I've always been told that goodbyes are hard and subsequently a part of life. I've been told that change is difficult, but you must endure, that relationships will not always come to last, but that you will have to adapt. I've been instructed to move on, to let go, to choose differently. I've been told one too many times that it is my responsibility to withstand it, no matter the consequences. What I have not been told or prepared for is the actual process of doing so - especially when it's a choice, a decision to walk away. People like to tell you what to do, but don't always have the patience to help you do it.
A lot of people go through the process of mourning. As humans we love and we lose. We are designed that way, part of our innate habits, needs, a preconceived ideal. We are born and we learn to love our parents, we meet the rest of our family and we love them too, we grow up and fall in love, some of us have kids and we love them too. People come into our lives all the time, for different reasons, good and bad, challenging us and helping us. Through it all we can lose people we love too. The pain of that is unavoidable. Love, makes loss all the much harder. And it isn't always death which leads to an experience of loss. Sometimes we have to say goodbye for another purpose.
Mourning is often associated with the physical nature of an individual - lost to old age, disheartening diagnoses, or unplanned accidents. When we no longer have their presence in the way we used to know, mourning comes with an acknowledgement of death. A terrible event that must be endured, one terribly hard to accept.
We also mourn people when we realize that they aren't who we thought they were. Realizing our actions and beliefs never aligned, even if we previously thought they had.
We move on, let go, and choose to walk away. May that be from betrayal, anger, neglect, or exhaustion. Faced with the decision to continue an input of trust, dependence, and energy or do things differently, say no, set a boundary, and self protect.
I know what this is like and in the midst, can say how much pain it carries. The autonomy of its nature, the reality of choice, the idea that it's "all up to you", is consuming. Terrifying to consider the risks, terrifying to make a change, terrifying to follow your gut and change life as you had always known it. Leaving someone means leaving the life you used to imagine living. Here, you mourn the person you had created in your mind, the one that never gave the things you needed most, the one that you had always prayed would change. You mourn all the time you wasted, hoping.
"Life becomes easier when you decide to accept an apology you never got." - Robert Brault
I've had my heartbroken, but never was it from a romantic relationship. Disappointed and defeated with my own reality, from expectations that were self created and externally unmet. I hate when people say that you choose how to be affected, mostly because I have tried to hard to be "unaffected" (most of my life) only to find that life doesn't work that way. Getting hurt is human. And it's okay to be mad about it.
Accepting people irrespective of what you thought "could be" might just be the answer to moving on.
- The Effects of Marriage and Divorce on Families and Children | MDRC ›
- Children and Divorce - HelpGuide.org ›
- When a Family Breaks Up: Divorce and Separation | Cooperative ... ›
- Breaking the Cycle of Inherited Family Trauma ›
- About Family Trauma ›
- Family Dynamics | Psychology Today ›
- How to let go of the toxic people in our lives (even when they're family) ›
- Toxic Family: Letting Go of Family & Cutting Ties with Toxic Family ... ›
- Toxic People: You Don't Need Permission to Walk Away ›