“Mistakes, no matter how terrible, don’t have to define us so long as we don’t keep making the same mistakes over and over.” ~~ Jim Wright
It’s been just about five years since that awful reunion, the second-worst-weekend of my life. The day when I found out just exactly how my siblings see me, what they believe about me, and how that manifests in how they treat me.
I have a sister who wishes I was never born and that I didn’t exist (and now can pretend that I don’t).
Because, you know, everything that happened, back in 1969 and after, is my fault, for being born.
I have a sister-in-law and a brother who see nothing wrong with screaming in my face the day after our father died: I’m talking feeling her spittle hit my face, I’m talking both of them screaming so loudly that another brother in the basement heard what was going on and came up for a look-see.
But, you see, I MADE them do it.
They had charitably decided to overlook “my behavior” of the night before, when I politely asked her to stop LAUGHING as I sat by my father’s still-warm body, less than half an hour after he had died — and she chose to completely ignore that simple request, ignored what I asked her to do at a time of deep grief and stress — the first time I’d ever seen anyone die, and it was my beloved father, but she refused to do that one simple thing for my sake.
When I brought up this disgustingly callous behavior the next day, I “made” them yell at me.
Said sister, and youngest brother, and probably oldest brother, don’t want to believe that happened — at least not the way I tell it. And brother and SIL made it easy for them by telling them all that I PICKED THE FIGHT that day. Which is easy – it goes right along with me “making” them yell at me like that. And everyone swallowed it, because it was the easy thing to do, and it went along with their preconceived notions of what kind of person I was — the person at fault for everything.
It’s been a long, difficult, sometimes lonely, 5 years. It’s tough to break those patterns, of believing the same old lies, giving the same old responses, and getting the same old results.
But it’s worth it, to have figured out the truth, and not be hostage to someone else’s view.
Frankly, they should try it for themselves.
No one else has changed one bit, not in five years. Zero reparations, zero understanding, zero empathy, and eventually zero communication (which is a choice I ended up having to make, not one I wanted). A refusal to even read what I write.
I’m certain that me writing this blog is seen as FAR FAR WORSE than what Joe and Susan did to me. Of course it is!
They only turned on me, yelled at me, at the lowest point of my entire life. When at the age of only 31 I had just lost my only parent, my father. At the moment when you are supposed to be able to count on “family”. After days of hearing how we were going to “cut each other slack”. And then they deliberately, strategically, and openly turned the rest of that “family” against me.
But me writing this blog — well, I’m pretty sure that’s unforgivable. After all, the internet is forever!
Yes, it is. And what they did to me is forever too.