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Turning the page

Have you ever looked back at all of the people you’ve known? Of the relationships that lasted and the ones that fell by the wayside?

What about family dynamics? Cousins or siblings you were so close to who now are … strangers?

It’s an interesting feeling, leaning into a brand new year, and looking back at the ghosts of past ones.

I think of friends I met through 4-H, during college, close rapport with sisters of boys I dated, work chums along the way, and I wonder. Not in a mournful way, no, but sometimes I wonder if they think of me, too.

Shortly after Mom passed away, a sibling removed me from her life; there had been a strain but her abrupt actions – deleting and blocking me on Facebook while remaining connected to others in the family – made it real. Painfully real.   Her actions stung but, as blunt as they were, there was a certain clarity her move afforded me.

I had an epiphany recently that helped me get to the heart of what really nagged at me (beyond the obvious): her choices were hers, not mine.   Doesn’t make me better or worse, but it was not something I would have done.  You see, I’m a bit of a control freak.  Headstrong, opinionated, and stubborn.   I live my life, pay my way, and accept what comes with it.  So when another chooses for me, it’s jarring.  Off-putting.

Then came the gift of a second epiphany … it doesn’t hurt as much as it used to.  Why?  Because I’ve accepted my part in the downfall of our relationship.  I take accountability for who I am.  Her discomfort with me is hers to own. It’s taken time but I’m able to speak of this now without tears and hand-wringing. As I turn the page, I make a choice:  to leave her decisions where they belong  …  with her.

“There comes a time in your life when you have to choose to turn the page, write another book or simply close it.” – Shannon L. Alder

 

Have you ever had someone delete you from their life?  How did you handle it and where are you with it now?

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Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Faith, Family, fear, Forgiveness, Grief, Growth, Life, Life Lessons, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Self Discovery, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

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17 thoughts on “Turning the page

  1. I’m glad you’re able to come to terms with this. Yes, just recently I had a relative “unfriend” me on FB. It all started when she deleted one of my comments on a post of hers. I had unfollowed her (because of her language), but that’s different than unfriending. As you say: her choice.

  2. hmm what a thought-provoking post. And how interesting that this should come up just as I’m grappling with a rocky relationship of my own…it’s a really difficult situation and I know if I make the wrong move it’s going to send the apples flying. I’m biding my time and hoping the right situation will arise where I can deal with it. I do often look back at the people I’ve known and wondered….where are you know, who have you become. Thank you for the role you played in my life. That was the one thing I learned; people come into your life for a period of time – sometimes days, months and even years or decades, and then they go….I’ve learned that that is fine and I let them go. They were there for a reason, sometimes it’s obvious, others I’m left wondering…but it usually makes itself known in time. Others were just there and then they weren’t and I no longer wonder why. Along the way we grow and develop and find aspects of ourselves we didn’t know before that person came along…it’s actually quite freeing, this being able to just let it go and not fret about the why. But yes, I must admit I do enjoy looking back and just thinking about the people who have been in my life.

    • when the time comes you’ll know what to do.

      And yes, like you, I do think paths cross for a reason ~ sometimes the reason is to remind you how far you’ve come or that you don’t want to go down a particular road again.

      I wish you well on your decision,
      MJ

  3. You are not alone. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you Butch Dean. Your comment means a lot to me.
      I draw comfort in this, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

      I lay the burdens down.
      MJ

  4. I am estranged from my oldest brother for 30 years. There was no argument or anything really. He estranged himself from our mother and his brother. I was young at the time but clearly with them. Looking back, it was best for all because the family relationships had the “walking on eggshells” aspect for everyone. I expect he was better for it and although my mother was too (much less conflict), it was painful for her. I always wished I could have fixed it but I was just a bystander watching it play out.

    • I’m sorry, I’m sure that was terribly painful for your mother. And yet I understand, too.
      I’m glad you can look back and see the positive; I hope to get there, too.
      MJ

  5. I love that you’re finally at peace with your sister’s decision.

    I have one sibling that I barely have a relationship with (for very good reason), and I’ve healed the pain around it to such an extent that if I have to see him, I can. But, I really no longer feel the need to have any sort of relationship with him at all. The main purpose for our lives being intertwined is over and done as far as I’m concerned. I just need to figure out how I’m going to untangle from property we (and another sibling) jointly inherited that he and his wife seemly can’t afford, yet refuse to be bought out.

    • That’s a sticky situation it sounds like. Have you had legal advice? Sometimes the “black and white” of a legal opinion/direction can offer a healthy shield.

      I’m sad about it but I’m no longer willing to carry the burden around like a 50lbs sack on my back. Setting it down and stepping away.

      Peace,
      MJ

      • As sticky as it can be at times, I could simply pull out of the property ownership if the entire situation becomes too big of a burden.

        I hear you about carrying burdens of the past. So worth setting them down.

  6. Appreciate you writing on this topic…family relationship pains are real. Just as real as a broken bone, and just deciding not to dwell on them has never worked for me…so I am VERY thankful you have come to a place where you can let it go w/o all of the hand wringing, etc. His Peace and Joy to you in full measure.
    DM

  7. So true. We get older and past relationships fade. I have five brothers but honestly, I’m only close to one. The others are much older and a few I never had had a good relationship with to begin with. I used to try to keep a connection but now I’ve let it be. It feels good in a strange way, to let myself to be free of the pain from the past and move on with people who respect and truly love me

    • I understand what you mean; there’s a relief there as well, to be free from the eggshell walking, from always being fearful of saying or doing the wrong thing and encountering the huffs, eye rolls and comments. Someone else can have that joy!

      Hugs,
      MJ

  8. Isn’t it so strange to arrive at this point in life and realize that someone who was so much a part of your world, someone you assumed would ALWAYS be there, has become a stranger?

    I guess there’s a lesson in your experience for me. I have distinct opinions about certain of my own siblings. And maybe I need to realize that what I see … what I think I see … isn’t everything. Still doesn’t make it easy to deal with the feelings of abandonment, but it takes the sting away just a little bit to realize that maybe there’s something under the surface that I don’t know… some explanation other than pure selfishness for the distance I feel between us. It doesn’t fix everything, but takes the pressure off just a little bit.

    I’m glad you’ve come to terms your situation. Sometimes, no matter how hard you fight for something, you just can’t win. All you can do is let it go. Good for you for finding peace with it.

    • in a word, yes. Yes it is strange. Yes it is difficult to accept/wrap your heart and head around. Yes there is probably more that I don’t know and yes, sometimes no matter how hard you struggle, to save yourself you have to cut the rope and drift away.
      Hugs to you Tee, MJ

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