Restructuring the Fractured Self

Contemplation of Infinity

Contemplation of Infinity

The Infinite Loop

A girl once decided to confront infinity.
She found herself standing in the center
Two loops coalescing into eternity.
Around and around
She felt consumed.
Until she looked again and understood
she was also Infinite.

Family has such weight during this time of year. Holiday celebrations, burying of old wounds as everyone comes together and so on.

I have been lost in the sense of family as of late. I have used the analogy with my husband that I feel I am standing in the center of an infinity loop that represents “family” and I am being crushed by the weight of it all.

On the one side of the loop is my family of origin. Two parents, 3 daughters, including me. Take me out of the loop and no one else talks to one another. A falling out happened three years ago. My parents and one daughter on one side, a daughter, brother-in-law and nephew on the other.

Want to know who stays in contact with them all? Me. I hold onto that infinity loop with both hands, hoping it does not fly apart. Early on, during all of this, I had the hope that my family would come back together. I naively believed that if I, at least, kept open communication with everyone, that somehow I could be a conduit for reconnection.

How well do you think that has worked out? On the one hand, I still get to enjoy everyone. On the other hand, I am completely fractured. We have to take separate trips if we want to see my family- as they can not be together. There is no meeting up with everyone for a holiday. If we want to see my parents that is one trip. If we want to see my sister, that is a completely different trip. Our “double travel” throughout the years has cost us $1,000’s.

Of course, conversations with this group is built upon lies. Do my parents still consider they have 3 daughters or is it 2 now to them??

And then there is the other half of the loop- my current “family” – husband and 2 stepchildren. We have the children 1/2 the time- every 2 weeks for 2 weeks. I felt hope for this family. I committed to it fully. Now, though, I am not so sure.

I see their mistreatment of me countered with my continued desire to fit in and have them love me as if I mattered. In some ways it has worked, in some ways it has not.

I see myself as the girl in the picture, staring up at the infinity loop wondering “Why?”, followed by “What lesson can I learn here?” (I am always asking this question, confirming that yes, God does have a sense of humor, as I have become a teacher in this life.)

I decide I must transform my relationship to this analogy I created. Rather than being crushed by the infinity loop of family – perhaps I am the infinite one here. Maybe I can see beyond all of this and use this sense of infinity as inspiration. Perhaps I am learning to question what family truly means to me and what boundaries such commitment to family may or may not imply.

So, I see myself as the girl who played with infinity and came out O.K. I am learning to repair my fractured self through seeing this situation differently. Does this remove all the pain? Of course not, but it allows me to heal some cracks that have been running deep for some time.

I think this is what we are frequently asked to do. We may not be able to change situations that cause of pain, but we can see into the cracks of our fractured selves and think differently. We can focus on healing ourselves.

5 thoughts on “Restructuring the Fractured Self

  1. Selflessness is unhealthy when we carry with it a hidden agenda of selfishness. Yes, we are selfish to think that we can somehow bring people together or make people love us just by caring about them. All we can do is care about them. Period. If they choose to care about us in return or care about what we care about, great! But if not, so be it. Of course, we’re human and need someone to love us back in addition to ourselves. It’s our nature; it’s tough to escape it. So in your infinite existence, focus on those who love you. Put your energies into that love and nurture it. I think love and kindness is contagious. 🙂 ❤

  2. A really excellent post! The expectations around family are confusing enough without then having to contend with the game of pretend that is so often going on within them. The clearer we get, the easier it becomes to get through it!

  3. One of my tattoos is the infinity loop with Hakuna Matata written in it. “No Worries” is my constant reminder. I worked very, very hard to earn this latest tattoo, I learned, and still learn, that I can’t control others, all I can do is control myself and my reactions. Part of this is learning that while I can’t control others, their actions can still hurt me, but it’s okay to let that hurt heal and not carry it around with me! When I finally accepted that I was only responsible for myself, it became so much easier! So, my wish for you is that you continue to see that all you have to be responsible for yourself, and that you don’t have to “fix” or “heal” everyone else in your life. That is their journey to take, their path to follow, you can be there to help them when they fall, but you do them a disservice if you try and walk their path for them!

  4. A good man or woman should know it’s family first and though it might be fracturing and requires tolerance are times but it’s worth it. We have that cushion of love to lay on and heal together as a family. The growth is absolutely necessary. Family love is only the beginning and infinite loop could serve as a multi-purpose string. So don’t just stare, pluck it and enjoy the music.

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