The family I dreamed of never existed.
| The Family That Didn't exist|
For years and years, I kept trying to connect with my siblings, visualizing family holidays, daily calls from various family members, support for my rough times, cousins growing up together. You get the picture.
Every time we would gather together, I would get so excited, anticipating I don't know. Perhaps this time they would let me connect was always my thought. I would be nice and helpful, and they would let me in.
But it never happened. Year after year, nothing changed
How did all this separation start? I knew we weren't an Ozzie and Harriet family, too much damage in childhood for all of us. We each coped the best we knew how; ironclad rule NEVER NEVER talk about our younger days. As we grew older and had families of our own, our interactions evolved into getting together a couple times a year, occasional calls, not much, right? But it worked for us. (Interesting note- we all moved as far away as possible from each other.)
I made peace with my mother and was with her for her last moments. Everyone, of course, came for her private service and her part in my life was done. Later that evening various members of my family were camping out in my mother's apartment. Why I chose this moment to reveal revelations about my father's sexual abuse I will never understand. It took me a long time to accept what had happened, perhaps, a year before this gathering.
I talked a long time, telling how hidden memories had smacked me in the face and my journey trying to accept my father's acts.
When I was done talking, no one responded. After a few uncomfortable moments, everyone ignored me and continued with their evening.
I expected my sister to hug me and tell me how sorry she was. My brothers were supposed to tell me they loved and believed me. None of that happened.
For about six months after I told them, I kept trying to feel some empathy, love, respect, anything but this silence. I would call them and pretend not to hear their efforts to get off the phone. I. even, drove six hours to my sister's place, hoping by spending time together, we would be real sisters. And I drove home without that connection.
My sister sent me a couple of nice emails and then, nothing. One of my brothers posted on Facebook, of all places that I was crazy and making up stories. My second brother would quiz me every time we talked, to find a lie or a loophole to make my story false.
Again, the self-doubt set in. Why wasn't I good enough for this family. Maybe I was really crazy.
Thankfully, I realized these constant, battering thoughts could and would sink me into depression. I couldn't back go there. I'd already spent a large portion of my life in that place.
So, I refused depression and tried to rationalize out their behaviors.
I, finally, did it, I'm happy to say. I only had to remember that they all were raised in the same household and interaction with me kept the past in their faces. I guess losing me as a sister was easier then reliving the past. That's what I think anyway, and I am comforted.
But I do wish things could have been different.
Now I do have a small family that surrounds me. Comfort, caring, support, respect, I have all that now and I am so very much grateful.
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