Today marks one year since I ceased contact with my entire family of origin.
I wrote a blog post for the occassion at about 2:30am this morning. It had to be deleted – turned out it wasn’t the greatest idea to write after waking up from a grim dream. Plus, I’ve been struggling for a little while now. Two months ago I developed an abscess in the nape of my neck that had to be surgically removed. I was in agony from it (I’m unable to safely take any painkillers stronger than ibuprofen). I lost a lot of sleep around that time. The situation seemed to send my body out of whack – I developed a marked hormone imbalance which has since righted itself. Then I came down with a virus. And another… ended up in hospital again with my chronic medical condition flaring.
It’s been two months and my digestive system has all but shut down… each day is back to being a pretty difficult struggle with many symptom flares (though thankfully not as difficult as the situation was when I first became struck down by illness 6 years ago).
Add to the medical issues this looming ‘anniversary’, and I have not been coping well.
Coming up 8:30pm on this day, and I have some interesting news to share. I thought that today would probably be pretty awful for me. Expected to suffer a lot. Cry a lot. Pine a lot.
It hasn’t happened. Somehow, it feels as though as certain weight has been lifted. My head has cleared a bit. I’m not in denial… but I feel a strange kind of peace with relation to my family. A sense of gladly letting go.
My hands unclasp
You drift away
I had no control over the family I was born into. Nothing I did or didn’t do could ever have changed reality; the family unit was dysfunctional, and as long as I stayed a part of it I will have borne the brunt of the abuse.
I did not ‘ask for’ nor ‘deserve’ the pain – the dysfunctional unit simply required me to fill the scapegoat role in order to preserve the majority… I functioned almost like the unit’s pressure valve.
When you think about it that way, it doesn’t even seem personal anymore.
I was part of an organism, a unit, that was unhealthy and floundering. The unit realised it could sacrifice a small part in order for the rest to get by ok. I just happened to be the ‘small part’.
The analogy makes sense to me as somebody with autonomic dysfunction – my body cannot maintain homeostasis, and so it constantly makes ‘choices’ about which functions to sacrifice/strain during any given moment in order to maintain other functions. For example, my body mostly opts these days to put strain on my heart by greatly speeding it up, instead of me losing consciousness whilst upright. Sure, I’m not able to function too well anyway due to cerebral hypoperfusion – but I’m awake, and functioning to an extent. I’m not out cold on the floor.
Does my heart take the choice to stress it, personally? It’s not personal – it’s merely about survival.
The survival instinct of my dysfunctional family of origin benefitted others whilst greatly stressing me. I let go of taking it personally. It was what it was, and I had no control over it.
What I do have influence over is the kind of person I aim to be, to become; the type of wife and mother I wish to be for my beloved husband and daughter… and the sort of friend I can be to myself. Such beautiful responsibilities — how blessed I am.