Live like a free spirit


Choosing to connect: A family of strangers

When I was a child my parents were very close to their many brothers and sisters and we all lived relatively near each other. The cousins were surrounded by loving aunts and uncles as we learned about the world and grew into adulthood. I loved my extended family very much.

As a young adult I started struggling with feelings of personal inadequacy, and I turned to my aunts and uncles to help me understand why I felt the way I did and what my life was really like growing up. I had blocked many childhood memories, leaving me fractured, incomplete, confused, and dangerously depressed.

The feedback I received from my family saved my life. Every one of my aunts and uncles pointed to a fracture between my mother and me that had been there since I was born. My mother had never really bonded with me. We were like oil and water. As a child I repeatedly tried to get closer to her and was rejected over and over until I eventually stopped trying. For most of my teen years I called her mother and except for the constant fighting and the physical abuse we lived separate lives. I was emancipated by a family friend when I was 16 and moved out of my parents’ apartment. I never looked back.

The revelation that it was not my fault and there was a legitimate reason for feeling the way I did lit the light in an otherwise dark chapter of my life. I was OK. There was nothing wrong with me and I had done nothing wrong. It just wasn’t meant to be and there was no way to fix it. I was relieved, I was hurt, I was angry, and I was done. There was no more trying in me.


Here’s where the self-love should have kicked in, but of course there was no self-love to be had in those days. So I continued struggling and making bad decisions to compensate for having an emotionally absent mother.

Those decisions cost me lots of money, years of my life, and did an even bigger hit on my already fragile mental health. But through it all I always knew that I would eventually get it together. I didn’t know how or when, but I was darn well not going to leave this beautiful world defined only by my past.

I was militant in the belief that despite my past and despite myself my journey would not end that way.

So a little bit of this and a little bit of that led to a whole lot of nothing. No matter how hard I tried to fix myself none of it did much good. It was kind of like putting a band-aid on an ulcer.

I turned to my cousins to try and connect as we had when we were children. They weren’t interested in reconnecting with me or with each other. They had their own lives… I will never understand how or why family members choose to treat other family members as nothing more than acquaintances, especially cousins who were so close as children. But I am not responsible for anyone else’s life or choices, just my own.

The Secret teaches us to focus on what we want as if we already have it. It teaches us that thoughts are things and that thoughts attract other thoughts of a similar type. I practice the teachings of The Secret every day with an open mind and open heart and I recently began to understand that all the self-love and acceptance I will ever need is already within me. It always was, I just didn’t know it.

I am growing and I am changing and I am connecting to the only person I really need — myself — and most important of all I finally love myself enough to act in my own best interest. And from this point on that’s how I choose to connect.

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  1. Jean Callaway

    June 12, 2022 at 4:09 am

    I can certainly identify with what you’ve experienced in your past. I feel like I emerged a stronger person. As my husband used to say., “Learn from the bad, and remember the good.”

    1. My Boho Secret

      June 12, 2022 at 6:01 am

      Or as my dad used to say, “Use the past as a guidepost, not a hitching post.” If we do the work we can overcome the past. I’m just learning that now.

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