• Aurora Winters


When I lived in Florida in 2008. My cousin and I went for a beach day and no one was around. It was a beautiful day. He built a sand castle while I laid in the sun. I was telling him a story and holding a potato chip in my hand. As I leaned back in my chair a seagull came up and stole my chip straight from my hand.

It was hilarious. I was shocked.

We laughed and told everyone when we got back.

I'm not sure what made me think of that memory.

This cousin no longer talks to me. Since I came out about the abuse I endured growing up he told me I'm messed up in the head and I need to get help. He said-- that I am a liar. He has a wife and two children. He took his children to my main abusers house to visit when they were in town over a year ago.

I told him he doesn't have to believe me. But not to leave his children alone.

I still love him and that memory of the seagull and many other fun times and supportive talks we had.

People surprise us.

I don't need his support. I don't need him in my life and I don't need him to believe me. The hardest part is knowing I can't save everyone. I do all I can and I care for myself and release what is not my place.

The thing about my healing.

I don't let the pain of the loss of some relationships that were once healthy affect the truth that there was a time we shared love, support, and joy. I'm not sure how I did that. We are whole people. We are all made of love and hate and much more. I'm not defined by the losses. Life is long and it changes. Not everyone is meant to walk the whole road with us.

It is okay to love people and not have them in your life. It is okay to walk away from someone who becomes toxic and grieve the connection of good memories. People change. People can't always be who we hope they will be. A lot of people can't handle the really dark stuff for a lot of reasons. I can simply discern he is no longer a safe person in my life or someone deserving of my energy and time.

Maybe someday we will talk again. But I know I have great boundaries and a strong desire to build a lovely life. I hope he is okay. He hurt me deeply and I'm grateful for the years of cousin friendship we held. Both are true.

What I am most thankful for though, is my friendship to myself.

When those I loved most started to turn against me and call me a liar or minimize and judge me, I was able to stay committed to myself. That showed all the work I'd been doing was taking root.

I hope you find grace for yourself to stand strong when you are all alone, because many of us are with you in spirit. And I hope you find understanding not all will go into the dark with you that once fought by your side. And I hope you know along your way you will build a deeper trust for self as you follow your needs and curiosity. And I hope you know that there are people out there looking for your brave heart now. There is love for you somewhere. I can't promise. I just know it's there. And I won't promise it's easy, because it's hard, then worth it, then really hard for a long time, but then it becomes your way about life and suddenly even when it's hard and unclear.....your just always understanding that you are...Worthy.

Photo taken by Aurora Winters

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