This is the first in the word meditation series I mentioned in Words.

The word for today is repudiate.

Repudiate for me has nuances that “reject” lacks. The definition lists “disavow”, “renounce” and “condemn” as synonyms. I don’t agree that those are synonyms. I view them as components of the word. For “repudiate” for me has a very strong meaning and power, in part because for me it has all those elements.

Repudiate relates in meaning and feel to me to “apostate”. Repudiation is a very conscious rejection of ties that once bound you. The etymology notes that its Latin roots relate it to the term for “divorce” or “casting off”. That’s an important part of the sense of this for me.

Repudiate is important in my mind right now because I am realizing that I want to repudiate my history in growing up. As part of the work I’m doing on myself, I find that my history in growing up has left me with a very painful legacy that I’m struggling to mend and repair. I have come to view my history growing up as a psychological gangrenous limb: a thing that is itself rotten and useless and threatens further harm to otherwise healthy parts of the body. I feel this need to chop that limb off to save the rest of me.

And so the idea of repudiation has become very strong in my thoughts of late. In part, too, repudiate is the right word because it represents an assertion of myself against those in my past. It is me standing tall, looking them square in the eye and repudiating them to their face. Because a lot of the issues I’m experiencing from that past relate to fear and powerlessness, that act of repudiation is the ultimate, perfect tonic.

To my family and those in my past who have given me this legacy of abandonment, rejection, fear, a sense of worthlessness, unworthiness and self-hatred: I repudiate you, all you stand for, and all you did to me.

Because now that I have repudiated you all, I am on the road to being free of your malign, poisonous influence.