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Helen’s Story: My family just cannot accept that I am happy on my own

Childfree black womanI am in my 30s with a job that pays well. I have a bit of savings on the side and have never been a burden to anyone. Yet I am made to feel like a failure because, unlike my other siblings and everyone else in the family, I have chosen to be different. Why can’t people accept that some of us just like to be on our own? Why is everyone expected to live their lives a certain way? It doesn’t matter to those questioning my choice to be alone that I am happy and contented. They just want me to be one of them.

Reading some of the stories on this website has given me the courage I lacked to deal with this issue once and for all. I recently made the decision to sever all ties with some of the people who have made my life hell all these years, and that includes my parents. It is something I never thought I would have the courage to do, but what’s the point of continuing to see people who are determined to make your life a living nightmare. Every time I visit them, I come back feeling depressed and wishing I hadn’t gone at all. This has been going on for years and I cannot take it anymore.

As expected, I have had many phone calls from them and other relatives, accusing me of all sorts. I am being made to feel guilty for finally choosing to put myself first. Thankfully, I have stood up to them and have refused to give in. Life is far too short to waste my time trying to please people who obviously don’t give a damn about me.

I don’t know what the future holds in terms of my relationship with my parents. I am so angry right now that I don’t see myself visiting them again for the foreseeable future. I am feeling better and better as the guilt of taking such a drastic action wears off. I cannot recollect the last time I felt this good about life. This is one of the best things I have ever had to do for myself.

What I have learnt from this sorry saga is to never put people on a pedestal just because they are family. Respect has to be earned. Yes you can’t choose your family, but at least you can choose whether or not to let them be a part of your life.

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Comments

  1. Hi Helen, thanks for sharing your story. It sounds terrible that those around you, instead of supporting you, have chosen to make your life miserable. At least, unlike many women in some parts of the world who have their destinies chosen for them and are made to marry men they don’t even like, you are able to choose for yourself. Just like you, I have had to cut some family members out of my life because they didn’t add value to it. And yes it is quite a big step to take. However, as you have found out, whether you are happy or miserable is up to you. Good on you for choosing to put yourself first.

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