Making It Through Break With Your Estranged Family

Making It Through Break With Your Estranged Family

Don't let them break you!

After you have survived finals, it is time to go home. Going home requires interacting with family and while family is loosely defined in all other aspects of life. Blood relatives will always be the first to claim the title. Going home also means the holiday season. Putting on a face and interacting with your relatives, many of which you probably have not held a conversation with since this time last year. I am not going to tell you that it will be easy, but you will get through and if going home is dangerous for you, there are helplines and people throughout the country who would be more than willing to help you or at least listen to you discuss your troubles and feelings.

Do not rely on alcohol or other substances. A reliance on anything is unhealthy and can snowball into a real problem especially if what you are reliant on is illegal or you consume these substances and attempt to drive, you can endanger others as well.

Do not put all of your stress on your significant other or best friends. I understand that you need an escape but we are all experiencing a plethora of awkward and stressful family reunions and you do not want to or have someone resent you for your leaning on them.

Do set up boundaries, after finals, take a few days to yourself and unwind because unfortunately the holiday times can be a prolonged visit with just as much stress.

Trust yourself, no one has experienced exactly what you have or are going through. Comparing your life to that of others will accomplish nothing but frustrate you to your very core.

Remember that you can survive this. No matter how stressful or unhealthy your family can be, you have survived this far and you are here for a reason. You have accomplished so much in your life and nothing and no one can take that away from you.

Family is loosely defined and your family is much more than who you are related to. But, who you are blood related to will always be a part of you. And something that you will always have some ties to. Do not let your family or the holidays get to you or get the best of you. You are better than this and you most definitely deserve better than this.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Mom, You Are My Happy Place

Here is everything I've ever wanted to say to my cat-obsessed, coffee-loving, one-of-a-kind, beautiful Mom.

I've read articles written about moms from their daughters over the past few years and I've never related to them —at least not by much. As I've gotten older, I've come to realize that this was happening because the relationship between my Mom and me is unique — different from any other I've ever seen or heard of.

Here is everything I've ever wanted to say to my cat-obsessed, coffee-loving, one-of-a-kind, beautiful Mom.

Dear Mom,

Thank you for being the strongest woman I've ever known. You've withstood more hurt in your life than I would ever wish upon my worst. These last two years have been so difficult, exhausting, and grueling —yet here you are, being the most beautiful version of yourself.

And I am so proud of you. I will fight to the end to show this world who you are — the wonderful, sassy, courageous woman you are. The kind of woman and mom I hope to God I can be even half of one day.

Thank you for being my biggest supporter. I've never seen a more avid soccer mom — seriously. The love you have for the sport alone is enough to show. But trying your best to be there for every match, and being heartbroken when you couldn't, means more to me than you know. Knowing my biggest fan was right there supporting me was all I needed.

And being there when I chose a brand new sport, regardless of the cost, warms my heart. Choosing to swim was one of the best choices I've made thus far in life, and I wouldn't have done it without your help. You sat through the long meets, knowing little to nothing about the sport itself, just proud of that little girl in the pool.

Thank you for loving me. I know this one is semi-obvious, but I am more than serious. You stood right by me, holding my hand, when I went through the worst year of my life. You were there to spoon-feed me when I was diagnosed with Cibophobia. You were there through the hundreds of break downs, the frustrating days when I was eating little to no food. You were there for all the therapy appointments, all the days it took me several minutes to swallow a small pill, all the days when I was so lost. You remained calm. You saved me. You loved me regardless.

Thank you for our jokes. When I'm with you, there's a smile on my face, a loud and embarrassing laugh about to break through, and an incredibly warm heart. You bring me so much joy with just your presence alone. I know you can never stay mad at me for long, and although it's rare that you are, I love that I can make you smile and forget all about it. And I love that you can do the same even more.

Thank you for being so beautiful. I get compliments all the time about how much I look like you and there seriously isn't a greater compliment I could receive. When you smile and laugh, you glow. Your olive green eyes that you gave to me light up when I surprise you by coming home without telling. So many features I got from you and I couldn't be happier to be anyone else's look-a-like. You have such a beautiful, courageous heart and that's my favorite part of you.

Thank you for always believing in me. I don't believe in myself often until I hear from you. Your texts throughout the day, the calls I receive, the FaceTime dates we have.... I use these simple gestures as motivation to believe in myself. Because I know you believe in me. There's nothing in this world that would hurt more than disappointing you — and I thank you for instilling that belief in me.

You give me something to fight for. You taught us from a young age that we can do anything we fight hard for, and although the time went too fast, here I am, doing what you taught me to.

You deserve the world and I tell you that often in hopes you'll finally believe it. You are worth more than gold.

You deserve the happiness you are receiving — every bit of it.

Mom, you are my happy place.

Sitting with you in the big maroon chair back at home is my happy place.

Cuddles with you on Sunday morning is my happy place.

Breakfast on the lawn with you is my happy place.

Being wrapped in a big hug from you is my happy place.

This life is my happy place.

Because of you.

"She made broken look beautiful and strong look invincible. She walked with the universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings." — Ariana Dance

Cover Image Credit: Tami Auen

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An Open Letter To My Number One Supporter

To the woman who has shaped me into the woman I am today, my mom.

Mom,

It was once said that "life is too short to leave important words unsaid." With that in mind, I am writing this letter to you in hopes to express just how important you are to me.

As I get older, my appreciation and admiration towards you has grown and will continue to grow tremendously. Looking back, I know there were times that I should have said "thank you" more and rolled my eyes and gave an attitude less. Regardless of all the shout-outs of "all my friends are, so why can't I," you always had my best interest in mind. I'm willing to bet that even 10-20 years from now, I'll still go to you for all the answers (even the simple questions like you can wash a backpack in the washing machine, right?).

You have guided me through so many trials in life, and have also provided me with the perfect image to look up to. With everything you have walked through in this life, it shows me that when life throws some curve balls, to never stop swinging. You once told me, "if you see a path with no obstacles it probably doesn't lead anywhere." You have assured me that even though things might be rough at the moment and I feel like nothing is going right... it's actually a good thing and that God has a plan for my life.

It's crazy to think that as a teenager, I had no desire in just hanging out and sharing with you. It truly seems that now, with all the new and exciting things occurring in my life, I can't wait to share them with you. I tell you everything. You have become my best friend, more than ever.

There is nothing I hate more than letting you down. However, I know that I'm going to from time to time, I never want to disappoint you. I strive to make you proud. For everything you have ever done for me, and everything you will ever do for me, I could never thank you enough. There are no words to express to you how truly thankful I am to have a mom like you.

I love you, Mom.

One of your biggest fans,

Shae


Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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