Charlotte, first of all thank you for your heartfelt and honest response to my article. I am down in the Gobi, with very limited access to the internet, and it’s just past 4 am. I don’t know how long I’ll have signal but wanted to respond while bars existed.

This is such a powerful statement that I would like to adapt it into an article, but before I do that I would appreciate your permission. If you prefer I will mask your identity but this is the kind of truth that I strongly believe others can draw strength from. I think we all grapple with small-minded folks who are jealous of our happiness, our hopes. In this regard, life gives us situations which force us to make difficult but essential choices for our mental and emotional health. In this way we learn how to take care of ourselves. Sometimes that means we have to say goodbye to family members who are ill with ill will.

There are no easy answers here. As with my family, sometimes the worst offenders are those who claim that they love us. What you describe isn’t love. It’s an abuse of familial influence.

It takes immense courage to cut family and friendship ties in order to live the life we most wish to live. Ankle biters abound, Charlotte, and far too many of us allow them to lay us low, and determine our quality of life- which is all ways is a poor version of what we can be when we self determine. There is a cost. However-as you’re finding out, the price you pay for a good husband and better life is far less than that which would be extracted from you should you follow your family’s wishes.

Courage costs. But it pays off far more in the long run.

Horizon Huntress, prize-winning author, adventure traveler, boundary-pusher, wilder, veteran, aging vibrantly. I own my sh*t. Let’s play!

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