Letting Go Of My Past

   18 years ago, I decided that I wanted to be separate from my family, because the distance I needed and still need is emotional separation which also includes finding my independence.  This was in a letter I wrote to both my parents.  My therapist who I was seeing at the time helped me to write this letter. Looking back on when I wrote the letter at the time I felt angry - and quite confused with my parents. Unfortunately after writing this letter my mother didn't read the whole letter. I felt so disappointment, because it was very important for me to write this letter  I had hoped by reading my letter my mother would understand some of my feelings 

    All of my life, I felt I was being controlled. I didn't like the way I was treated growing up. I felt extremely inadequate and believed there was something wrong with me.  I felt everything was always my fault that I could never measure up to my parents expectations then and still can't   I could never do anything good enough or right enough. I felt like I was always being criticized constantly  I am left with feeling unlovable, incapable, unworthy confused angry and hurt.

    When I left my parents home I was only 22 at the time I didn't realize I only left physically and never left emotionally.  I wanted to have my own life, to become my own person and have my own independence.  Instead I felt like a child and that I wasn't capable of learning how to be responsible for taking care of  myself.  When I first moved out of my parents home I went to live with my steady boyfriend.  During the time we were living together I got pregnant and ended up having an abortion.. I felt I had no choice or power. I felt scared, sad even some joy, but  I had no one to shared my feelings with. I felt I wasn't strong enough emotionally to stand up to my mother, because I felt it was my choice to decide whether to have the abortion or not.  I ended up going along with what you said even though I wanted to be the one to decide.

     There were a lot of sad memories that I have had in my childhood. And even now as an adult I find myself not being able to let go of my past.  My mother was a homemaker and my father worked in sales adverstering business. For the first ten years I was the only child my parents treated me like I was the most beautiful baby in the world, but what they didn't realize that I was a baby with needs and feelings that were not fulfilled.  I have no memory of ever being rocked  or sang to before I fell asleep at night.  My baby brother was born when I was ten I was glad to have a brother, but later I felt envious, because he was getting more time and attention than I was.  

       Over the last 20 years, I realize that I came from a dysfunctional family. where my boundaries were never respected and I never learned any life skills in how to grow up and become a responsible adult.  I know now that I can no longer blame my parents for what they did or didn't do, because it is now my responsibility to take care of myself.  I am married and have been for 30 years to a wonderful man.  We have no children and maybe that is a goid thing, because I won't want to pass down what I learned from my parents.  I have learned that both my parents were from dyfunctional families themselves so they passed on what they had learned which they thought was nornal way of being a healthy family  But what they didn't realize that what they were taught was dyfunctional  My mother grew up in with alcoholism and depression.  My father grew up without a father and his mother and uncle raised him and his two brothers.          


deleted deleted
4 Responses May 15, 2010

My therapist is recommending I write a letter as well. I want them to know how I feel at the same time I am terrified at their reaction and just what this will bring. I left for the third time and want nothing to do with them anymore. I'm not answering calls and my therapists suggests I write a letter explaining why. I am 26 years old now and am angry and really hate them. I was understanding before because I knew they had a tough life and blah blah blah but that understanding cost me my life by sticking around them they cut wounds too deep. Anyway, how did writing the letter help you?

I myself have been trying my best to distance myself from my family. I spent 13 years in and out of foster care due to my parents alcoholism and dysfunction. As a woman of 52 now I still battle with the guilt of not helping family members when they need it. I suppose I am not strong enough in my own right to be able to help them or "not help them" when they are down and out. ..and there is always someone down and out in my family. Because I have gone on to make something of my life my family feels I think I am better than them. They don't understand I struggle everyday to keep my head above water ..emotionally. I have my problems with depression..relationships..etc. but I keep on keeping on trying to make my life work. Life is so hard when you don't have the guidance, love, and support of a family. You always feel alone and struggle just to get from day to day. On the outside I look ok..I appear ok..I act ok..but on the inside I hurt, I long for normalcy, I am lonely for family closeness..etc..the list goes on and on.

it's awesome that you can write about this at this point in your life. . . owning it, and all of it, is what life is all about. <br />
I have a blog called dysfunctional beginnings, and I'd love for you to submit writings, pictures, etc. to the site! You can submit anonymously or with a specified signature. <br />
Check out the blog. http://dysfunctionalbeginnings.wordpress.com/<br />
Please submit material to dysfunctionalbeginnings@gmail.com. <br />
Thanks so much! I hope to hear from you soon...

I know how its like to miss parental love as i was one too.but mine was worst.I was abused physically abd sexually.Thats why it took me 27 yrs to divorce my abusive and cruel ex-husband.Because i wanted my children to be grown up and not suffer any more abuses.My dear friend,you have a wonderful husband.I believe your wounds are healed by his love.Mine was when my soulmate came 10 yrs ago.Its the 1st time i experience courtship and the falling in love feelings.Its is still present in me daily.