I've been doing a lot of thinking about this lately. I was entrenched in my FOO, their cruelty, how bad I felt about ME, and I wanted so badlly to be loved by them all when I was up to my middle thirties and joined CODA. I still wanted it after that, but not as much. And my ex-boyfriend, who really didn't last long, was there long enough to tell me something incredible...that he leaves people who are mean to him, including family. This was a concept that made my jaw drop, but it made me think. Hard. Since then, in teeny tiny steps, I have been accepting this. I still tried, at the end, to get my mother to at least have peace with me, but a good part of that was because of my very strong spiritual belief that it is best to get your differences sorted out on earth. The rest of it was the wish to be loved by a mother who never seemed to love me; who not only acted like I could do no right, but whom tried to make everyone else around her (successfully) agree with her. But, still, at the time of her death I was detached enough not to mourn her passing, as I felt she was a stranger. I will never forget when the grave was open (you don't do this at Jewish weddings and she didn't want it, but Sis did so Sis got what she wanted per usual). I did not recognize the body in the casket. It was not the dark haired, young looking women I had known. It reminded me of just how long we had been estranged. The mourning came later. It was not that she was gone as much as she left and had made it very clear from her grave that I was not her daughter. I had a delayed hurt reaction to that, although I really did expect it. She's been dead ten years. How long should I keep caring about what she did to me? When should I let her voice go and correct myselff when I hear her instead of my own voice talking to me? We were not close. I never did blame myself for that. I thankfully did not carry THAT burden. She chose to do it, not me. And, seriously, I believe the $5000 was her last straw and, if os, how lame was that? Was her thinking? How dare I want to protect my kids. But it was the end of us. I didn't see her after that. I just talked to her when I called, which was about once a month or so. When also do I just totally forget the rest of my family? My uncle is also dead. He had never been a big part of my life. Yes, because he was a golden golden family member he had huge influence over my mother, but so what? He was a scared man-child who had an inflated ego. Is it not time to forget his nickname for me "the brat?" And that my mother let him call me this? Seriously, I was a very young child when he said that. Other than that he was too busy chasing girls and breaking their hearts and cheating on them to worry about me. I'm sure I rented no space in his head. My "thems?" I'm doing much better with both. I actually do not think of either in the present anymore, except, of couse, when my father wanted me to call him even though Thing 1 was visiting from the East coast. I told him no, I would not feel comfortable talking to him with Thing 1 around as he eavesdrops and Dad, by his choice, has decided to live in a tiny apartment, way below his means, so I'm sure Thing 1 could hear me if I called. Plus there is always the chance Dad would try to coerce Thing 1 into t alking to me, which neither of us want. But honestly other than that, when I think about him it is mostly in the past and not often. Is it time to let him go completely? How? My sister would probably be as gone as Thing 1 except she still writes about me and probably reads this, but she is also fading except past memories. I mostly remember the cut offs and the cops. She has never gone out of her way for me, or anyone really. When do I say good-bye? When and how do we purge the past completely? I'm getting there. I am not regretful of things I did. If I did wrongs to them, I forgive myself. I don't even know what they were, a good deal of the time and sometime I knew and was sorry. And sometimes they did wrongs and knew and they were NOT sorry or even thinking they were wrong. I confess something rather embarassing. I lost two dogs that our adopted 11 yer old killed. I truly still miss them and can cry thinking about them. I miss them more than my entire family put together. Am I bad? If so, then I'm bad. Because it's true. I am far more focused on those in my life actively and on myself now than I am on them. they are fading, fading, becoming smaller and smaller... Even my dad couldn't rattle me when he said "I'll go to the bank right now if you hang up." If he does, he does. His money. His decision. I did not get upset over it. Actually, I just told husband who rolled his eyes and said, "Oh, for pity sakes." I know how crazy he thinks my family is. Believe it or not, that's validation. It helps. He grew up in a loving family and he knows the difference. So are we ever going to bid our past farewell? Is it possible? Is it possible for ANYONE to do that?