Parting Company

As we grow, we leave others behind.  We outgrow certain relationships and part company with those who cannot grow with us.  We seek souls with whom we have an affinity—those who nurture our developing sense of self and our deepening wonder at life.

As we wake up, we leave behind those invested in sleep.  As close as our relationships may have been in the past, our convulsions of consciousness are not welcome to those who remain in dissociated oblivion.  Our very presence disturbs them and they retaliate by denigrating our awareness.  We must be very careful not to allow others’ deadened life force to numb our newly-won vitality.  We must guard our precious perceptions and not squander these treasures on those whose defenses would undermine their meaning.

Perhaps most difficult of all, we must leave the limits of our families—and particularly our parents.  We must part company with these primary figures who wield tremendous and often deadly psychic power.  If we are not disciplined and committed to our departure, their censoring voices will crush our adult attempts to escape their orbit.

Some leave their parents with direct confrontations, which may be necessary to break the poisonous cord of family connection.  Others may leave with quiet grace—such that the family may not even notice.  Perhaps we needn’t disturb their sleep.  We may even choose to maintain civil, but distant contact, as long as we are not pulled back into their world of wounding treachery and denial.  But this is risky because they will try to pull us back.  Yet no matter how we leave, withdraw we must, leaving behind the hope of their joining us and blessing us as we venture into the depths of our being.

4 thoughts on “Parting Company

  1. I cut ties permanently with my entire family 2 months ago. Best thing I ever did. I was already not seeing them more than 3 times a year and maybe talking to them once every 2 weeks for 5 minutes on the phone. But even that proved to be too much. As the author says, their denial was too painful. It’s as if they really did not see how much they hurt me. And as I became more autonomous I started getting back very painful memories of what really happened. It is not possible for me to spend time with them ever again, but dropping them has really freed my tremendously. I literally feel like I am lighter. Many physical injuries I had for years all of the sudden started healing. It’s like I am no longer carrying their 1000lb burden and my body can recover.

  2. After I left my family for more than a year, I learned so so much. I was very aware of every little feeling that came up and did my very best to place them fardown in my history. Now, I am in contact again with my parents. I think and believe that the line from Gabor Maté made me ‘return’. He said ‘these are ancient trauma’s, so then if you realize…who is to blaim?’ – but ofcourse this doesn’t mean I won’t hold my parents responsible. But in this context I choose the status of ‘no longer holding anger’. When I visit my parents, brother, his girlfriend and children I have mixed feelings. In some way I am present is some way I am not there. I don’t have this illusion that I can change them, because the hardest thing is to change yourself.
    Actually I am learning on different levels when visiting. Afterwards I usually have some self-therapy to do, but I’m getting used to it, and every day I grow.

    • Well, the ‘return’ to my parents cannot endure…after a few visits I am already done. No love I see. They are still in denial…and worse…keep on tormenting me. A hard lesson..but I don’t regret it.

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