Reflections about Family

Carol A. Hand

If you can’t say something kind
Don’t say anything at all
It’s the thought that comes to mind
As I greet this grey morning in fall

The message light on my phone
Is still blinking, signaling your call
I’m sad to admit I wish to be alone
I prefer to simply be free once and for all

Free from the fiction of family ties
Free from reliving years of abuse
Free from survivors’ guilt and lies
Listening to history revised is of little use

There are so many truths I cannot share
Probably you were too drunk to recall
You set me up for beatings without a care
I still bear visible scars from it all

me age 8

I forgave you many many years ago
And although I can feel your pain
I can’t forget the violence, you know
I don’t have to tolerate it again

I hope you find internal peace
It’s not in my power to give
I suspect the only real release
Comes from choosing how we live

Honestly I wish you well
There’s nothing else I have to say
Choosing to be kind tempers my words
So I won’t call you back today

Copyright Notice: © Carol A. Hand and carolahand, 2013-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carol A. Hand and carolahand with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


About Carol A. Hand

What matters are not the titles I’ve held or university degrees I earned or the size of a house or bank account. It’s really what I’ve learned from ordinary people like me whom I’ve met along the way. They taught me to live with gratitude and give thanks for each new day.
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15 Responses to Reflections about Family

  1. tubularsock says:

    Carol, that was a wonderful and powerful poem on a subject that so many have endured. For Tubularsock, if he followed your lead sentence he’d end up being mute and that ain’t going to happen! Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Lara/Trace says:

    Boundaries – we need them, even with family… Wonderful poem Carol.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanks for that heartfelt poem, Carol. I, too, had to let go of my family for peace of mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I appreciate your very thoughtful comments, Rosaliene. This was a difficult decision for me to make. The poem seemed important as a way of making peace with my choice, but I had second thoughts about sharing it. Your comments helped me feel it was appropriate to share it. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you, Carol, Your poem makes me grateful for not having any sad family memories, and reminds me how fortunate I am.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bless you, Carol. I’m so sorry this was ever part of your reality. And I would have done the same thing you did, just not pick up the phone. We are asked to forgive the faults of others, but we are not asked to subject ourselves to abuse from them. Love and hugs, Natalie 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Toxic relationships are better ended. Well written

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Of all the heart-breaking experiences people around the world have had to deal with, those where innocent children suffer are impossible to explain and most spiritually frustrating. All will learn the answers to such mind-numbing questions upon leaving this Earth, but it seems clear the only chance for reducing the instances of innocents’ suffering lies in a world-encompassing spiritual evolution.

    Liked by 1 person

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