Posts Tagged ‘relationships’

Day #37 — I Said Good-bye to a Toxic Relationship

11/16/2010

This is me waving goodbye to my relationship with my stepmother.

I started “170 Days of Change” with the intention of eliminating the silk scarves that had been hanging in my closet for twenty years. I wasn’t thinking about jettisoning a sixty year relationship, yet that’s what I did today.

Two days ago I discovered that my stepmother had eliminated me from her will. The legal term, of course, is disinherited me.

No matter what people say, things like this don’t happen overnight. Instead, they are born of long periods of resentment and unexpressed anger.

And then, suddenly, conditions become ripe for the embers to burst into flame.

Rather than walk away fromĀ  the raging fire, I put on my fire gear and walked toward it: I phoned my step-mom to discuss her disinheriting me.

“I feel betrayed,” I told her.

“My three children need the money, she replied. “You have many people who’ll help you, and you’re going to write a book and be famous. Besides, you probably inherited money from your relatives on the other side of your family.”

My step-mother’s words were like knife pricks piercing my heart.

The years of resentment she may have harbored toward me because my father still grieved for my mother, who took her own life, stood in stark relief.

There’s not much to say to someone who resents me after all these years, especially when she resents my accomplishments and optimism.

“Sometimes things have to get worse in order for them to get better,” someone’s Facebook post proclaimed. I realize that sentiment probably applies to me.

I feel sad. Very sad. And know that it’s time to move on: Good-bye relationship. Good-bye stepmother.

Hello me.