GOODBYE-LOVE-LETTER[1]

We’ve all heard the old adage, “Life is a delicate balance of learning when to hold on and when to let go.” More times than not, we’re reminded of this when facing a turning point in our lives.

Change has been quipped to be the only constant in life. It is a necessary component of any form of growth, learning and aging. Oftentimes change includes letting go, or saying goodbye to people, places or situations that we’ve loved dearly and for which we hold sentimental value.

Unfortunately, for the most part, society has been conditioned to believe that all loss is bad. We tend to desperately cling to what is familiar rather than saying goodbye to our idealized outcomes. Even when faced with the reality that what we had hoped for hasn’t or cannot be, many people still determinedly tend to hold on to what they know rather than reach out for the unknown.

Loss is a natural, unavoidable part of life. Every relationship, situation and friendship is not meant to last. People pass through our lives, some staying longer than others, some staying longer than we should allow, and some not staying long enough.

All of our relationships teach us about ourselves if we take the time to reflect on them.  Although it may be ingrained in our minds to believe that all loss is negative, we should consider that if we have learned something valuable about ourselves, then indeed no goodbye can be considered a total loss.

I encourage you to think of each loss and goodbye as a stepping stone in the journey of life. Although while facing a loss may be painful, indeed a necessary component of growth and opportunity is closing the door on one situation in order to discover that other doors that lead to opportunities.

This is not to deny that loss, regardless of the circumstances, may bring sadness, heartache or regret. However, each loss propels us along the path that we are meant to be on. When we decide to “settle” or consciously accept less than what we deserve, we stunt our development and hinder our progress to obtaining what we desire.

By not letting go of relationships or situations that no longer have value, we imprison ourselves from acquiring the true happiness we desire. Our fear of losing things ultimately causes us to suffer the greatest loss of all: The loss of our happiness and growth, having cheated ourselves out of these things when we become stagnant in fear.

In time, memories fade and losses become more distant. They will weigh less as they are replaced with new life experiences, new people and new memories that foster our growth, add value to our lives and are emotionally rewarding.

We are born with intuition, but more often than not, we betray our gut feelings when we  sense that something isn’t right or is “off” in some way. We let our emotions in the moment over-rule our instinctual knowledge when determining who or what to hold on to and who or what to say goodbye to.

Silencing intuition often comes with a steep price. Short-term happiness is never worth the cost of a lifetime of melancholy, but the difficulty lies in being comfortable in short-term sadness or fear, knowing that time will heal and offer new opportunities and experiences.

When it comes to personal relationships, it’s important to remember that nobody has the right to treat others poorly. An individual should never feel compelled to repeatedly “prove” themselves to others. Generally, if you’re in a relationship where you consistently feel as though you’re never enough, you’re in a relationship that is toxic. You should never feel guilty for saying goodbye to toxic people or situations.

There is a difference, which is often a fine line, between giving up and knowing when you have had enough. Letting go is not giving up. Letting go is accepting that some things cannot and will never be. Saying goodbye is declaring, “I deserve better.”

Knowing when or how to let go or say goodbye is never easy. Nor is living with pain, angst and hopelessness. No person or situation is worth holding onto because of what they once were or used to represent in our life. It’s difficult to relinquish the picture of imagined futures, but one must in order to move forward and continue to grow.

Don’t let the fear of the unknown become a trap of rationalizations as to why you should settle for the familiar, despite however unsatisfying it may be.

I’ve seen many people hesitant to let go of relationships that are toxic because they are fearful that they will never meet anyone new. This is not a reason to stay. Given the immense number of people alive in the world today, it would be highly unlikely that you wouldn’t meet anyone; in reality, you may meet many other people and relationships as time progresses, each of those relationships offering you new experiences and growth. Also consider that perhaps you don’t need to find someone else, but rather, discover yourself.

If a person or situation isn’t enriching your life, has an unbalanced weight of maintaining the relationship, and isn’t adding positivity to your life, it’s maybe time to say goodbye.

Sometimes to reclaim and rebuild yourself and your true happiness, you have to let people go, or say goodbye to situations that are not rewarding and hinder your growth.

There is sage wisdom in the mantra, “Not everything that you lose is a loss.” It’s important to recognize that there is much “good” that is ushered in after saying a necessary “good-bye.”

breeheadshot1Bree Bonchay is a Los Angeles based Licensed Psychotherapist (LCSW) who believes “relationships are the currency of life”. She’s a relationship expert dedicated to helping people heal from break-ups, recover from toxic relationships with narcissists and sociopaths and to never settle for a life less than the one they dreamed of. She is a Blogger, Advocate, Facebook Toxic Relationship Recovery Forum Administrator, Radio Guest Expert, and is the Author of the book, I Am Free.

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Suffering from narcissistic abuse? Join Narcissistic Abuse & Toxic Relationship Recovery & Support Forum on Facebook by clicking the link.

Copyright © 2015 Bree Bonchay. All Rights Reserved

 

23 thoughts on “The “Good” In “Goodbye”

  1. I am battling this right now, i know i made the right choice to get out for the right reasons but the pain of the fairytale i now know i created still is an issue for me..its all very shocking to realize this relationship was toxic let alone textbook to the word of Narcissistic a relationship!

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    1. Cheri, ugh… It’s hard to wrap your brain around the fact that there are people out there like this and they are all so “textbook’. I think in a way, it’s also validating and comforting to know that you are not alone. So many before you have been where you are right now. They understand exactly what it feels like to try an reconcile the good memories of the fairy tale beginning with reality. But it gets easier as time passes. Some times blessings are in disguise. Look for the blessings and give yourself a big pat on the back for being strong enough to get out of something you know was not healthy for you!

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  2. Bree, thanks its hard for me to be proud of myself right now, im having such a hard time with knowing that i loved him so much i was willing to end my life, he however never loved me! That is so hard to grasp! I cant stop thinking about all i went through the physical abuse and his lies why did i stay so damn long? I have always been strong especially with men, never would have put myself here before! On top of that i still love him, i have read that it happens, am i so ignorant that i now believe that is love? I want to let go of him and the memories, i want to get on with my life as he has, already finding another, i was doing fine up until he had to make sure i knew by using lies about me like i now know he lied to me..i have lost everything came here on a bus clothes on my back, homeless since september because of him, im trying to get another phone but cant afford at this time, i need to have contact for work, so still carrying same number, accidently answered a call now im being harrased by his new supply saying her husband, it hurts and is playing quite a nu ber on me…any ideas for the pain to subside? Cheri

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    1. Cheri, it seems like abusive relationships should be the easiest to get over. We should be happier than ever to be free of such awful people. But the reality is since the relationships messed with our hearts, minds. and souls, It takes longer to heal because none of it makes sense and because of all the manipulation, lies, brain wash we internalized. It takes time to restore our sense of equilibrium.
      You don’t love him. You love the idea of who you thought he was.
      Not only do they beat us up emotionally, and sometimes even physically, then we beat ourselves up for putting up with it and for not recognizing the signs.
      Everything about leaving an abusive relationship is 100 times harder! Forgive yourself. Never call yourself ignorant!!! Know that as hard as it is this very moment, you will survive. Not only will you survive, but you will recognize the signs and will never fall for them ever again. Which means that you are giving yourself the opportunity and chance of finding real love. The kind of love that you want and deserve.
      Block his number if you can. Surround yourself with supportive people. Find a DV shelter in your area. They will be able to give you resources for support, maybe even pay for your number to be changed and even free therapy to reclaim your self-esteem and help you move forward. It gets easier every day. Expect that some days you will have set backs. That’s perfectly normal. Sometimes you have to become completely flattened in order to re-build yourself into a better version of you. You can do this sister! I hear your strength coming through in your message. It’s there. Hopefully you read my article about How To Detach From a Narcissist. Make Stover your mantra. Repeat it to yourself everyday. I promise you, it will get better. Be patient. Get support. It’s key. 🌹

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      1. I know that im a strong woman and i will get through, im in shock really! I forgot how many people who know the person ive always been, they are very supportive of me, but dont understand how me of all people let someone do this to me, and see the pain in my eyes. I have not let them in totally yet because i fear trust…i want so much to gain my self respect and confidence back, that the reason i reach out for you, and am researching help…i have not been so successful in finding the right outlet and also the fear of the unknown its been easier to go back than forward but i know i will die this time if i choose that path, either by him or myself, i want to live and i know i deserve more in a relationship, my abuse goes deeper than just here, im trying to figure it all out..but again i have trust issuses with counsling and professionals as in past i was only offered meds and never able to get to the core of my problems, i have been medicated and also self medicated with first food, then alcohol and street drugs, i have lost over 100 pds, been clean and sober for over 5 years, but i believe i have now brought on a bit of a eating disorer because of this, and his words of my weight…i dont need any other problems now so i research everyday, and talk my feeling out to my best friend who wil, give me the best debate, sometimes i keep it in so not to burden her with so much even though i need to get rid of the weight on my shoulders! I am at a loss so i want to seclude and have to push hard to get through my daily routine, i will keep looking for help…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Cheri, there are good therapists out there. If you don’t connect with one, then try another one. It’s frustrating but it’s important that you find the right “fit”. for you.
          Please call:
          National Domestic Violence Hotline (800) 799-SAFE or (TTY) 800.787.3224

          National Network to End Domestic Violence (202) 543-5566
          http://www.nnedv.org

          National Resource Ctr. Domestic Violence (800) 537-2238

          They will be able to point you in the right direction and assist you!

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        2. Thanks bree, it means alot for you to take time out of your busy schedule, to help guide me through this bump in my journey to freeing myself from this chapter of my life..i will take your advice and try some thearpy i dont think i can do it alone and self help….dont want to be his victim…i dont want to regret this relationship, i need to know that i did give myself to him for the right reasons, that i shouldnt feel as it was a mistake, but it just didnt grow and he was never going to make the changes i needed and i need more than he was able to share! I do hope to have a healthly loving relationship one day, i want this to be chalked to lessons learned forgive myself but also forgive him…i know this cant happen without thearpy..i wont give up that’s a promise to me and to any of my cheerleaders, if you dont mind id like to keep intouch witn you until i find the fit that i can trust, and maybe after so to get feedback! Thanks your a kind soul! Cheri

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        3. Cheri, no need to thank me. You and the many other survivors are the reason I started this blog. Not only to provide validation, education and awareness, but in sharing our experiences we are helping ourselves and others. You are helping someone right now who might be reading your comment and feeling exactly what you are feeling. I’m here for you and will happily be one of your cheerleaders!

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        4. Bree, thats the way i feel about speaking on this publicly, i know by reading others story compelled me to tell mine, alot of us struggle secretly..it doesnt always end well, i kept my secret until recently, i know that if i hadnt i wouldnt feel as ashamed of the length of time i allowed myself to suffer…i hope your right that i could help just one woman to not let them self get lost in lies and abuse…its difficult sometimes to see your worth with a narcisstic man! I even made excuses for him, and began lying to protect him but most importantly myself! I am working to help myself first but do pray that one single woman gets out from reading my story, cheer on lady cuz i will prevale! Cheri

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  3. I just read every artical and as I sit here crying 😢 I guess I realize I’m not alone..really thought i was going crazy. Mine actually moved his exwife in to our house and had the nerve to say their is nothing wrong with the picture…as I write this he is still texting me. And funny I can’t do anything about it for he has had me arrested twice and has a order of protection against me..still have no clue why I was arrested just thought they liked him better. 2 week s ago while his wife was sleeping on the couch he strangled me. And as she lay their ignoring everything I wondered if. It’s like that for her..i couldn’t call the police..so I ran crying down the street instead and yet still went back.. Then one day last week I stopped going their..today I felt kinda free until the texts started matter of fact he just texted stating he was leaving work and wad gonna find someone. New on the way home..its been a long 5 years..he went several steps further and began stalking me..actually think he just drove by..i can’t do nothing I was informed by the local police that I have no right s. I’m breaking apart outside in ..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sue, I’m sorry you are in this this painful situation. Please check out Loveisrrspect..org, they have a 24/7 chat or text number where you can speak to a trained professional. Your situation is not one where you should have to deal with it alone. Their are also other resources you can call that I listed on my blog on the Recovery and Support page. Hope you stay strong and get the support you need to help you through~ Bree 🌹

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  4. I am proud to say that I am a survivor! I stayed in relationship for more than two years kept taking him back even after the fact of two DV’s that I helped him get out of. What did it for me? I happened to find his old phone and found all kinds of texts to his friends all pictures he have taken of me and claiming that I was the biggest whore and slut that he was just using me for sex. He sexuality exploited me both several toys online and I abided every of his desires thinking that would solve our problem. Instead he would share everything to the world that I was freak. When I finally had enough he told me to get the fuck out of his house. He always wanted to take over my finances and never let him that was one or the hurdles of his trying to control me. He have brainwashed me that I was worthless . Called me an idiot and a cunt a regular basis. Used me to clean and babysat his kids and never had time for me in return. Made me cry on every birthday I was with him and always start a fight before holiday comes. I didn’t know what I was dealing with til I came across this site. I had a therapist but didn’t work out cause I lied to her that u wasn’t with him anymore. Then the second DV happened. I thought it was over. But he decided to have his mother call me and ask for forgiveness. We ended up getting together and first time I saw or thought that he finally changed. Gave me a ring and said we have worked together and get him out of this mess I created. He took ring back n told me he would propose again after the court issue is over. He promised me that we would go counseling after wards. I ended up lying to the prosecutors and begged that i mad a mistake that I was drunk at that time. That’s what he wanted me to tell them. After getting him out of jail time. He went back to his old ways. The lies, cheating and abuse I allowed myself. He brainwashed me that we were going to be the one spending our lives together.
    I ended up getting my own place and he was livid. He used his kids to kept luring me back or He would not let me see them when he wants to torture me. He never cared bout me and had no respect for me. I am an educated person and totally independent and let him took over me. He was charming at first. He targets single women that are vulnerable. I was having an empty nest syndrome when I met him. And pretty much knew what to say. He packed all my things and made me move in with him. Didn’t had time to think. He wanted my to control my money after I week I moved in. When I declined he kicked me out and ended living with my sister for a year and half. While decided to still let him control me. We always argued about his excessive drinking and smoking weed. As his partner I’ve always told him he needed him. He is controlling. I lost my identity and always in passive aggressive mode walking egg shell. I am ashamed that I finally had it when I saw the proof in his phone. He always to me he is busy with his business and his kids that’s why we would never have time together and he is building his deck. But I saw his back on online dating. All the conversation from other women and dates he went out. I cleaned his house fie14 hrs that day. I confronted him and asked him if he is back online dating he denied . He said I don’t even have time for u and why would he have time online dating. I told him what I saw and called me a stinky ass cunt and hung up! I think I was brave to confront him. But now I feel ashdmedof myself how did I allowed another person degraded me to extent and was indenial. I had thoughts of killing myself when I saw all his texts to his friends degrading me. These was the course of almost 3 years texts. I am so lost right now and sometimes I feel like losing my grip. I kept dwelling how did I let him treated me that way for so long and hide it all to my family and friends. I am seeking help soon. Looking for the right pychotherapist that could help me out. I devoted myself to him and his kids. They he and my life. he brainwashed me that I was never going to be good enough for them and I ended up trying to prove him that I am. It was all a game and I kept telling myself I do it belong here! But never walked away. When I did he always knew the right words to say to lure me back. I deserve better.
    Thank you so much for this site.

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  5. Dear Bree, I have truly enjoyed all of your articles. The have definitely confirmed that I was indeed married to a narcopth for over 20 years. We have now been divorced for about 12 years, and all of that time he hovered.
    Two years ago I had a severe reaction to anesthesia and was in a coma for 2 months. When I woke up the narc was there. He had somehow taken control of my life and my body. He pretended to care and all the time I pretended that I thought he cared. Really was not the time to have any kind of relationship discussion. I was in the hospital for 4 months then in a physical therapy facility for 3 months. All along, he was there (when it was convenient). During that time he stole over $200,000 plus personal items. I FEEL VINDICTIVE! How do I get over this one?

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    1. Hi Charolette, I’m so, so sorry and angered to hear that happened to you. I think anger and feelings of vindictiveness are quite reasonable emotions under the circumstances.
      I’m sure you want to release those feelings so you can feel inner peace and not consumed by negative thoughts. How we go about that it is an individual process. Therapy can help you do that. Just know it’s okay and completely normal to have those feelings as long as you don’t act on them. Acknowledging your anger is healthy and much better than trying to repress it or ignore it. Channeling that anger in a positive way can be a very helpful way to release it and also very empowering. Many people channel their anger by getting involved in causes to help create awareness about this type of abuse. I don’t know the specifics of your situation, of course, but if appropriate, I would consider taking legal action against him if the law permits and you’re feeling up to the task. It may not bring back your money and lost items but asserting your rights may bring you some feeling of vindication and empowerment. Again, that’s a personal decision that only you can decide. Time will help your anger lessen but in the mean time, try to channel it in some positive direction and gives it a productive purpose. Love and light. Bree

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  6. Bree your blog is very informative. Even I made closure he won’t stop harassing me to get even with me. I feel devastated but whenever I think this man took away my self worth my self esteem I do not ever want to look back. I partly blame myself for giving a chance to this douche bag and got only worse all over the years! I told him to seek treatment but he refuse and told me I am bipolar. So wicked! I refuse to let this man of hurting me ever again. He is very very toxic!

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  7. Bree, ive been married to a N for 3 years and want to get out but im having trouble leaving. How to leave, when. I dont want a confrontation so im thinking of not returning after work and texting him. Im putting it off and keep stalling out of fear. What do i do?

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    1. Sandy, without knowing many more details and making a thorough assessment of the situation, it would not be prudent or ethical of me to advise you what to do. I can tell you this. Physical abusers are more likely to escalate when the woman leaves the relationship. Abusers in general can become unpredictable when they feel a loss of control. If I were you, I would consult your local Domestic Violence Center. (Even if your husband isn’t physically abusive.) They can assist you in developing a safe plan to leave and guide you on the best way to do it for your specific situation. Good luck and be safe.

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