Blogs Reports

Sometimes the Right Decision is not Ok

Reported by Tess

Published on Thursday, April 11th, 2024

Identity Mental Health Support and Relationships
Blogs Reports

Sometimes the Right Decision is not Ok

Written by Tess

Published on Thursday, April 11th, 2024


Mental Health

Support and Relationships

Sometimes we make decisions that others look at and believe they would never do what you did.

Sometimes we explain the decision and they change their mind.

Sometimes we explain the decision and they dig in deeper with their opinion and make you doubt if you did the right thing.

Sometimes the decision we made has consequences that hurt.

Sometimes we know we made the right decision yet have regrets.

Sometimes we want to talk about the consequences of the decision but don’t want to talk about the reasons for it.

Sometimes I feel like I don’t deserve to feel sad about the situation my decision has put me in.



This is hard to write about in vague terms but vague it will have to be.

I long ago made the decision to stop talking to all of my family – aside from occasional messages from one relative. For some it’s been nearly 20 years since I last chose to speak to them, the rest between 10 and 15 years. It was a decision that had to be made to keep me safe. It was a decision that I held to when I became homeless and in debt. It was a decision I held on to when I made the decision to end my life. It’s a decision I held onto when I thought I was strong and safe.

It’s only now I’m struggling with the decision.

There have been two people in my family who I have missed and wished I could have walked away and kept in my life. I couldn’t work out how to do it. It would have meant telling them why I couldn’t have the others in my life, and it would have hurt them to know the truth. These two people mean so much to me.

These two people have cancer.

One of the two people will die very soon.

This is my last chance to speak to one of the people, the other might have a little while longer but keeping away will likely destroy any good will if I got the courage to get in touch.

I feel like a hypocrite for being so upset about what is happening when I decided long ago to remove myself from their lives.

I wish I was strong enough to do the right thing and face the potential shitstorm that would follow me going back. If someone found out I can only imagine the accusations and abuse that would follow. If I went to the funeral, it would risk detracting from the reason everyone was there for my own selfish need to say… what? What would I say? Sorry? Am I sorry?

I could write them a letter or send flowers while they can still receive them, but wouldn’t that be for selfish reasons too? I don’t even know what I’d say. I want to thank them but that wouldn’t be enough. How would it feel for them to get contact out of the blue with no way to respond?

Inevitably the topic of family comes up in conversations and upon saying I don’t speak to mine and it was my choice, there is either understanding or some variation of “you should change that”. I think of the two people, and I think I must undo my decision; I think of why I left in the first place and the thought of going back feels like a punch in the gut. The decision was not made lightly. I balanced whether it would hurt more to stay or walk away. I concluded that if I stayed, I would die. Leaving was the only option.

It sounds like I did a big disappearing act in the dead of night – it was nothing like that. I talked about what to do at length with a psychologist, I stopped answering calls, moved house without telling anyone where I was going… it wasn’t an immediate act.

Maybe I did the two people a disservice by not telling them everything and letting them assist in my decision, but I felt I couldn’t risk being persuaded to stay.

I’ve always known that my decision would end up how it is now. Maybe not exactly this way, but I knew I would find out that these two people have passed, and it would be too late. I thought I was ok with it.

I’m not ok.

Written by Tess

Hi I'm Tess, I work for Groundswell and have a long history of mental illness. During a particularly bad patch I sofa surfed for a while. I have a very opinionated cat and live near Manchester, although I'm formerly from Stoke-on-Trent.

Read all of Tess's articles


Identity Mental Health Support and Relationships

2 thoughts on “Sometimes the Right Decision is not Ok

  1. Dear Tess

    May I take the liberty to interact with your essay…
    Thank you for your deep sensitivity and for your innate courage to share part of your inner being.

    My thinking – – for whatever it is worth, amongst the eight plus billion people and mega-gazzillions of other sentients who vibrate with the cosmos…

    I have reached a stage or phase, (even though, i say to my brain, to shut up) in my long time on this lovely planet (excuse my lack of vocabulary) where i feel an urgent need of reconciliation with whoever and whatever has been bugging me presently or has done previously.
    If there has been earlier inadvertent (mutual or not) hurting, my wishful thinking is for a solid detente and igniting happiness.

    Regret and Grief are Eternally Intertwined, is how i feel. I want Happiness, or at least Peace, to be a significant part of this Mixture.

    Living, in relative internal peace, whether on the streets, or in dire or not so dire straits, is tough.
    Subsequent “lookback”, overwhelms. I feel regretful for a multitude of situations and circumstances in my life.

    The vastness of this Universe, and my pretentious Buddha-like thinking prompts me to feel the insignificance of the physical “me”.
    I wonder in awe, at the possibility of a tiny bit of a Soul (and its Majesty), embodied in my fraying body. Sometimes, I feel selfishly happy about it. I sense the intensity of love within me, which i want to share.

    I look within. It is not easy. One day, before very long, I too hope to find that I can, oh, easily and defiantly, strew my humour, my warmth, my love to all sentients who care to partake with me. Accentuating the Positive.

    I wish for you, Courage and Clarity and Happiness, to step forward and venture out, on to the sunny side of your street. It is right there. Awaiting you. And your love.

    Shalom, Tess 🙂

  2. Two very powerful pieces and I’ve cried my eyes out.
    I’m totally lost as every thing said always comes with the opposite held and every action has its consequence. Hold yourself tight and go deep within and feel your heart, look to see if the action is for love or out of fear. If out of love then embrace, if from fear , think again.
    Self love only your heart knows not your head.
    Sending love amd strength your way ❤

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