Sometimes in life we have to sever ties with people who are not good for us. Individuals who are toxic to our spirit, causing us more harm than good. Severing ties with acquaintances and friends might hurt for a short time but usually proves to be for the best in the long run. Severing ties with family is a whole other beast.
Twice in my life I’ve found it necessary to sever ties with family who were toxic to my spirit and well-being. Individuals who seemed to continually thrive in negativity and bitterness. Life with them was killing me and every breath I took confirmed it. The ex-hubby was the first. My sister was the second.
Parting ways with the ex-hubby came with challenges. We raised children together. Six of them. We have grandbabies and in-laws. Our children took sides in the divorce and there were times when it wasn’t the one I wanted them to take. After the dust settled we had to find balance again. Navigating holidays wasn’t always easy. Rebuilding family dynamics with a new partner was hard. I imagine that if my divorce had been amicable those things would have been easier. But it wasn’t. It was ugly. Resentments were harbored. I was as toxic to my ex as he was to me. There were too many nasty exchanges and I know that there were many times when my kids felt caught in the middle. They didn’t always like or understand my choices but we have balance now. My babies know that I love them with all my heart and there is nothing that I would not do for any of them. I am their biggest cheerleader and I have been a great mother and grandmother without their sperm donor being in my life.
Parting ways with my sister was the easiest decision I ever made. I agonized over it for months before I did it and then when the choice was made, I felt the burden of our relationship lifted off my shoulders. Life was suddenly better than I imagined. Even our parents seemed to understand, neither ma nor pa saying anything about our situation. I imagine parenting us individually alleviated much of the heartache we had rained down on them over the years. My mother rarely updates me about my sister’s life and when she does I have no problems telling her I’m not interested. In all the time of our divide I haven’t once questioned my decision or second-guessed if I’d done the right thing. My sister was toxic to my spirit and her negativity and bitterness was killing me. Life without her has been good.
Recently we have encountered each other at my parent’s home. We are polite. Conversation is minimal. When all is done we go our separate ways and exist without each other. I was happy that all seemed well, even letting my guard down once as I pondered the possibility of our reconnecting. And then my sister’s ugliness managed to reach a tentacle back into my life to cause pain.
Had what she done affected only me I would have chalked it up to my sister being my sister, further cementing my decision to cut her from my life. But it didn’t. It also affected my children and that was unacceptable. My sister managed to cast a pall on the recent arrival of my beautiful grandbaby and her contentious behavior and ill-spirited comments were nothing but hurtful.
The divide between us has widened even further. We once walked that fine line between love and hate together but I suddenly feel like I’ve fallen over the edge into the dark side. I hate that my sister is my sister. And that is tearing at my soul because I have never hated anything so much in my whole life.