Carry on Tuesday: When all is said and done

Let's Talk About Feelings

Let’s Talk About Feelings (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From Zoe’s Journal:

I need to find forgiveness in my heart. I know that’s the right thing to do; I just don’t know how to do it. How do you forgive people whose bond with you should be so natural, so instinctive? I don’t have the answers but I am trying to find them. I am trying to find them so that we can all live in peace. I think the psychologists call it “individuating;” when you separate from your parents and become your own person; believe me I don’t think my parents would call it the same thing.

I just want to protect myself from the past, I was strong enough now to be my own person and not take any of their old shit. I had figured out the dangerous mind games and I wanted no part of it. I had always been strong inside, my parents knew that about me, they were proud of that, until it seemed like I turned on them. I hadn’t; I just stopped putting up with all the bullshit. They couldn’t handle it. The more they tried to guilt me, the more I pushed back. They would immediately go to the speech where they were “all alone in the world” without their “only daughter.” I would be empathic but I would not cry and apologize and they missed that; they missed the part of me that they could hurt. Wound. Destroy. I don’t think any of it was intentional, well, of course some of it was. After they spewed a nasty string of malevolence they would not remember a word of what they said! How could they not remember what they had just said?¬† I was labeled “too sensitive.”

It took me a long time to understand the game they played, unwittingly, but I swore I would never fight with them again. Since they couldn’t express any feelings at the time they would hold something against me for weeks. Eventually, one day there would be a vitriolic, icy cold lecture of how I had changed. I would figure it out in time but it left me stunned, still hurt. However, I did not offer myself up as a sacrificial lamb; that was no longer my duty, those days were over.

When all was is said and done, what they really needed was attention, to feel wanted and needed and not dismissed. It was quite simple once I figured it out and I was more than willing to give it to both of them, on my terms. Once I did, they became nicer, happy for the attention and we seemed to get along better.

Sometimes, the things people say are irrelevant, I guess you need to go deeper and see what they are feeling. Not everyone wears their heart on their sleeve like I do. As I have said before, words don’t count, actions do. Since we were talking about forgiveness¬† there is another very important person I need to forgive.¬† Me. I need to forgive myself for all the grudges I have held, for all the hurt I have carried, for the blame I have caused and for all the tears I have shed. I was just a child, an abandoned child. I know I will never forget but I need to forgive myself and let go of the pain because true forgiveness really means setting our souls free, the greatest gift you can give yourself. At least that’s what I’ve heard.

Tales of the youngest child…..

Lee doing her thing

Image by kodama (home) via Flickr

I have an older sister who is five and a half years older than me but in some ways I feel like an only child. We are nothing alike and since she never wanted to have anything to do with me growing up, there are not a whole lot of memories that we share. I always told my sister that I would never “pick her to be my friend.” That says a lot. It sums up everything in our relationship. When I needed HER she was never there for me, when I got mugged and asked her to walk me home the next day, she wouldn’t. When I was abused and woke her up she told me to go away and let her sleep. When I had surgery my sister had to be prodded and pushed by our parents to help me; they told me that. She flew to my college graduation and left before my name was called to the stage. My parents had driven up to my graduation which, agreed, was a very long drive, she flew and they let her. I was always the one left to mop up her messes, to parent our mother and father, sometimes, to parent her. Even now at age 54 and almost 60, we are not close; I may love her but I do NOT like her. When my father was in the Emergency Room many years ago I begged her to come. She refused. I begged her again, to come there FOR ME and she said “no.” She did not come, she didn’t feel like driving in the dark even though it was only a 30 minute drive from her house. How can one forgive that? I try to help people, and do good deeds for others, she doesn’t. My mother says “she’s good at calling every day” and “she knows the daughter to call if she needs someone.” Trust me, I am not bragging, believe me, this is not a competition, I don’t consider myself “winning.” How could I? If she is forced to help it is only when if it is convenient for her. I don’t like having a sister that I can’t rely on for anything. My best friends fill that role. I trust them, I can rely on them. I probably could rely on Facebook friends that I have never met before I could count on her. When my first-born, my son, was born she told me to leave a message on her answering machine because she didn’t want to wake up for the news. She is totally self-involved and selfish and she has no clue how she comes across to others, she doesn’t even know herself. She once told our ill mother that she wanted to have lunch with me but I couldn’t and continued to tell our mother that she would NOT drive the extra 20 minutes to visit our mother. My mother, in tears, tells me these things but not her. She has always gotten away with a lot, my parents did not want to make any more waves in her tumultuous past, not even a ripple. That was their big mistake and I knew that as a teenager but they did not. My mistake? For sometimes thinking she will come through, having a tiny flicker of hope and always being let down. My husband questions me: “but it is your sister” he says, “you KNOW how she is” and he is right. I do know how she is; I will never be sure of why she is like that but I have to accept it because she will never change. The ONLY good thing that came out of my sister and me is that we each have a boy and a girl and the “cousins” adore each other. This is one good thing, maybe it needed to skip a generation; they have each other.

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