Bryan, please if you could tell me how you pulled off "completely letting it go" I'm having a real hard time.
This is a hard question to answer. It's a very hard question to answer.
When I discovered how much my sister's kids loved me, how much they idolized me, I came to the conclusion that suicide wasn't an option anymore.
I guess I learned how to be selfish. And in learning to be selfish, the fact is, I actually became less selfish.
I don't think I could have done it without taking Cymbalta. I don't think I could have done it without an aunt (my mother's sister) who casually made outside observations that reinforced my negative perceptions of my childhood. I don't think I could have done it without a sister who was also there to reinforce memories that I had coming back but didn't know if they actually happened. I don't think I could have done it without people on this site telling me that taking the ultimate plunge, facing my past, in order to protect my sister's kids from the monster that had destroyed the first 32 years of my life was the ultimate act of love.
I learned what unconditional love was through my sister's kids, and I learned what it means to trust and be trusted through my aunt and my sister.
And then, when the totality of how my mother was controlling my life even though I had broken off contact hit me, I got angry. I was filled with rage. And when I worked through that rage, I found that I had let go.
I didn't make a conscious decision to let go. I made small steps to improve my life. Every step was difficult, and I'm still taking small steps to try to improve further. I wish I could write a how-to manual, but it's just not that simple. What I have discovered, though, is that in through letting go, I feel more powerful now than I have ever felt in my life.
Your mother doesn't own your soul, Mike. She manipulated you into thinking that she does. It's time to take your soul back, and the anger you are feeling right now is probably the most important step in letting go.
Feel your anger. Feel every ounce of it. Write a letter to your mom. Let her have it. Write another one when you think of more stuff you need to get off your chest. Go for a walk in the rain. Find a place where you can yell at the top of your lungs for awhile. If you feel the urge to beat up something like a pillow or a tree with a baseball bat, for instance, try to make sure it's supervised (I don't recommend physical violence when you are by yourself because adrenaline can lead to injury). Breaking china or glassware can be a tremendous stress relief as well.
Anger needs to vent, otherwise it festers and starts to vent in inappropriate places.