What Am I Gaining Leaving My Family?
It’s not about losing but gaining
Everyone always says the words of losing something when your mind makes that decision to leave someone. But they never ask the question of what you might possibly gain?
I love bodywork and it opens me up to saying things I know but don’t want to admit. I tell my LMT all the arguments I’ve had with my family. They’re demanding I abandon this city and telling me how stupid it is for me to stay.
This is my home now, I keep telling them over and over.
The main thing that gives me roots in this place finally are my friendships. I know some amazing people that are truly one of a kind. These friendships are mainly with guy friends that are all so different from each other. Their qualities are like different contrasts of the night sky versus day.
“Why aren’t you cutting your family out, MD?”
“Because I’m not supposed to. Because I love them more than my own happiness.”
This admission blows my mind, yet I know it’s the truth. I’m always aware of these things I refuse to acknowledge. She chuckles a little under her breath.
“That’s a nougat, why would you give up your happiness for them and continue this?”
“Because I deserve it. I deserve them hurting me. I deserve this damn abuse.”
“Why is that?”
“Whenever I was hurt mentally or physically they’d say that to me. I deserved this pain. And I fucking believe it.”
She works on my legs while a heating pack sits on my back. I sigh and my face presses into the face cradle. There’s something about being this type of vulnerable that will get people to open up to you like nothing else.
I feel like bodywork needs to be coupled with talk therapy. Clients do most of the work because as muscles unravel then their guards come down. It’s happening to me and I open and close my hands.
We’ve fallen down the rabbit hole her and I. She’s gotten me at the perfect moment after this Hurricane. My sense of humor is erased, it’s only a painful rawness that very few see. I feel like my scars are emerging from their hiding places.
I admit that I’ve had a pattern of repeating abuse. She asks me if it’s happening again with the relationships now. The only people I allow in my life are those who remind me of my goodness.
They tell me of my intelligence, kindness, anyone who triggers me is released quickly. I will not face any relationships that take away from who I am.
“What do you lose if you cut that one person out?”
“Everything. My brother, he’s my best friend,” I stumble with my words.
Tears form in my eyes that I’ve repressed for the past few days. My throat constricts and I tell myself to keep it together.
“What is it about the relationship with your brother that you hold onto it?”
“My brother gets me and we have so many happy memories. He knows what I went through. He knows how her mind works. There’s no one else in this world who will believe me, it’s too far fetched, too intense, too horrible for anyone to ever believe.”
The words tumble out of my mouth. She and I go further into my psyche of why I hold onto them. She asks me how I mirror this person who hurts me unlike any other.
I say whenever I’m at my worst they couldn’t be more gleeful that I snapped at someone. That I gave them a piece of my mind and can destroy someone so easily.
There’s always this dangerous edge I can be that I’m aware of. I had to physically defend myself from my family when they came at me. That’s why when I hit a growth spurt and could hold my own against them, it was something I needed.
This person in my family so close to me reminds me they can hurt me unlike any other. They tell me this whenever I step outside the bounds of what they want me to be.
“What do you gain from choosing yourself? I don’t think it’s a matter of strength whether you can continue to handle what they do to you. You are of course strong enough, but do you keep allowing them in your life?”
“I gain everything choosing myself. I become more open to this world. I gain my happiness.”
The answers have always been there to these hard questions. I just never want to face them. I struggle to breathe as the truth threatens to suffocate me.