So Near Yet So Far

The reason why I don’t put my real name on Facebook and never post a single image of myself on Instagram ( heck, I don’t even have an account) is because I am scared for the crazies to find me. I burned the bridges a long time ago and removed any means of transportation that will lead to me and I’m sure none of them is a good swimmer enough to cover the distance. So, as long as I’m invisible I am safe.

But I must admit I am a bonafide stalker. I stalk some people online. Part out of curiosity, part out of __ I forgot the word. I’m curious what become of them, how’s their lives now and who they are with. Most of the times I was amazed with the answers to my inquiries. Their choices surprised me. Never expected most of them. It only shows that I never really know them. Or people do really evolved. Maybe they are not the people they once were or they are not the people I thought they were.

Anyway, I am always careful not to leave footprints. Based on my experience the moment they learned that I still exist they will swoop like vultures on a carcass. I don’t want that to happen. Again. I remember the time I planned to attend an overseas class reunion and let them know, oh, boy… the lies came pouring in.

“You didn’t change since grade school. Still the beauty.” Someone said.

What??? They didn’t know I exist back then.

Okay, that maybe a lie since I was a class president multiple times during our academic years. I starred in school productions, captained a debate team, did quiz bee, wrote in the school paper and did things they never dreamed of doing. But beauty I was not. I was bullied because I was an outcast and in their provincial minds, ugly. I was not a girly-girl (according to my father I was) and never care about my appearance so, they made my life a living hell.

Another thing is: people have long memories. They will remember things you don’t recall anymore. Or things you rather not remember. They are good at that. And those who formed a misplaced admiration and attachment to you still harbor some hope to rekindle whatever they think you had with them that time without regards to whoever is involved. And one thing I don’t do is to deliberately hurt someone or break a union and divide a family. Of all the unconventional things I had done in the past, I can proudly say that I didn’t break up any marriage or any relationship. Like I said I don’t do such things.

So, I’m content with spying on them and once in a while wishing I was there, missing a certain atmosphere and imagining how it will be if I show myself in person. All hell will break loose for sure. I say this not because of self-importance but out of personal experience. I tend to form an all consuming kind of relationships with certain people that usually end up in__ chaos? misery? disaster? name it. They are often so intense that forgetting seems out of the question. On my part because I possessed Eidetic memory and on their part__ I have no idea. It just happened that way.

The funny thing is: Those who matters to me I don’t stalk. I am scared to see that life goes on without me. That I am not a part of their existence and will never be. That they don’t even think about me at all. That they are happy I am not there. So, I stay away. Even though it hurts. I can handle it. What I can’t handle is rejection. The knowledge that I don’t matter at all.

But it is what it is and I long accepted the fact that life could be lonely sometimes and alone we were born, alone we shall die.

Why Being Estranged From Someone Is Nothing To Be Ashamed About.

When blood is thicker than water, but it’s so thick and so toxic, it’s drowning you.

Most everyone has a family member, friend, colleague, neighbor, or some person who is a strain to get along with.

Getting on a mutual wavelength just doesn’t happen. Communication is clunky, awkward, and uncomfortable. You find yourself making excuses to stay away or cut contacts short. You can never seem to enjoy being in the presence of one another. Your connection with that person becomes weaker and weaker until sometimes, you avoid or fade it out completely.

Yet something lingers. Perhaps you could have done better; maybe there is some key to connecting that you couldn’t figure out.

Family, by definition, is a group of people related by birth, marriage, and legal parameters. The expectation existing all around us is that these relations are a good thing or meant to be a good thing. Blood is thicker than water and all that. The simple reality I encounter is that no matter the birth lineage or inheritance of relations, it does not necessarily mean these individuals relate or fit with one another. Some families are like jigsaw puzzles whose pieces got placed in the wrong box.

Figuring out how to navigate differences, misunderstandings, and balancing individual needs in a group environment is a lot. It takes so many skills to get good at it while also requiring the temperament and constitution to tolerate the ruptures. When problems multiply, affections become deeply alienated; we can become estranged. It is painful when people you expect to support you don’t. Unexpressed, unresolved feelings can wreak havoc.

Estrangement, by definition, is a relationship that has soured and turned distant, even somewhat hostile. An estranged relationship causes discomfort. No one likes to run their fingers along splintered wood, and unless you find an emotional lathe, there is almost always some hurt.

AUTHOR: MARTINE J. BYER


Though this article in my personal opinion is somewhat incomplete, there are some points here that resonate with what I’m going through that, in the end, I decided to share it here. If I am the one who wrote it, I would elaborate and go further with details and give it a proper closure which seems to be lacking. Just a thought.

It’s Okay

… that’s what I always say to myself when I feel so bad I want to give up.

When it hurts so much I literally double up from the pain.

It’s okay.

I tell myself every time I encounter injustice and people treat me bad because of who I am.

It’s okay, don’t cry.

I say to myself when people that matter to me forget I exist.

And I miss them terribly.

It’s okay.

It’s okay.

It’s okay to feel sad, lonely, miserable, isolated and misunderstood.

It’s okay not to sleep. It’s okay not to eat. It’s okay to suffer and it’s okay not to feel safe.

For years I tell myself it’s okay. What’s happening to me is normal. It’s okay.

Yesterday I thought:

NO

It’s not okay.

It’s not okay that I have so much pain physically.

And emotionally I’m empty.

Psychologically I’m a wreck.

It’s not okay that my family betrayed me, my ex abused me and people took advantage of my generosity.

It’s not okay that I don’t see my children much and it’s not okay that the person I care about the most is taken away from me.

NO

It’s not okay.

In fact, I feel bad and some days I want to end it all.

And today I am really convinced that it’s the right thing to do.

I have only one wish:

That I see my Sunshine once more and hold her again in my arms and kiss those soft cheeks.

Then I’m going to sleep.

Forever.

My Dearest Oona

Twilight is here again the sun is sinking down

Another day had passed soon it will be dark

Tomorrow in the East the sun will rise again

But without you by my side, nothing really matters.


The garden is empty devoid of all flowers

I know they will be there again come next Spring

But whatever season as long as you’re not here

Believe me, in my heart it is always Winter.


Birds always come back to their nests before dark

Will you be home again tomorrow? Next day perhaps?

I’ll be waiting for you every day all my life

I hope you will return before I close my eyes.


__ Your Glam-Ma

Missing You

I still think of you every day.
But I’m trying not to let it hurt me with the same intensity that it used to.

And as painful as it is, it still kind of warms me to know I will always carry a part of you inside of me.

Everybody wants their own little place in the world. And maybe mine is here… Loving you from a distance…

Emptiness

This is me since I decided to stay away. Your absence created a giant hole inside of me that can never be replaced. I tried to patch the gap but nothing fits. Only you can fill this special place. I think of you every single second I breathe and it hurts! It hurts not seeing you grow up. It hurts not being part of your life but I’m helpless. The price I have to pay to see you is something I can’t afford. What can I teach you if being with you means I have to give up my self-respect and dignity? How can I be any use to you if holding you in my arms means I have to forget the person that I am and abandon everything I believe in? No, I can’t do that. Not even for you. I cannot compromise my self-respect for love. I have to keep my integrity right down to the end or otherwise what is the use of living? My pride is all I’ve got. I will not surrender my self-worth. Never. So, I will love you from a distance and hope you will have the freedom to grow up to be your true self, not the one society and your upbringing dictates. You will never know how much I long for you but it doesn’t matter because I know. It’s for me enough. Be happy always. Be safe.

You will always be a part of me.


I hope someday you will have a chance to read this and know that I care. In my mind, we share a lot of happy moments. In my dream I watch you grow up to be a beautiful person I know you will one day become. On your first Christmas, I imagined I gave you a little box, a present, and watched how you’ve tried to open it and kissed the smile on your innocent face when you succeeded. I would love to take you everywhere with me and teach you the importance of little things and share with you my love for nature and freedom. I realized it is far-fetched but I imagine we are kindred-spirit. Perhaps you will not even know me but I love you just the same. Fly free and soar high my Oona. You will always be loved.

~ from your eccentric but loving Glam-Ma

10 Ways to Cope With Toxic Family Members

by Grace Furman

We all have family members we butt heads with over our taste in music, life choices, or politics. Typically we choose to put in the required effort to work through the problem or, depending on the issue, just smile politely and let it go.

A toxic relationship, however, is a relationship in which one person is emotionally and possibly physically damaging the other on a consistent basis.

Just because someone is a part of your family does not make this behavior acceptable.

Your top priority must be your own health and emotional well-being. If someone else is jeopardizing those, then you need to make changes to remedy the situation.

So how can you determine whether someone is toxic?

Here are some examples of things that toxic family members might do:

  • Constantly make demeaning comments
  • Be unsupportive of you if it doesn’t benefit them
  • Have an unpredictable and bad temper
  • Take advantage of your time, skills, or money
  • Emotionally manipulate you in order to control your behavior
  • Refuse to take responsibly for their actions
  • Make decisions for you
  • Display a lack of empathy toward others
  • Blame you and others for their own problems
  • Use violence or aggression to get what they want

Clearly, these behaviors create an unhealthy environment and can have many negative effects on your health and well-being.

If your relationship with a family member is toxic, the only thing you can control is your response. You must decide what to do in order to take care of yourself.

Here are 10 ways to cope with toxic family members:

1. Set Boundaries.

Determine what are acceptable and unacceptable ways for you to be treated.

Everyone is worthy of respectful treatment, yourself included. You deserve to be happy, healthy, loved, and safe.

Decide what your specific needs are and how others can or cannot treat you in order to meet those needs. You can then ensure that they will be met by implementing number two below.

2. Stand Up For Yourself.

When toxic family members cross the lines of the boundaries you set, you must stand up for yourself.

This can be scary and challenging, but it is important to be upfront and honest with them about your needs and expectations.

You can take charge of your life and the way you are treated by letting them know when they have done something unacceptable.

3. Stop Making Excuses.

Do not make excuses for someone else’s unacceptable behavior.

While they may try to blame you or others, the truth is that they alone are responsible for their choices and resulting actions.

When you make excuses for someone’s behavior, you are supporting it and allowing it to continue. If you have set reasonable expectations and been upfront with the family member, then it is their responsibility to act accordingly.

4. Experience Your Emotions.

Dealing with a toxic family member will bring on uncomfortable feelings and difficult emotions.

It is normal to feel anger, sadness, fear, confusion, and more. Instead of trying to push these emotions away, allow yourself the time and space to sit with them and experience them.

This way your body and mind can work through the feelings instead of having them build up inside. It can also prevent unhealthy coping mechanisms from forming.

5. Don’t Take It Personally.

This can be difficult, but try not to take a toxic family member’s words or actions personally. They clearly have their own wellness issues, and that is where this hurtful behavior is stemming from. It is a reflection on them, not on you. Believe in yourself and your worth regardless of anyone else’s opinions or comments.

7. Seek Help.

Dealing with a toxic family member is mentally difficult and emotionally draining, so it will be important for you to have sufficient outside support.

Share your struggles with close, trusted friends or family. Read books about coping with toxic family members to hear other people’s stories and gain further insights and strategies.

8. Practice Self-Care.

Practicing self-care is vital to mental health, and it becomes particularly important while going through an emotionally challenging situation.

Take time away from everything else to spend meditating, journaling, soaking in a hot bath, or whatever you enjoy most. It is helpful to implement daily affirmations.

Speak to yourself with encouragement and self-kindness. Focus on the positive by listing things you are thankful for each day.

Remember that your worth is not lessened just because someone else cannot see it.

9. Be Compassionate.

While challenging, it can be helpful to have compassion toward the toxic family member.

This does not mean you excuse their behavior though. It is simply a recognition that they are not inherently a bad person. Every human being is imperfect.

Their own difficult life circumstances or lack of skills have gotten them to this dark place. We all have our own pain that we are trying to deal with, and we all make mistakes sometimes. This is a part of our common humanity.

10. Cut Them Out.

If the above strategies have not helped to remedy the situation, you will have to decide whether or not you want this toxic family member in your life at all.

Ask yourself if you are getting more pain than joy out of the relationship. If the answer is yes, you may want to cut this person out of your life until they have shown the ability to consistently treat you with respect.

It could be for a couple of weeks or it may be much longer. If nothing changes, it could be permanent.


Relationships are built on respect, trust, and honesty. Everyone deserves these things. Just because a person is related to you, does not mean you owe them anything or that they can treat you however they like. This is especially true when the relationship comes at the expense of your own health and well-being.

Use the above strategies to build up your self-esteem and make the changes you need to ensure you can be happy and healthy. People can change which means that the two of you may be able to repair this relationship.

It will be hard and take a lot of time, but it can be done. However, notice that it is “the two of you.” Both parties must be willing to work together.

Unfortunately, in some cases, it is best to let the relationship go. After you’ve put in as much effort as you can, you will have to decide what’s best for you and your well-being.


Grace Furman is a writer and blogger at Heartful Habits. Heartful Habits is a place of inspiration for what Grace calls living mindfully and heartfully. She loves learning and sharing about wellness tips, natural remedies, beauty DIYs, green cleaners, healthy recipes, social issues, and more. Grace will be regularly contributing to Live Bold and Bloom.

Puppet Master

Let me be clear, my love is unconditional, but your presence in my life is not. The moment that you prove that your value of me does not measure up to my sense of self-worth, I’ll have no problem unconditionally loving the memory of you and moving on.

It’s called self-Respect.

Setting boundaries and refusing to be a victim.

It takes courage to say no.

No, I will not be your puppet.

No, I will not be blackmailed. Emotionally or otherwise.

No, you cannot use me.

No, you cannot manipulate me.

I am responsible for saying yes to what feels good and no to what doesn’t.

You don’t own me.

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The Story Of My Life

Sadly, there are people who will tell the world that you leave them, and they will say the reason behind the desertion, but they will not admit what they have done to make you decide to walk away from their lives. As they speak the truth that only themselves know about, they are also cleansing their names to wash off the wrongdoings they once made to you that really forced you to abandon the love and friendship you once shared with them.

—Ren Ednalig

hope_inside_heaven__s_tears_by_haamaiah-d5b0t6l 

Heart Or Brain

No. I’m only joking.

I mean shock.

Shock that the person I thought was a role model and a loving dedicated mother could say on the national TV things I would never expect to hear from her. And to think that I used to copy her style back in the 90s. She was fashion-forward, quite unique, creative and out of the box. Now, this…

She is one of the three hosts of a noontime program that centered around family life. No, I don’t follow it. Nor watch. I just know. From time to time a segment would pass through my feed and sometimes I click on it just to see what’s current from the other side of the world and the other day it’s about choices, priorities. Who is more important, a husband or children? That’s the topic. I thought it was old news. Everyone knows that children first and if push comes to shove and a mother has to choose, no second thought: children it is. A partner you can replace. Easily. But your own kids… c’mon, they are part of you, your own flesh and blood. You’ve carried each of them for nine months, take care of them till they are old enough to attend to themselves and even then, your task as a parent will never finish till you are dead and buried. How could you prioritize your partner over your children? It’s for me unthinkable.

I know there is an exception in every rule. Like if despite all your effort your child becomes so toxic to your existence that there is no other choice but to cut the umbilical cord. But that isn’t the same as choosing between your partner and your offspring. You are choosing for yourself and what is best for your well-being.

Apparently, not everyone thinks the same. At least, not that female host. Her co-hosts are on my side but she is adamant that she has to put her husband first before her children. Like I said I was shocked! And what surprised me, even more, was the fact that their guest expert on the topic was with her 100%.

Unbelievable!

It’s like saying if your partner and child are drowning or trapped in a burning building you are going to save your husband first instead of the other way around?

I can’t wrap my mind around that ridiculous idea. In my book, if someone thinks this way she doesn’t deserve to be a mother.

How about you?

What do you think?

Probably you will argue:

Always remember that once kids grow up they will leave you and you will have only each other.

Are you sure?

How would you know that he will be there forever?

On the other hand, even when worse comes to worst your children will always be your children no matter what.

No?

I am not saying neglect thy husband. Just don’t make him your priority especially when the children are young and needed you most. And when the time comes to choose. Never choose him above your children. Never. No matter what.

Agree?

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Tumbleweed

The legendary tumbleweed is really a nurse crop that protects the growth of prairie grasses under its shade, and then sacrifices itself and blows away.

Almost everyone I know has something of an ancestral house. Somewhere they can always go back to from wherever fate decided to move them across the globe. A place where they could reunite with their families and friends and talk about childhood memories. Somewhere they feel safe and truly belonged. Most people have hometowns, alma maters, reunions, people they grew up with and neighbors who know them from babyhood. I know people who married their childhood sweethearts, the next-door neighbor or a sibling of their best friend. Their children know each other and go out together forming the next generation of youngsters who will follow the footsteps of their parents. Most people have a family and a home where their roots are firmly planted in a solid foundation, where their history lies and written. I don’t have those.

I don’t even come back to the place where I was born since we left before I was even a year old. Alma mater, what is that? I changed school like I change underwear. Same with hometowns. If I would like to visit where I grew up I have to go to hundreds of different places and meet thousands of different people who may not remember me at all since we leave before everything gets too familiar. Roots? What’s that? I was a tumbleweed rolling where the wind blows, no destination, without purpose.

Family is something alien to me. Not only I don’t have a place to go back to, but I have also no one to come back to. Don’t ask. It’s just the way it is. Likewise, with friends, I don’t have them either. What I had were familiar strangers whom I shared a one time experience with before I move to another chapter of my existence. Go back (even for a visit) I can’t. Somehow I always managed to burn bridges one way or the other. If I don’t someone will do it for me. It’s just the way it is.

Family, friends, hometowns, alma mater, childhood sweethearts, ancestral house, roots, If you have them, I envy you.

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ThumbelOona

You’re growing so fast Sunshine

Your clothes are getting smaller

Your face changing

You are getting bigger

Not in a conventional sense

But you are growing alright

Growing into Oona size

Thumbelina size

Forever

Compact slight petite

Tiny slight pint-sized

All elfin features perfect

A miniature person

Small beautiful Unique

I love the way your toes curl when I kiss them. I love how you look at people with your scrutinizing gaze as if you are studying them weighing knowing understanding. I love the sound of your voice when you are trying to convey your feelings in your own way, without words. I love how you smile when you hear your favorite song and how you listen attentively when your mother read you stories. I love the way your big eyes light up when you are happy and the way your eyelashes touch your cheeks when you’re asleep.

I want you to be happy and healthy Sunshine. I want you to be safe. I hope they are taking care of you properly. You will always be in my heart. I will always be here when you need me. I love you my Oona. My ThumbelOona.

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