The shining and unexpected benefits of Estrangement


The term “Estrangement” is sort of a dark word, don’t you think?

It’s one of those words that associates itself with some seemingly dark discourse shoved off into a corner somewhere that nobody ever cares to look at.

Before we go any further, I’d like to say that I’m a strong proponent of personal independence and freedom.

Though the term presents itself as being dark, coupled with multiple negative connotations, one might be somewhat surprised to learn that for as dark as the word itself seems to be, there’s a lot of unexpected benefits to be had when someone chooses to go down that road.

Just by chance I managed to stumble across a few articles on the interwebs this morning that talked about estrangement.

Though the word estrangement is most often made in reference to family situations, it can also apply to just about any other situation in society where attempted bonds were made — for instance …”Bob and I were friends once. We worked together for a long time, we knew each others wives, hunted together, and babysat each others kids — but he’s somehow turned into a real dick over these past few years so now I’m out of here.”

See how that works? Estrangement happens far more often than people actually realize.

As far as family is concerned, the argument for the term “blood is thicker than water” doesn’t actually hold water, because you see, freedom to live “your” life means what it means and you’re going to bond with whoever you bond with.

Nobody wants to go around being controlled, manipulated, gossiped about, or maligned … or yet worse … being emotionally or physically abused in some fashion. At least I don’t think they do anyway.

Just because there’s a blood relationship involved doesn’t mean you have to go around being sad sacked all the time by that one family member, or members, who happen to be thicker than a block. It’s okay to just get the hell out of there and do your thing.

I read some of the stories from people who found that they just had to get away and then turn around and talk about how guilty they felt about doing it. Here’s your wake up call … if you find yourself feeling guilty about disassociating yourself with that person, then that person you’re trying to cut off still has control over you.

The trick here is to move forward and grow without them. Live your life, make your decisions, raise your kids, and so on. These people don’t have to know what you’re doing, where you’re going, or who your friends are. You’re moving ahead to become the best version of yourself without all of the added weight of the dysfunction you had before you left.

Estrangement can be either permanent or temporary:

Some people just need to get away, find themselves on their own terms and then, after 5 or 10 years, come back to the relationship in a stronger more grounded and self confident way.

Other people tend to call it a day, walk away clean, and never look back. The permanence might be such that no one will ever know who you married, how many kids you had, or even what town you live in. It’s a total and final disconnect.

There are those that say it takes a great deal of courage to just walk away and I suppose that might be true, but we find that the greater the abuse, walking away is easier than a walk in the park on a sunny Sunday afternoon (according to some).

For whatever the reasons why you just picked up and left it’s important to know that estrangement has many more pros than it does cons.

According to nearly everything I’ve read this morning about estrangement, short of the very few mentions of doubt or guilt, the feelings of liberation and freedom that stems from estrangement can be hard to put into words.

It’s somewhat interesting that a word that presents itself as being dark and negative, spoken about in hushed tones, can have such a profound and positive effect on those who have truly chosen to just walk away.

I think that being estranged in it’s purest sense, might be good for some people. I don’t advocate walking away just because you got pissed off over some little thing that might be resolved with simple forgiveness in only a few minutes. Families fight over stupid shit all the time.

Estrangement is the nuclear option, if you will, when all other methods for remedy are exhausted. Irreconcilable differences are what they are and there just isn’t any getting around it.

If you’re worried that maybe somehow you won’t have any family after walking away, don’t, because you see, blood isn’t always thicker than water.

Estrangement definitions:

Family estrangement is the loss of a previously existing relationship between family members, through physical and/or emotional distancing, often to the extent that there is negligible or no communication between the individuals involved for a prolonged period.

Estrangement may result from the direct interactions between those affected, including traumatic experiences of domestic violence, abuse, neglect, parental misbehavior such as repetitive explosive outbursts or intense marital conflict and disagreements, attachment disorders, differing values and beliefs, disappointment, major life events or change, or poor communication. It may also result from the involvement or interference of a third party.

The estrangement is often unwanted, or considered unsatisfactory, by at least one party involved.

Estrangement with siblings is called sibling estrangement. Estrangement from one parent caused by another parent is known as parental alienation.



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