Thursday, January 7, 2016

What Going "No Contact" Is Not

I wrote this post last week, and it has been going viral ever since. It's obviously struck a chord with people in a similar position to me, because I think it's not a position most people in the church world take… However, I would also imagine it's not a position that most people have actually found themselves in. I've listened to a lot of sermons about this issue, and the message is always "love harder, forgive more, you have the power to heal this!" Then a few people share their testimony on how they did it. They discuss how they have forgiven & reunified with relatives for past hurts. These hurts highlighted include: people who have forgiven a ruined a wedding day, people who forgave relatives that overcame addiction… These stories basically boil down to people who worked TOGETHER on solving their issues. I think this is wonderful! I praise God for situations like these! I wanted to clear up some common misconceptions about people like me who have no choice but to go no contact with a toxic relative {or relatives}.

  • Going no contact is NOT about dissing someone, it's about accepting them for who they are.
  • Going no contact is NOT the easy way out. Most people who do this not only suffer with feelings of grief and depression, they also have other relatives that angrily come out of the woodwork to attempt to bully them into reunifying.
  • Going no contact does NOT mean that the person who chose to walk away is bitter and hasn't forgiven. It usually means that the person has chosen to walk away over continuing pain IN ORDER to forgive and move forward. 
  • Going no contact is NOT a method to punish the person that is being walked away from. It is a way to keep the person walking sane.
  • Going no contact is NOT giving up on the idea that God can heal it. It is giving up on the idea that the person walking away can heal it. 
  • Going no contact is NOT about wielding power, it's about being powerless.
  • Going no contact is NOT about hating on the family of origin, it's about loving the family you created.
  • Going no contact is NOT about taking away from the family of origin, it's about giving to the family you made.
  • Going no contact is NOT throwing stones at anyone, it's protecting the self.
  • Going no contact is NOT about promoting conflict, it's about minimizing it. 
  • Going no contact is NOT about being heartless, it's about having no more heart left to give.
  • Going no contact is NOT about creating turmoil, it's about searching for peace.
  • Going no contact is NOT about disrespect, it's about self respect.
  • Going no contact is NOT about dishonor, because there's nothing honorable about dishonesty, denial, and enabling. 
  • And most importantly, going no contact is NOT about being unChristian! Jesus rebuked false teachers, Paul often warned about the contagiousness of sin, see here. Paul also outlined what love looks like here. As enabling empaths, we tend to hold ourselves to that standard but no one else. That is what were raised to believe is true, except our family of origin looks nothing like that, so we're conditioned to accept all the blame and over-apologize. We've forgiven far more times than this, and we have gotten no apologies {maybe a tiny few, if we're lucky}. 

There does come a point where the options are exhausted and everything else has been tried. There does come a point where sanity, peace, and physical/emotional wellbeing are compromised. There comes a time when the is literally no other option but to walk away. It's a unspeakably awful & painful truth, and it's the sincerest desire of my heart that there were a better solution. But sometimes, there just isn't.

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