Last year, I didn't realize that it would mean ending other relationships, such as with my dad or relatives. Unfortunately, my toxic siblings (flying monkeys) made certain to spread rumors about me. Their motive was to have everyone side with them; not me.
While it can appear quite immature, that's how lethal people roll. They create smear campaigns. They will retaliate. And they will stoop low in effort to try to destroy the black sheep in the family; me.
The more stronger and braver I became to stand firm in my healthy boundaries, the more fierce they would bully me. Here's the important fact: They could not change me. Therefore, they tried to change people's perception and beliefs of me.
So be it. I am the one who sought freedom. I am the one who broke the silence of my childhood abuse, toxic family, narcissistic mother, and my sister's husband who sexually assaulted me. Of course, they tried to silence me. That is a given for all abusive families.
There is nothing more courageous than ending a generational cycle of abuse. I actively chose healing, peace of mind, and protecting myself from further psychological abuse.
I've learned a lot in this one year. I have discovered that blood is not thicker than water. We don't get to choose our family. We're born into it.
For some of us, it means being born into a family of addictions, adultery, betrayal, mental illness, child molestation, divorce, and every form of abuse; physical, emotional, spiritual, and/or sexual. #MeToo
Thankfully, we do get to choose our friends. This is why it's important to surround ourselves around those who value us, appreciate us, treat us respectfully, have compassion for us, and love us.
This one year journey has opened up my eyes to countless light bulb moments.
To understand how much the childhood neglect, sexual abuse, and ongoing trauma entrenched every cell in my body. There is most definitely a mind-body connection.
Quite often, especially in child abuse, the traumatic experience is so painful that the child will disassociate from it. The brain is clever. It wants to protect us. It keeps the horrifying memories at bay.
Years later, the trauma can manifest itself into physical and emotional pain, such as migraines, chronic back pain, fibromyalgia, depression, GI distress, and countless other medical conditions. Check out Dr. John Sarno's books about the mind-body connection. Another excellent resource is psychotherapist, Nicole Sachs, author of The Meaning of Truth: Embrace Your Truth. Create Your Life.
What kept me sane during all of these years is that I would journal the family drama, chaotic situations, and the bizarre happenings. Then I would re-read it at another time, which would blow my mind. It was so crystal clear that my mother and sister's were gaslighting me, manipulating me, blaming me, shaming me, and continually causing me nonstop stress.
Last year, what brought this to a head was when my oldest sister texted me. I was at the ER with my husband who was in severe pain. We were in the ER waiting room when I read my sister's text messages.
I was flabbergasted. I had caught her red-handed in lies. She made up so much BS that I needed a shovel!
A day or so later, I spoke to my mom on the phone. I told her about the fabricated stories in my sister's text messages. Out of nowhere, my mom suddenly blew up on me. She started freaking out and screaming. There was plenty of shaming, blaming, deception, and cruelty.
Let's not forget triangulation with my mom, older sister, and I. Triangulation is a manipulation tactic where one person will not communicate directly with another person, instead using a third person to relay communication to the second, thus forming a triangle. It is also a form of splitting in which one person manipulates a relationship between two parties by controlling communication between them.
Keep in mind, this was common behaviors for my narcissistic mother. I had spent a lifetime being treated like a doormat and punching bag by her. At that precise moment, the psychological abuse was over the top.
Something clicked in my brain. Just like that, I knew in my heart of hearts that I had to cut the ties with my mother and four sisters. I had to end the madness. The dysfunction was beyond control.
I knew for certain that I could not change them. I couldn't fix them, nor could I force them to respect me or my boundaries. Only they could take full responsibility for their negative words, actions, and behaviors.
Of course, most abusive and toxic people justify their evil actions. They won't ever take accountability for themselves. We either put up with the abuse or we bravely walk away.
Less than two weeks later, it was done. I stopped all communication with my mom and sisters. No more text messages. No more emails. No more phone calls. No more visiting.
Before and after I went no contact, I never explained myself to my mom or siblings. Why bother? It would have been unproductive. They would have denied everything. I was done with the mind games.
Countless times, I had already tried in the past to explain myself, to try to work things out with them, and try to keep peace with them. I had already exhausted all efforts to restore our relationships. It was unsuccessful.
If keeping peace with them means losing my peace, losing my sanity, losing my physical and emotional health, and losing my own self-respect than it's clearly not the solution. Cutting ties with them was the only solution.
Today, a friend of mine shared this inspiring quote. It is so on point. It says, “This is the part of my life where I silently remove myself from anyone who hurts me more than they love me, drains me more than they replenish me, brings me more stress than they do peace, and tries to stunt my growth more than they clap for it. I think that I've done enough talking and trying to make things work with certain people. I am done.” (CeCe B)
Another empowering quote that I read today, which lifted my spirits said, “The real challenge is to love yourself enough to be able to leave those who don't love you enough. Really.” (Peg Streep)
If there's nothing else that I've learned by being raised in an abusive family, it's that I finally realized I am worthy of love. And I deserve to be treated as a human being; not a doormat.
Last July, 2018, I came to the conclusion that my emotional wellness, physical health, and peace of mind was far more important than toxic relationships. So I courageously let go of what was deeply hurting my heart and soul.
A year later, I have no regrets. I am confident that I made the right decision. Today, I am on a healing journey. I'm reclaiming what the locusts stole from me.
God will birth something new from my pain. Whatever the enemy intended for harm, the Lord will pour out a double blessing.
“I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten.” Joel 2:25 (ESV)