We all have a past, and we have all been in situations that we would go back and change, or remove completely. That is a part of life. You live and you learn, or at least that is what you are supposed to do. The problem arises when you let the past weigh you down. When you let it stir in your mind, even knowing you can't go back and redo it. I have recently had a pretty hard lesson in this, so I wanted to not only share it, but talk about the importance of cutting that negativity out of your life. Sometimes you don't have to forgive things from your past for other people's sake, you have to do it for your own. It's healthy, and even though it can be one of the toughest things you face in life, it is worth it. Having said that, I will dive right into today's post about letting the past go.
As my regular readers know, I was given up for adoption when I was two years old, being separated from my biological brother and sister. I have recently, as in the past few months, gotten back in touch with my sister Tasha, and have been talking and writing daily to catch up. The comforting thing for me to learn was we never lost that connection, being over thirty years later, that love had never left my heart. I feel like I just barricaded those feelings, as a sort of self defense mechanism, and hid them so well that it took her coming back into my life to even know they were there. I know, sounds complicated but I am having to face things I have never faced before. A little less commonly known fact about me, is I am in my second marriage, I was married before. True, I know she wasn't my soulmate, I always knew that because I am not sexually interested in women, but we were high school friends and we ended up having a son together. That was twelve years ago.
My adoptive parents who adopted me when I was eight years old, ended up tricking me into signing over full guardianship of him when he was only two. That was around the time my ex-wife and I were separating, and I wanted him out of that environment for a few days. They (my adoptive parents) handed me papers, told me they were temporary insurance papers just in case something happened to him while he was with them for that few days - he would be medically taken care of. When you are going through a really rough time, a stressful one, it can be hard to trust your intuition. Mine was screaming don't do it, but I just felt that was my fatherly energy taking over. So I did it. Come to find out, that was guardianship papers, they had stolen him from me, and I spent a very long time, and a lot of money to try to get him back. They were well known in the Mormon community, and the court judge at that time was in their church. I wasn't Mormon, so naturally they took my adoptive parents side. I was never able to get him back, and to this day he lives with them.
The reason I am bringing this up, is because they have only ever let me talk to him on birthdays or Christmas - when I send money or gifts. The rest of the year they ghost me. So my husband and I were invited this past Labor Day weekend to a barbecue where they live, and of course we accepted. We had to drive about 8 hours round trip, but there was no way I was going to decline. I wasn't allowed to see him for years up until that point. So we went to visit for the weekend, and they treated us like crap. They wouldn't let us have alone time with him, they wouldn't let him go to the store with us so we could get him something cool - and come to find out when we got back home, is they were actually afraid we were going to take him. That is why they treated us that way. Keep in mind, this is the woman who stole him from me, but after ten years, I wouldn't just uproot him from his life, I went to visit, to be a part of the family. The fact my husband had to get his feelings hurt really upset me. This was the first time he met them, and they didn't give a good impression at all.
Anyhow, so I already had it in my mind that I couldn't keep trying just to be hurt and shut out, but once again I tried to have them involved, just recently. My biological sister Tasha is being a surrogate for my husband and I, and so I started a scrapbook so our first child together can have pictures of everyone. I reached out to my adoptive mom to ask for pictures, not only of my son, but them along with childhood pictures of me since I don't have any. She said yes, she will send me some, no problem. I was like okay, that was easy, maybe we really can make this work, yet a few weeks go by and no pictures, no call, no email - again ghosted. That is when I sat down with my husband and we had a long talk. I mean, it isn't only my adoptive family that ghosts us, it is his family too. His oldest brother won't even talk to us, they spread rumors through some of the family about us, and only a few of them recently started making valid efforts. His sister actually is starting to want us to be involved in their life, and his mom of course always calls him. The rest of the family - silence. They don't agree with our lifestyle, and of course what I do for a living, but that is my business not theirs anyhow.
I ended up emailing my adopted mom one last time. This one said how it says a lot about them that they didn't respond to me. I let them know that my husband and I have valid fears that they would try to steal this child too, and yes, it's sad but I feel they would try. So I let them know this is where I have to draw the line, that this is where I cut this relationship off. I won't live in fear with my new child having them in the picture. They aren't my real parents anyways. I let them know that I was sorry, but my son can find me when he turns eighteen. I hate the thought, but there literally is nothing I can do. I had to let that part of my past go, I had to let them go for my health, and my new families health. My husband ended up telling his family as well that we are a team, we are a package deal. If they can't accept all of us, they don't get any of us, and that to me showed great strength. My husband avoids confrontation at all costs, it is who he is, a very soft spirit - so him doing this showed true love and respect for what we are building here.
I often tell my clients that everyone comes into your life for a reason, but not everyone is meant to stay - and it's true. Cutting people off from your life is hard, there is guilt that comes with it, but it is also very liberating in starting a new future. I know there are some people who aren't going to like what I had to do, in regards to cutting my adoptive parents off, simply because that is where my son is living. At the same time, I did try my best, but there is nothing I could have done. They make it impossible, but living with the fear of having another child stolen from me is too great. Cutting that part of my past off is important to moving on.
The point I want to get across, is even though letting the past go is hard, the reward from it is very liberating and it sets you free. Never feel like you are alone. Finding strength in the darkness is always possible. Allowing yourself to not feel guilty for doing what is best for you is very important. Step by step is how you approach this, don't be scared to remove toxic people from your life, and don't be afraid to remove yourself from bad situations. You are stronger than you realize, and at the end of the day, you can't grow with chains on you. I wanted to share with you what I am going through with my family to let you see there are other people out there that have problems, but if we all hold back, the world is just that much more negative. Let's all free ourselves from the past, and move on to a brighter future. Each and every single one of you have my full support, and you always will.
Written by Demetri Welsh of the RVP Platform.