By now, most people know about and have an opinion about gymnast Simone Bile’s decision to withdraw from the 2020 Olympic competition. Some say that this was an act of self-indulgence, that she is a quitter and a big disappointment. Others laud her for honoring her health and well-being, despite a media backlash that would intimidate anyone with less fortitude and self-respect.

This mighty little gymnast performs super-human, gravity defying feats which, on the best of days, are incredibly dangerous. The fact that she experienced the “twisties,” where she lost her ability to sense where she was in space, made her choice to withdraw the best option for her safety.

She just said no. She courageously faced the consequences with dignity, in front of the whole world. She admitted her limitations and did what she had to do. Even on the ground, Simone Biles flies above us.

I find her behavior inspiring. As a mother and grandmother who has undergone abuse from my family, the best thing I did for myself was to emotionally walk away. Because of the potential for triggers, I needed to monitor my mental rumination and deep attachment to my son and grandkids, even deleting some social media accounts. I stopped grasping for contact, stopped hoping for a miracle, stopped trying so hard. Ultimately, I knew I had to leave the game.

We all fall down. We all lose our way and experience our own version of the twisties. We all become fatigued, burned out, scared, confused. We parents and grandparents must understand that if our grown kids treat us with disrespect or even abuse, we must accept the reality of the dynamic and make a courageous decision to let go and move in the direction of self-care and dignity. If we get mental or emotional twisties we must prioritize our health and sanity. We must say no to anyone who hurts us.

The good news is that as we get stronger and make decisions on our own behalf, as we learn to allow our hearts to take flight,  it won’t be in front of the whole world.

6 thoughts on “Twisties”

  • I just finished your book today. Even though our estrangement from our son, daughter in law and our only granddaughter is new (11 Months) Your book has helped so much and I thank you for it. i look forward to reading your blog and finding enlightenment.

    • Cheryl – I’m so glad my book has been helpful to you. Family estrangement is a tough assignment and it’s best to reach out and find help where you can.. Thanks for your comment!

  • I totally relate. Although it still hurts and it still has left a hole. I believe that turning my son into Gods hands is the Isaac in my life. As Abraham trusted God that he will be the father of generations to come! A promise that took faith bc Isaac was his only son . I had a promise in 2014 from God. It sounds crazy to a non believer but it was powerful and it shook my heart. I remember the date as though it was yesterday. I admit I’ve been in a roller coaster of despair and deep sorrow. But I’ve come to accept that Gods timing is not mine. And self care is very important. It’s a start in living again. Does it mean I won’t have moments and days that feel bewildering and struggle, yes. But if God placed the promise in my path , I had to ask myself ‘ if you believe that God gave you this promise, how can he do his best if you keep holding onto your son! Let him go! Release him to God! ?’ This is painful because while I released him it hurt, while I released him I wept, while I released him I kissed him tenderly goodbye (thru an object that belonged to my son) I handed him thru this act over to Our Lord) I know that God saw and felt my pain but also saw how much I trust Him with my son. There’s nothing I can do other than in the meantime to take care of me and love on the daughter, grandchildren and husband and family that loves me fully . Be in the joy that is every present!

    We do not walk this journey alone, even though it seems so at times.

    • Hope – Thank you for your input. I know your thoughts will be especially helpful to those who share your religious beliefs.

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