When I was 17, I left home and never went back. Sometimes you love your family but you know that you simply can not be the best version of yourself if your family is around. Mine was highly dysfunctional! Batshit crazy! So I went on without them.
Of course, we got back together within a few years and things improved. But this same thing happened to me later in life. I was in some toxic relationships and had to make the choice between staying with family or saving my sanity.
Well, that was 16 years ago and I’ve been on my own for all these years. I work each day, pay my own bills and take care of my personal needs. I cook each day, do laundry—even vacuum on special occasions (like I can’t find the couch for the enormous dust balls).
You always have that little bit of guilt though because you left your family behind. Then I met that psychiatrist the other day. Her whole practice is about teaching people that many of their mental and emotional problems are related to their family and past family experiences.
The solution to getting well is leaving them. Just separate yourself from your family and pretend they no longer exist. Don’t feel guilty if they gripe because you missed Thanksgiving or Christmas. You deserve to have a happy wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas. You don’t have to go over there and put up with bickering and criticism.
Ignore them. Leave them. Never go back. Don’t feel guilty. Life’s too short and all that.
When I was 12, I started saving money to buy luggage. When mama saw the store layaway receipt she asked me, “Hey why are you buying luggage?”
I said, “I’m planning to run away from home so I need it to put my things in.”
So she shrugged and went about her business. I got my luggage out of layaway a few months later and sure enough, left home at 17.
I was certain by the age of 8 that I was born into the wrong family. I should have been born into a family of writers and musicians. Very intelligent people with common sense. I could have flourished under those circumstances. Sadly, as the Rolling Stones figured out some years ago, “You don’t always get what you want.”
I don’t know why God gives some people a simply wonderful family full of loving people who help and encourage each other. While other people get Troglodytes, people with no understanding, intelligence or compassion. It’s a mind-boggling topic so let’s don’t even go there.
All I know is that it usually takes a lot of courage to do the right thing. And the “right thing” isn’t always what you think it is. Have I lived my best possible life? No, not at all! But I’ve survived and sometimes that’s all there is.
I know a few weeks ago a big moth flew in the patio door and went to light on my bedroom curtains. It seemed ill. Lots of insects come to my house after being sprayed with insect spray. Apparently, the word is out on the streets that my house is a safe haven for wounded insects. I don’t kill spiders, bees and wasps. They’re beneficial insects that God created for a purpose.
So one time a big spider rushed through the back door who had just been sprayed with poison. He went to my extra room baseboard near the chest of drawers. He stayed there for a long time and I was sure he was going to recover, but he died.
A wasp came in one time and lit on the light shade by the TV. He was there for a week or so and finally got well and flew back out. I haven’t seen him since but wish him well.
Then a few weeks ago, this large gray moth came in and went right to my bedroom curtains. I watched it for a few days but it didn’t move. Then after a few weeks, I concluded that it had died. It was sad…such a lovely gray moth.
I went to gather up its remains and take them back outside but decided to say a few words over it first: “Sometimes all you can do is give a Being a quiet, safe place to die,” I whispered. And then I took it outside and scattered its remains on the grass.
My life hasn’t turned out like I thought it would but it has been an interesting journey. At the end of it all, I just want a quiet, safe place to die. That’s all.