Let’s get right to it. Taking a risk here. Topic at hand is not the most pleasant, yet it’s important I share with you. Kind of the reason for this whole blog thing, ya know?
After a good, long four years and counting, I decided to write on a tenuous subject, one of which is close to my heart. It does not define me, though it’s extremely personal and has transformed my life. It’s taken me years to get to this point. I’m compelled to share, to reach out to those who might be struggling with their own experience. In order to give freely, one must show vulnerability. This is where I am in my journey.
Estrangement of the modern kind.
Today, the stoke of my pen is broad. Details are mine and, as time and heart allows, I will share more. It’s a complex issue, of course. The misunderstanding of what estrangement looks and feels like differs from one person to another. Yet one thing is abundantly clear: fear, hurt, and pain feed the vortex of estrangement.
E.s.t.r.a.n.g.e.m.e.n.t. The word itself conjures up a mixture of anger, sadness, regret, remorse, hollowness, relief, anxiety, depression, to name several. It’s alive and well in this world and not going anywhere, anytime soon. There is no skating around any of it. Judgement is at the forefront.
It is easy to lump estrangement into one big lump of whatever. It’s part of human nature to take sides. That person obviously deserved to be cut off, or that person definitely did the right thing by walking away. It’s easy to judge and show disdain or support to either party. It’s easy to place blame and deflect our own pain on to others. Because we don’t understand, we judge, allowing a sense of validity to something that makes us feel uncomfortable.
It’s difficult to view life through a critical thinking lens. It’s difficult to look at ourselves and accept our frailties, mistakes and our own personal pain. It’s difficult to see who we truly are and come to our own conclusions that we are enough. It’s difficult to accept ourselves and what we cannot change.
Shame adds to the profound effects of what it feels like to be estranged or one who chooses to estrange themselves. Estrangement embodies both parties’ lives, not simply one or the other.
Those who decide to sever a relationship, they do not cut others off lightheartedly. Their reasons are their own and most of the time, their decision is met with a great deal of heartache and anguish.
For the estrangee, they are in the midst of puzzlement, questioning themselves, doubting who they are and wonder how it ever got to this place. The rejection from one who we love, undermines our beliefs and is counter to what we once thought could never be.
My own experience continues. While I know very well the reasons for my own personal estrangement in my family, this in no way alleviates the pain. But – it does help in healing myself. If anything, my awareness has changed me, awakened my heart and head; a person no longer afraid to be herself and accepts the consequences of her actions and how she got here, today.
My purpose in sharing is to show care and compassion to those who may need to know they are not alone. To let everyone who has lived through estrangement, past or present; one who decided to estrange, or, like me, one who is the estrangee, that it’s not simple, trite, nor insignificant. Human relationships defy logic sometimes. I may lose a few readers and even some friends by opening myself up. That’s cool because I have no say in what others think or how I’m judged. It still hurts when I think someone doesn’t exactly dig me, not gonna lie. Yet I’m beyond that people pleasing person I used to be. At fifty-five, I suppose it’s about time. Isn’t it more important to uncover what matters to us, to unleash feelings of discomfort in order to become better versions of ourselves?
More thoughts later. Peace out, kids. We’ll find each other soon. ❤