Step 4 Knowing when Enough is Enough

This is a hard one. It’s hard because this just happened to me. I just did this. Have you ever been in a relationship that is often so toxic that your life with this person has become a twisted chess game, where your feelings are the pieces and your king is in check with only one move before mate?(For those of you who are not chess heads this means you are about to lose.) And even worse you know what move they are about to make before they make it, and you know that they think that they know what move you are thinking and they really have no idea what you’re thinking? Or what you’re next move is going to be? Are you confused yet? Let me give you an example: Let’s say a man and a woman have been together for 13 years. Within the 13 years they have been together they keep finding new and innovative ways to bruise each other. When one of them wants to stop the hurt and the pain and work on relationship, the other wants to keep it going. Le’t say the woman wants to stop the hurt but the man wants to continue to treat the woman like she’s disposable . He keeps abusing her feelings and not making her feel safe and protected within the confines of their relationship, for example cheating on her and speaking unkindly about her to people outside of their relationship, not having enough respect for who she is to him. They also don’t speak to each other respectfully, and when they do there is a lot of repressed frustration within their words. Like running hot lava all the frustration, hurt and repressed feelings will find a crack to burst through the surface and explode all over them. And then the damage control begins and then the cycle begins again of them holding back feelings. So they decide to depart from each other, realizing that the issues they face aren’t right. That the basic way that they treat each other is not the way you treat someone you love. As time goes by they realize that they have forgiven each other and they will give the relationship another try. So things are going along really great within their relationship and everything is well. Or so it seems. There’s no arguing, no blatant disrespect yet. But like that chess game I mentioned one wrong move and its no longer a relationship but being worse  to each other than strangers. Now its every man for himself and your guard had better be up because your opponent is coming for you. Now in chess you lose pieces as the game progresses.  But ask yourself this; “What do you lose when the battle is an emotional one?” What is lost is self-respect as the combatants stoop to levels that were not thought possible. One wrong move and an injury is done, the bruised one feeling sore and vengeful and just can’t wait to punish the other. If you were an outsider looking in what would you tell your friend if he or she was in this situation? Would you tell her to try to work it out with this person? Or would you be the true friend you are tell him or her to cut this person out of their life? O.K. I know most of you would tell him or her that all the time that they have spent in a relationship with this person, you are supposed to be planning for a future, meaning that the relationship is supposed to head somewhere much like a story always has a conclusion. And that if the relationship is that bad, then maybe they should find a way to resolve it and maybe that solution would be to end the relationship while they can both walk away. In other words, cut him or her off. The type of relationship i describe in this blog is not healthy. Its obviously so unhealthy that it has become virulent. While of course I am not a medical professional that kind of emotional strain, where your relationship is a mine field cannot be conducive to their physical health. So you would tell your friends to find the best way to cut them off. End the relationship the best way that you can.
Well what if I were to tell you that the people in this relationship are not really a man and a woman, but a mother and a daughter. This is the relationship that I had with my mother.
“My mother and I have not had the best relationship but we are working toward making a better one.” That has been my catchphrase for the last 13 years. While even in this blog I have mentioned the relationship with my mother and I have not gone into details because while I am brave enough to say some things about the life I’ve lived I am not brave enough to reveal all. The point in quoting myself is to tell you all that while I love her deeply, for me I had to cut the relationship off. In this quest for life and my journey from being broken to healing you have to ask yourself when is it ever going to be enough? And while those of you who read this, including my very close friends will probably not understand my reasoning for this, here is what I can comprehend about what I did. No matter how I rationalize it to you or to myself I was wrong for doing it. I thought I would feel vindicated or validated(yes I was right for cutting you off!) for doing but there is none of that. What you feel for the first few minutes is nothing. You feel like you ripped out the foundation of your life. And then you feel like all you want to do is cry. But then you dry your eyes and you move on. Then the self-doubt kicks in. You feel like you just made the worst decision in the world. Like you made an irrevocable mistake and you will regret it. I regret doing it. I regret that I felt the need to do it, but I also feel that if I had not done it I would still be stuck in the mine field, the chess game of who is more right or who is wrong. I don’t want to live my life like that! I refuse to live my life like that! So today I went to therapy. I realize that a lot of the arguments that my mother had about me were right. So i decided that I wanted to address the issues that were raised in a healthy way. So I have a therapist and I am working on my issues. And maybe in a few years if my mother has forgiven me and I have forgiven her we can revisit trying to have a better relationship. I never in a million years thought I would do this. I had no idea that this was even possible but here I am. And while there really is no validation or vindication in ending a relationship with someone you love, there is another thing that will happen if this is the step you have to take. Acceptance. If this is where you are in your relationship with someone, anyone, whether its friend or family you have to find the strength within yourself and see if there is a better way than what i did. Again for the disclaimer people:What i did was wrong! I only suggest it as a last resort. If you have tried every way you can think of for a peaceful solution and still have this person in your life try that. But if you can’t take the bitterness, the pain, the stress of trying to sustain the relationship you have to find the determination to end it. Let the other party be responsible for their healing while you become responsible for yours. Set a precedent in your life that you will no longer tolerate the same things that you have let slide before. I am especially talking to the people who are non-combative like myself.  We who are the pushovers of the world who let a lot of the darts and arrows that people throw at you slide just so that you can have a relationship with them. That time is now over. We are now too old to play doormat. We now have to fight for what we want and for what we deserve. The time to take back your life is now. Go see someone to talk out your issues with. Even if you don’t believe in therapy, it helps to have someone impartial in your corner. Whether you pass or fail in this life is up to you. You have the power to choose how your life will move forward from this day on. You have to ask yourself when enough is enough.

Step 3: Being Thankful for What Happened to You- In Essence Being Grateful for Being Broken.



Okay so you read the title and thought “What the heck!”- or something harsher. But think about it, you are who you are because you are broken. The events in your life happened for a reason. They weren’t random acts and they were not bad luck or messed up karma. These events were a part of the grand design that God, Jehovah, Allah, Ha Shim, or whatever higher power you believe in has for your life. These things happened so that you can tell your story and so you can help others with it. Believe me, I am writing and living this so I know. When I first began to understand and realize that the events in my life were predestined, I was angry. Pissed off. And in the end I realized that these things happened so I can share with someone else what happened to me and that’s how I went from anger to acceptance. When all is said and done you have to accept what happened because you can’t change the past. And you most definitely should not blame yourself. Today I still have trouble believing that I was not at fault. But also I took at look at myself back then. I was a little girl who was unloved by the people around her. My mother was very young when she had me and until I was eight I didn’t even know I had a father, much less one who could say he loved me. I wasn’t paid attention to. I ate I had shelter and clothes but no love. I don’t know if you remember, but a long time ago an experiment was done on two babies, one was given love and affection as well as food and clothing, while the other baby just got fed and clothed. That baby was given no affection. The baby who was given affection thrived better than the other. Lets just say the second baby was me.  The one person who did love me wasn’t around much. She was the one I always dreamed about being with because the people around me didn’t treat me like I was theirs. You know the expression”treat me like a red-headed stepchild?” well again that was me. So if you think about it I was a prime target for someone, hell anyone to take advantage of. And I was used and abused just like all of you. So when you look at the totality of the circumstances, it wasn’t my fault. My heart knows that, but my brain is telling me something different. Sometimes you have to tell your brain to shut the hell up! So what you are probably wondering is “Am I grateful?” The answer is I am obliged that those things made me strong enough to deal with the things that come my way. I am grateful that I have a relationship with my mother, I am glad that I don’t have to relive those things that happened to me if i don’t choose to. I am appreciative that the events that shattered my life will help someone else who is in my same position. That’s what I am thankful for. I am also thankful for being able to write this blog, even though it may not sound professional or pretty, it is real and to me that’s what counts. And I am supremely glad to wake up every day and to keep on pushing even though I may not feel like it or I just want to sleep my life away. You, my friends have to get to the place where you are grateful and you will be one step closer to being healed and not broken. You have to get to the place where you can look in the mirror and like what you see and who you are. There are times in my life where I’ve felt that nothing about this life is good, that everyday is dark and dim and  i didn’t even want to live. I can say that i have made some progress but I and we have got far to go.

Step 2: You’re Broken: Now what?

I have taken a long time to write this second blog because I wanted to think clearly and concisely on what I wanted to write about. A few topics buzzed around in my brain and I wasn’t sure what message I wanted to convey. I think its important for you all to know that I am not an expert and sometimes I stumble for the answers too. Hell lets be honest I stumble a lot. When you’re young, you are led to believe you have enough time for everything. That the road that is your life is long and stretched out. And so some of us spend a lot of time on that road just wasting precious time. Time is a gift that we have been given and we never know when that time is up. We never know when the road is cut short. So here’s my advice to you. Mend some of the relationships that have been splintered by time and by things that have happened. If you have a family member or a friend that you had a relationship with and that bond has been splintered, fix it. If it is fixable do so. For me the relationship is with my mother. A great deal of things have happened between us and our relationship has never been the best, but I love her for who and what she is. There are times I don’t like her but I have always loved her. Approximately 12 years ago we didn’t speak, we hadn’t spoke for a particular length of time and there were things that were done that I felt couldn’t be forgiven in my childhood. Things that hurt so much that for me to think of them now would make me want to weep. And anyone who reads this and knows me knows I’m not a crier but there was and sometimes is a lot of damage that we both had to and have to get over. It’s not easy to forgive someone or to forgive ourselves for the part that we had in it. But here’s the thing, forgiving someone will take quite a great deal of the grief we have been holding onto off our back. And after a long while it will bring us to a place of acceptance.  And remember: 

I can forgive, but I cannot forget, is only another way of saying, I will not forgive. Forgiveness ought to be like a cancelled note – torn in two, and burned up, so that it never can be shown against one.

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This quote is so true. Sometimes we say we forgive someone and we mean it. We think “O.k. I can be the better person, and forgive but I will never forget.” For me here’s the truth. I said this to my mother. I said to her I forgive you, but in my head I’m thinking, I will never forget it. So according to this quote I have not truly forgiven her. And here’s the thing as well, I’ve never trusted her. It’s like I say I love you Mom, I forgive you Mom, but I’ve never really acted like there is a clean slate. Like everything between us is forgotten, done over with we are starting off as new people and the things of the past never happened. That’s how forgiveness is supposed to work. That’s how it worked with my friend. I did things that were in unforgivable, and she forgave me every time. So I need to reevaluate if in fact I have truly forgiven at all. Have I looked at the person I have forgiven with new eyes. Well there are times that yes i have looked at my mother with new eyes, and yet there are times that I wonder if I tell her something deep and personal will she tell everyone, including strangers who don’t know her, but know me about it? So for me I think if I am going to forgive I have got to do it all the way or not at all. If this is the same for some you, reevaluate if your forgiveness was done in the matter of the way the quote speaks or if you forgiven but not forgotten. It’s more important to you than to them, they are living their lives, sometimes not even knowing you harbor some feeling towards them. Or they may know and don’t care. None of that matters. Do it for you. That’s the second step you take to becoming whole and not broken.  

The Road to Recovery Starts with Your First Step: Knowing and Admitting That You are Broken

One day you wake up. It may take years for you to wake up but it will happen You realize that you are almost forty and not one thing that you wanted for yourself happens. You have spent all these years just living your life like your waiting for things to happen, like you are waiting for your life to begin, for someone or something to rescue you from your situation or your circumstances or just your life the way its going. And for years you’ve just been running around life picking up people, and things and habits, just trying to find yourself trying to love yourself and be whole, be normal. But it hasn’t worked because a long time ago, SOMEONE OR SOMETHING BROKE YOU!  That someone  or something took you, the unsure, innocent and unloved soul and used a special part of you to satisfy something in themselves, something dark and twisted and dirty and made you  feel dirty down to your soul, made you feel even more unworthy and unloved and your self-esteem, plummets to even lower depths. And now you are so low that you don’t want to live anymore. So you think about taking your own life. You think about the dark things that have been placed in your heart and in your soul and you wonder how you could have gotten to this place, where you feel almost nothing. Where if you were to die, that would be okay with you. I am there, with you in that dark place trying to dig myself out just like you. And your friends understand, but they can’t relate to the bone deep depression that you are experiencing because, well they can’t understand that you could feel so low that the thought of you selling your body doesn’t make you feel any kind of way where before you would rather starve than resort to that. The thing about being so depressed is that you dig yourself into such a big hole to bury yourself, that you can’t find your way out when you  are ready. While all of this is happening, time is passing you byy. You begin to feel like it doesn’t matter what you do, If you do or don’t succeed and make something out of yourself then whatever. It doesn’t really matter because to you, you are not worth the skin that God has housed you in. To you, you are not worth the breath that he breathes into you everyday. You are not worth waking up in the morning. And although to some people, depression may not exist, or it may exist its just that its dealt with in different ways,or even to some friends it may seem like you have your head up your ass; The fact of the matter is this: To those who are dealing with these particular systems, it’s real to you and that’s all that matters, That your feelings are your feelings and no one else’s.

So now that we have validated our own feelings, what do we do with them? How do we proceed from here?

I think that the first step in any healing process is to know and admit that you need healing. Admit to yourself that you are a Broken person and you need help and healing to put yourself back together. Two days ago I admitted I am broken to myself and that i need to heal from being broken, I needed to admit to myself that the things that happened in the past were not my fault. That I needed to forgive myself the way I was able to forgive the adults who did not keep me safe from the harm that befell me. If I can forgive them and they are living their lives why can’t i fix myself and not be broken anymore. I’m not saying its going to happen overnight, and we can work together to heal ourselves and to get the monkey called depression off our backs. I am here for you.

The healing of broken women just like me.

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