Confessions of an Elective Orphan…

Words are curious things… they possess strange powers…

A few days ago, I was taken on a sudden diversion from an ordinary chit chat filled with observations about the weather… you know the sort of small talk that the English excel at and what was pretty much what I expected on a day that was raining cats and dogs…

But then the conversation took an unexpected turn as the person broke off  mid-sentence… paused… then said…

I’ve decided that I don’t want my father in my life any more… I’ve decided never to see him again…

IMG_2721I watched as her hunched shoulders straightened as though a great weight had been lifted and then her chin tilted upwards and a warm gentle smile spread across her face…

A small involuntary laugh escaped my lips…

You find that funny?

Yes, slightly… I know that face… I’ve felt that face… You feel relief don’t you?

How do you know that?

Because I too have made that face… I no longer see either of my parents…

Is it wrong to feel like this?

It is what it is…

What do you think people will say? How do you tell people about it?

I’m past caring what people think about it… those whose opinions matter know why and support my decision… now you feel relief and you will feel regret and guilt but then you’ll find there are more people than you realised who’ve made the same choice… and my thoughts are that the only ‘wrong’ thing about these situations is that not enough people speak openly about it… If only there was a word to describe it, to name it, to cut off the prying questions and for people to be able to recognise that you’ve made a healing choice…

 

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But… I guess we live in a very preachy society and often it’s the most ignorant and least informed who feel they have the most to say and strongest of opinions to push on others…

Though it does strike me as odd that in this day and age where people recognise divorce as being a healthy choice for some people and a move forward from beliefs that women (or men) should put up and shut up… that there seems to exist very strongly a big taboo around the breaking of the special and sacred parent-offspring bond…

Now preachers preach and I expect them to hit me with scriptures about love and honour thy parents…

And having been dedicated into the Army that is militant with Salvation and having an overbearing Grandfather who went through life with a quote for everything and everything in a quote… I’ve pretty much heard most of the scriptures and I also know that for every scripture to argue a case, there is one to take the opposite view… Just seek and ye shall find…

What I find more harmful is some of the disturbing views and advice that I’ve had thrust at me under the guise of the ‘Love and Light’ banner…

Amongst other things, I am a Reiki Master Teacher… and as such over the years, I’ve had very many conversations and I am a fairly blunt and open person and I will speak my thoughts out loud… And I’ve said the odd phrase here and there that has caused shock and horror followed by admonishments that I really should go work on my heart chakra… or oh my goodness! How can you even look at yourself in the mirror? I could never think or feel like that or even imagine it…

Really? You cannot even imagine…

Then consider yourself blessed that you’ve not experienced what I have…

Love and honour my parents?

I do this by recognising their frailties and that they were ill equipped to handle one of the toughest jobs that there is…

I love them by not allowing myself to be filled with a belly full of hate and resentment…

I honour them by honouring myself and trying to be a better parent to my own children…

And when I look in the mirror… what do I see?

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 I see me…

And I feel…

FREE…

Yes words…

They do possess curious powers…

They possess the power that you choose to give them…

If only there was a word…

And the words came to me…

I am…

an Elective Orphan…

And my confession…

I confess nothing!

I have done no more or no less than anybody else…

I do what we all do…

I move through life in the best way that I know how to…

Winging it with the few gifts that God gave me…

Card Images from The Intuitive Tarot by Cilla Conway (c) 2004

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11 thoughts on “Confessions of an Elective Orphan…

  1. I totally get where you’re coming from with this post. I had the “love of God” beaten into me every day starting at a very early age (like 3), and some people still try to admonish me for no longer speaking to my “parents.” I don’t know who my real dad is, so it was easier to not talk to my stepfather.

    But my mom is a different story. It drives me crazy that there are Buddhist sayings that include, “like a mother has for her child,” and that many religions teach us to honor our parents. I finally decided that my rule was if the abuse had stopped to work on forgiveness. However, if the person continues to remain abusive, then forget it. There’s no reason to even try.

    Every time I tried to see my mom, she told me she should have had an abortion, and everything that had gone wrong in her life was my fault. This continued into my 30’s. Seriously. So I stopped trying to talk to her. I found out just a couple weeks ago that surprisingly she’s still alive. Whatever.

    I remember when I first decided to no longer worry myself with anyone from my family of origin (except my aunt, who is the only decent human being in the bunch), I called myself something like “chosen orphan.” But I didn’t like the term. Now I just call myself free.

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    • I don’t like labels but sometimes it helps to choose one of your own making… Elective Orphan felt right but it may disappear in time… but FREE! yes!!! Abuse is insidious… a slow and creeping poison and not until you break away do you realise just how much you’ve swallowed and how much better you are away from it. I’d tolerated and tried to understand my Mother until into my 40s… until events showed just how dangerous she was capable of being… it was a very sudden and clean break and also because of what had happened, my sister and both of my step-sisters also walked away from her… we are all much happier.

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  2. I have been really lucky in that my parents always did the best they could and treated me with love to the absolute best of their abilities. Sometimes I wonder when people have awful selfish and abusive parents that they are there to show the rest of us how not to be a parent. Still seems a hard lesson to me. When you think about it, who decided we all have to honour and respect our parents and look after them? Bet it was written by old people. Ha, they just wanted to make sure they could behave however they wanted and still get looked after in their dotage. Well, I say good for you for extracting yourself out of a poisonous place. You always have to put your own happiness first and if that means cutting people out of your life, no matter who they are, then you absolutely must do it. It’s your life and you live it how you want to. I’m so glad you’re now free to be you. Who cares what anyone else thinks? It says more about them than you to be honest. Well done you, and thank you for sharing such a personal story. Andrea

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    • Nicely put Andrea 🙂 hard lessons… but hey we all get lessons… and I’ve heard others talk about their challenges in life and gave thanks that I’ve never had to go through what they have… Luckily I have been spared my biggest nightmare and all my kids have been blessed with good health!

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  3. I like this. I don’t always get along with my parents and I have considered cutting myself off altogether from them, but haven’t done that. When I was living an hour away, I hardly ever saw them. I just don’t resonate with my parents or how they raised. I know they did the best they could with what they knew at the time, but they were and still are not open to learning new things and new ways.

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  4. It’s a big step to become an ophan when you have a “choice”. especially when you have so much to try to tell you to “work it out”. You stepped out on a limb and your life has been better for it. I’m sorry you did not have the kind of parents that loved and honored you as their child and a person.

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  5. No one should judge another’s decision unless they’ve lived their life. I don’t find anything wrong with ending any relationship if it is toxic and does not give you what you need from it, whether it is a parent or a spouse or even a child. Your choice is yours and no one else’s to make for you.

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  6. Pingback: Welcome to The Ex Files… | The Pure and Blessed Way...

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