daughter saw half of our family dysfunction and did not seem to be able to understand that there was part she was not seeing.  There was a lot of pain during the years I watched other relatives manipulate her and punish her when they could not reach me, and her way of handling it was to cut off so completely that I could not know if she was ok or not, and the relatives who inserted themselves into the relationship played cruel games with that.


Closure finally came after we were able to have enough communication to make it clear to me that she is past their manipulation and she is making her own decisions and taking care of herself. She imitates them, though, by talking to me as if I am beneath her and she considers it my failure when I refuse to "behave" according to her rules. She is her father's daughter more than mine, and he is a terribly narcissistic person. 


Debster, if your family treats you as a "resource" instead of as a "person", then maybe you should think about how much "narcissism" might be part of their make-up. Narcissists don't acknowledge others as  fully human. Everyone is a "useful object" for a narcissist.


I am not the kind of person my daughter  likes, and she is not the kind I like. But we do not bring children into the world to make lifetime teddybears of them. If we have raised them so they can take care of themselves and live their lives completely, then we have done our job. And we are not responsible for the other family members' impact on our children, even when we feel responsible for having failed to successfully protect them. If we saw a danger and tried our best, then that is all we could have done.


As far as what hurts, well, Debster, this sounds tough and insensitive but there is only one thing you can do: get over it.


None of the people who hurt you are feeling any pain. You are the one who is feeling pain.  They have moved on because they don't care.  They are not living your life, you are.


 


 

  I do so appreciate another mother with the same agony.  Thanks for allowing me to feel the comfort of knowing there are others out there feeling my pain. I am currently not in good standing with my only two daughters and it hurts and I know they hurt and I cant help if they wont communicate.  They are imbroiled in the Florida real estate fiasco and have lost a lot. 


With the stock market crash we are looking at a scary retirement.  I got wiped bigtime. Who else hurts?


marie.


 

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 I went through something like that. My daughter saw half of our family dysfunction and did not seem to be able to understand that there was part she was not seeing.  There was a lot of pain during the years I watched other relatives manipulate her and punish her when they could not reach me, and her way of handling it was to cut off so completely that I could not know if she was ok or not, and the relatives who inserted themselves into the relationship played cruel games with that.


Closure finally came after we were able to have enough communication to make it clear to me that she is past their manipulation and she is making her own decisions and taking care of herself. She imitates them, though, by talking to me as if I am beneath her and she considers it my failure when I refuse to "behave" according to her rules. She is her father's daughter more than mine, and he is a terribly narcissistic person. 


Debster, if your family treats you as a "resource" instead of as a "person", then maybe you should think about how much "narcissism" might be part of their make-up. Narcissists don't acknowledge others as  fully human. Everyone is a "useful object" for a narcissist.


I am not the kind of person my daughter  likes, and she is not the kind I like. But we do not bring children into the world to make lifetime teddybears of them. If we have raised them so they can take care of themselves and live their lives completely, then we have done our job. And we are not responsible for the other family members' impact on our children, even when we feel responsible for having failed to successfully protect them. If we saw a danger and tried our best, then that is all we could have done.


As far as what hurts, well, Debster, this sounds tough and insensitive but there is only one thing you can do: get over it.


None of the people who hurt you are feeling any pain. You are the one who is feeling pain.  They have moved on because they don't care.  They are not living your life, you are.


 


 

  Thank you for your very positive response.  Your words were very uplifting.  I am handling things better each day and I am developing a thicker skin with my family.  I am learning to say "no" and not feel guilty or that I am not being resourceful to them.  I had a good day today and I look forward to many other good days and if it does not include them I will survive!


Again Many Many Thanks

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