Think of a person in your life from whom you hide your emotions. What is preventing you from telling this person how you feel? I hide my emotions from everyone because I would be such an incredible downer if I let people in on how bad my life is. Right now I'm not talking with my mother and she has hurt me very badly so I'll choose her to talk about. It may seem like it's a bad thing not to talk to her but stopping communication has been one of the most profoundly healthy things I've done. I spent so many years trying to convince her to be there for me or to acknowledge how her actions had affected me and it was the most fruitless, pointless project that I could have attempted. The problem isn't that I gave up but that I should have given up so much sooner. For an intelligent person I kept trying something that didn't work. By realizing that it was pointless to spend any more of my life on her I started to take more responsibility for myself and gained more sanity. I used to feel like I had to protect myself much more and would sometimes be in conflict with people so that I could ensure that I stayed safe. Now, I have no conflicts with anyone. I used to go into my "lawyer mode" where I would track and repeat what people had said so that I could be prepared to discuss it. I've been able to abandon that mode. So while theoretically it would be good to express how I feel about her there is no way that she is going to be the person I express it to. ____________________________________________ Dear L, I feel abandoned by you. I am so tired of trying to communicate with you and I feel tired in general. I can't tell to what degree these things are related. It's been a very positive development in my life to not have you in it. You always dragged me down and it's been important for me to realize that I don't need to have anyone on my team that hurts me. I have many people that I know that listen to me and now I realize how pointless it is to spend my time arguing with the one person that doesn't. You think you have good intentions and that you even have some philosophy for rearing a child but you are delusional. You are still stuck in the part of your life where all you can say is no. If I say I need something you refuse to provide it. If I say that something hurts me you do more of it. You always said that this was to make me tougher and more independent. Yet when I finally did become independent and said that I no longer needed you anymore how did you behave? As always, saying no- more attacks and more sabotage. If you had truly been a mother that was interested in my welfare than you could have been happy for my progress this year. Instead, as always, the only person you thought of was yourself. You took this as an attack on your dignity and continued to manipulate and sabotage. You wrote to me and called me cruel. You put my fragile, aging grandfather in the middle. You continuously dumped shit on my father so that he would push me to reestablish a relationship. For once in your life just accept some responsibility for your actions and quit playing the martyr and dumping shit on people. You've played the martyr my whole life and thought of it as a gift- as a demonstration of your love. It's not a gift- it's a huge pain in the ass to deal with- and a sign that you need love. If you could recognize this and even start to deal with it we would all be in a very different place. Ultimately you have to take some emotional responsibility for yourself. Until then you will keep on hurting everyone around you.