Usually I have this desire to completely remove anything annoying from my life. The problem with that method is that there isn’t much room for growth. A better methodology would be to assess the situation or relationship and address the annoyance instead of just throwing the baby out with the bathwater. (this phrase is horrible, but it fits the situation.)
Relationships connect people and normally that’s a positive thing, but often times that connection can be unhealthy. Sometimes that connection is open and positive, but other times that connection is built on guilt, shame, expectation and other negative feelings. The idea of cutting cords is not about cutting someone out of my life. It’s about reassessing the relationship and making it healthier for both parties involved.
Having come to the realization that I was the scapegoat of my family has helped me come to understand my expected role in my family much better. It’s funny how blind one can be to the facts. Take for instance my relationship with my brother. We used to talk more when I smoked and drank, but now that I don’t do those things, I’m realizing that our connection was mostly based on that and it was my job to keep the connection alive.
For years I was always visiting him. I would go out of my way to visit him and my nephews. Since I lived thousands of miles away, it was taxing. I’d be using my vacation time. I’d be using my money, my energy and resources to go visit him but there was never any reciprocation. I lived in one of the most beautiful and exciting places in the world, but that place, nor I, was worth visiting.
In fact, I moved back to the east coast because I thought that maybe it could be his turn to come visit me. For two years, I tried to get him and my nephews to come visit me. Every time I brought it up, I’d get the blow off. He’d make up an excuse or try to push it off. I don’t know why he is like that as an adult. I know as children, our relationship was basically his actions causing me to feel like to shit, so maybe he just continued that same paradigm.
Another example was the fact that I made him the best man of my wedding and he didn’t even throw me a bachelor party. I feel like this one hurt, but I buried it at the time. I had a three day destination wedding and he tried to co-op one of those nights and say he was going to throw a bachelor party then. What? You’re throwing my party on the day I’m already throwing my party? Um.. no. That merely seems like a pathetic attempt at salvaging some ounce of respect. I rolled with it at the time and I showed up at his rental house and said, ‘ok let’s party.’ Then his wife kicked us all out because she and the kids had to go to bed. Great party, bro.
Honestly, if I didn’t want to see my nephews, I really doubt either of us would be putting in any effort into the relationship.
I found a page that talks about this topic at the alchemy of healing website. It offers questions for one to answer and in doing so, one can do things with consciousness and not arbitrarily out of frustration or annoyance.
1. It is good to meditate on what is your intent with the cord cutting. What did I learn from this person or event I am cutting cords with.
I learned that the best relationships go both ways. There is an equal amount of reciprocity between the two parties. I realized how passive aggressive he is in his comments towards me. I realized that I wanted a relationship bad enough to overlook all the discrepancies and to submit myself to an unhealthy situation.
2. How was I able to grow as a person with them?
I wasn’t. Throughout my childhood, he did his best to keep me down. Snide passive aggressive comments that stung to the core were things I had to bury and act like those things didn’t happen. Looking back through the filter of time, I can see how my self improvement, growth or any time that I was doing well or a situation where I was better than him, was met with fierce condemnation and belittling comments. I can’t be sure, but it seems like his worth was wrapped up in keeping me down.
3. What am I grateful for?
Hmmm. I’m grateful that I can see the truth now. I’m grateful that I’m learning about healthy relationships, but those things were learned through bad examples. I’m grateful for the few times he did put effort in and managed to come visit me.