Hold on, let go

I’ve still been struggling with the reality that I am without a family. Which is weird, because on some level, I know I never had a family to begin with.

Did I have a mother? Sure. Half of my DNA comes from her. She gave birth to me. But that’s where her mother-ness ends.

Did I have a father? I guess. It’s questionable where I share his DNA, but he was a man who identified himself as my father, so I guess he was. He provided financially for the family. And that’s where his father-ness ends.

Was I a member of that family? No. I was an involuntary member of my mother’s cult. I was a pawn in my mother’s chess game. I was a servant to the almighty queen. But I was never a real part of that family.

Yet for some reason, I am still holding on to the emotional connection to that family. In the absence of my mother, I have taken on her criticisms and her hatred and continue to punish myself, just as she would do when she was there next to me.

I give in to the voice inside of me that tells me I am nothing without her. I listen as she tells me I am worthless, that I will never amount to anything, that I can’t do anything right. I believe her when she says I will never survive without her.

It doesn’t matter that she is no longer with me, because her voice is still inside of me, programmed into my brain, telling me all of the things I’ve heard all of my life, continuing to poison my thoughts, continuing to destroy my sense of self.

So why do I keep listening? Why do I keep holding on to something so toxic and so damaging? Because it’s all that remains of what I knew to be my family. That toxicity is all I have left. In a sick way, I keep my family alive by continuing to act on my mother’s toxic legacy.

I find comfort in familiarity. I find validation for my mother’s truths in my current life circumstances. When something doesn’t work out, when I’m struggling financially, when I can’t handle my life, I tell myself “See, my mother was right. I can’t live without her.”

I’m so afraid of losing that last connection. As damaging as it is, I keep holding on. I keep giving in.

My therapist showed me this meme in session today. She said it reminded her of me. At first, the person is holding on to the rope, as it tears and cuts into his hand. Then, as he starts to let go of the rope, his hand starts to get better. When he lets go completely, his hand is no longer being damaged by the rope at all; he is free from harm.


I’m still holding on to that rope, so very tightly. I’m holding on to all the shit my mother programmed into me, even though it’s hurting me and causing me pain. My therapist is trying to pull me away from that rope, telling me I don’t need to hold on to that anymore, trying to stop the emotional bleeding I am putting myself through. But I pull away from her and instead keep holding on to the rope.

I need to let go.


19 thoughts on “Hold on, let go

      1. KJ: I am so glad to see your new piece on Healthy Place. Glad to see you are still writing (and Fighting!) Also, it is so right on – my birthday is this week and I wonder if I might dare to send it to a couple of my family members who love me but truly don’t understand why I “can’t get over it” and have to go to so much therapy and don’t do so many things that they expect me to do. Oh Boy! Hugs. TS

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you, TS…I’m glad you are still reading. I wrote that piece with ‘outsiders’ in mind, hoping it would give some insight into why we just can’t get over it. We already know we can’t, I just wish other people understood. I could’ve written so much more had I not been limited.

        I think you should send it. It might help!

        Also, happy birthday to you.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh, Thank you, KJ. Always lonely on my birthday. Trying to get my courage together to send your column to my sons, who do love me but don’t understand. Hugs. TS


  1. Hello KJ,

    One of the most painful realizations is knowing you always had yourselves. I think that’s part of the reason for insiders in some cases. When you are ready, I think you’ll let go. It hurts to face the ruth in such concrete ways.

    thinking of you, sl


    Liked by 1 person

  2. My mother was worse than the movie, Mommie dearest.
    My dad was the one whonsaid I would never amount to nothing basically. A starving artist among one….
    I dont have a therapist. Never have. He probably wouldnt let me go to one anyways ( husband )
    I have learned to move away from the family problem.
    It has been years since I havr taalked to them. Except about 3 years ago when my dad was dying. And that was on the speaker phone…..
    Other thsn thst they only know the state I live in.
    It is best to let go..if they are still there. It takes a lot of hard times to try and forget. I still remember my dad and what he said. And I still kick myself….even thought I can do most sny kind of art.
    They ruin it for you.
    If you can, continue with your therapist.
    I often wish I could have a memory swipe..;) or certain times in my life.
    Right now im dealing with hubby and daughter yanking me from side to side and my pets dying….ive lost two lately…and I feel like im drifting away…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry to hear about your pets and recent loss. I hope you can find some kind of support, even if it’s not therapy.


      1. It’s hard with pets.
        I rate them higher than people I guess. Animals love you no matter what.
        I don’t know if I will get another cat…
        I have one and i’m afraid he will manage to get rid of her too. I have my dog….for now to help me.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Also, I’m glad that you were able to move away. I did last year. I’m still going through the emotional separation, though.


      1. Yes, that can be rough. It’s sad when family cannot get along. I still can’t talk to mine. And I don’t care now. Well I put it out of my mind by doing different things. Maybe go somewhere. A park, a walk…buy yourself something you like and tell yourself….it is for YOU.
        Life can be a emotional rollercoaster. Most of my life has been. You have to change the direction sometimes. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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