The reason I didn’t respond to your note right away is because I am angry and hurt. I needed a few days to calm down and collect myself. I went to the book store and picked up a book called “Struggling to Forgive” by Sue Atkinson. I thought to myself, “Why not?” After all – I’ve read a lot of books. What’s one more book going to do if it will show me something I haven’t considered before now? Always learning, growing, and trying to see if there is something I’ve missed along the way.
There’s not a single day that goes by that I don’t think of my *family* and what that will be like if and when we pass from this earth without any sort of reconciliation. When I think of what it would take to have reconciliation my mind conjures up the impossibility of it all. It doesn’t seem like anyone really cares about how other people are feeling. No one is *allowed* to have a voice in our *family* because no one wants to acknowledge what has happened. Reconciling a relationship is difficult if the people involved are not on equal footing or willing to humble themselves and come clean.
When I hear that my parents miss me I don’t believe it. I know you said they miss me but what I have received from my parents over the years is heartache, gossip, false accusations, and lies. They don’t act like they miss me. They have caused me so much pain in my life that it’s overwhelming when someone tells me that they miss me. I have to think to myself that I must be dreaming because that’s not my reality. What has happened to me doesn’t match the wording of it all. My parents couldn’t possibly miss me after all that has happened.
You were absolutely right when you said that people change and grow and move past mistakes. I know that it’s possible because I have changed and grown and moved passed my own mistakes. We are all nowhere near blameless. Each one of us has something to bring to the table. I just don’t feel that we will ever be on equal footing with one another relationally. It seems impossible. It feels like a miracle is needed in order for that to happen. A miracle and a lot of family counseling is needed in my opinion. People ought to have their hurts addressed in order to move forward.
I have always wanted to talk to you. I was not *allowed* to talk to you. I was told in no uncertain terms that I didn’t have *permission* to have a relationship with my sister-in-law who I see as my sister and my friend. (We were damn good friends too!) We spent a lot of time together. We have so many good memories to look back on with our children. Do you know how many times my children ask me to explain to them the lack of interaction and communication? Too many times to count! They don’t understand any of this and it kills me that I’m not *permitted* to continue my relationship with my niece and nephew. Because why? Because my brother said so, that’s why.
When you said that you missed all of us I believed you. I believed you because I know what kind of person you are. I miss all of you too. I just have NO friggin’ clue how reconciliation can be achieved if no one is willing to get help and come clean. True remorse has to happen. An acknowledgement of why people lash out the way that they do has to be achieved or mistakes will continue to be repeated over, and over, and over again.
I miss my brother. I miss all of the good times I had with my brother. What I don’t miss is feeling like I have to walk on eggshells around him. I don’t miss the rules he creates that don’t seem to ever apply to him. He’s allowed to make the rules but he doesn’t have to abide by his own rules. I will never understand that about him.
I’m supposed to be reconciled to him relationally so that I can get his *permission* to be able to communicate with my sister-in-law, my niece, and my nephew. Do you guys realize how that sounds? It’s not healthy. Who makes demands like that? Last time I checked my brother is NOT God. How am I supposed to *interact* with someone who won’t put down the puppet strings? It’s the equivalent of telling someone, “Be my friend or else!” It makes me think of the time when I was a little girl at the playground. I wanted to go down the slide. I wasn’t *allowed* to go down the slide until I found a certain number of rocks to give to the kid at the top of the slide who was taking his anger out on the little kids who weren’t big enough or confident enough to stand up for themselves. Seriously!? WTF?
At the same time, whether I agree with my brother or not, I have to respect the boundary that he created. Technically speaking I’m not even *allowed* to refer to him has my brother. He said that my right to interact with my sister-in-law, my niece, and my nephew starts with my relationship to him. If I can’t interact with him, I don’t have a right to interact with them. He said it and I’ve been *abiding* by it for FOUR YEARS. That rule obviously only applies to me with the expectation that I get down on my knees and beg my brother to give me his blessing.
Uh, NO – I’m not wired for that. I will never be wired for that – EVER. I’m still going to read those books I picked up because I am struggling to forgive. I know what it is I need to forgive; I just don’t know how that’s supposed to look for me at this point in time.
Next! Once Upon A Time