cut off family of origin and feeling sad
I haven't been on in ages... and overall things in my life have been good. Working, married, 2 kids, 4 & 8.
Like many people here, my family of origin (parents) was abusive. For a long time, I have basically bent over backwards to maintain some semblance of the relationship with them-- and I don't know exactly why now (I'm 40, OLD!) but I got to a point where I felt like it was enough that talking to my parents made me feel terrible, that they did all kinds of rotten things (though of course also some good ones I feel compelled to add) and have never acknowledged the effect their actions had on me, how much they hurt me-- and I have stopped communication with my mom and dad.
I know intellectually that I am justified in doing this, that it was "bad enough," and that this is the right step for me to take, because it will let me focus on my own wife and kids and job without the negative impact of staying in this relationship that is so toxic and draining. Every time I talked to my parents I'd want to hurt myself. I didn't do it, I've only had a couple of slips since before having kids, but still. Negative impact to be sure.
The thing is that now I just feel so sad. I don't know why. I didn't really lose anything, it's not like I had a good mom and dad before I stopped talking to them, it's not like this changes anything. I should feel better, right? And I am managing the guilt of having stopped communicating ok. I jump whenever the phone rings (blocked them on my cell but still scared), feel like I'm waiting for someone to berate me for being a terrible person/daughter for having done this horrible thing to my parents (esp my mom). I do want to hurt myself, to punish myself, to whatever, but I'm not acting on that desire, but I feel so sad and I'm afraid of drowning in the sadness and ridiculous loss of something that never was.
All I did was stop playing along, stop pretending that we were this happy family, since that is actually what was part of the problem-- since my parents are in such denial every time I talked to them I felt crazy because they act like they're all normal and why am I so withholding and distant, and then I doubt my own reality. But I feel like I've had some huge loss or something, and it hurts so much. I'm afraid of having another depressive episode, I'm afraid of the effect of my sadness on my kids, I don't know. I thought this would make things better; I thought I was finally ready, and I don't regret my decision, but I just feel sad.
Sorry for the novel.