Archive for the ‘grieving’ Category

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Thinking of my sis

March 12, 2021

Lately, I have been more aware of my sis’s death and life. I wish I knew more of her life, but then I don’t. I know her life was as much as hell as mine was. No one makes it unscathed in a generational ritual abuse family. No one. My parents didn’t and we didn’t.

I have been writing about grief lately, triggered by thoughts of my sis. I thought of her on her birthday even more this year than usual. I thought of her leading up to her birthday. She has just been more and more on my mind

She died/was killed on my birthday. Yeah, no warning there. I was away getting memories back and doing healing work. I never got a chance to confirm with her what I remembered for she was taken away. As for the group…well, let’s just say I am not the only one who does not think the timing of her death was a coincidence. It was a warning to me.

Realistically, I doubt she could have told me much. She was, most likely, as amnesic as I was (and to some degree, still am). Plus, she would have been afraid–afraid I would “tell” on her. I would not have understood that back then as much as I do now.

My memories of her are scarce, even though we lived in the same house for at least 10 years. I remember when she was born and not much else while we shared houses. I look back and simply do not see her present. Yet, I do know she was. Of that I have no doubt.

Part of grief is realizing what we have lost in the what-could-have-been category. We were sisters and even though we were almost eight years apart, we should have been able to be closer. I should have been able to be the big sister she needed. But I couldn’t be. I should have been able to have a relationship with her untainted by the “job” I had to do with her. (No wonder it has been so challenging to grieve.)

I was given an offer for some free products from a healing music site. I have interfaced with the founder for several years via email. He knows my “history”, somewhat. No one knows it all for it is too horrific to share. People don’t understand these kinds of horrors. Anyway, as I went to the site, I knew what I was looking for… music on grieving for her.

It’s time. I have been sensing it was time. Do I like the “timing” of this in my life? No. But then, is there ever a good time to grieve? Of course, I have to answer that with a yes. I guess it is more a matter of it being a convenient time rather than a good time. Grief is good and the time for grieving is good. It’s just not always convenient.

So, I am awaiting the delivery of the music and I will be taking some time to grieve, interwoven with needing to also live life. I will have to do the two side by side. I wish there was a grieving group for this kind of thing, but there isn’t. I mean, I am sure there is a group for grieving a death, but it is not very accessible to me. Perhaps online?

I am going to kick this off. I don’t have the energy to do a thorough proofread, so show me some grace if you see any typos or needed edits. I am grieving. The process began months ago, but it is now “official”, I guess.

I am grieving. I didn’t know about kaddish when she died. Is it too late now? I believe in my heart it is never too late. Creator G-D is eternal and outside of time.

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More on grieving…

February 26, 2021

It’s been a rough month. I have been reminded of my sister a lot. As I wrote in my previous post, when do we survivors get to grieve?

When you are in survival mode, you don’t have the luxury of taking time to grieve. Your main focus is on staying safe and, in my case, keeping my child safe. Who has time to grieve? Who has the energy to grieve?

But life, eventually, brings those reminders and our minds and hearts are satisfied we are in a safe enough place to start grieving. Those reminders could be anything. For me, it not even things that necessarily pertain to her.

I have a lot of years of not being able to fully grieve a lot of losses. When those losses came, I was usually having to scramble to deal with the results of the losses. And when it seems as if life just keeps hitting with one thing after another, those things I need to grieve just pile up.

So, now I am wondering. Is this the time to start to let that wall come down? Am I ready for the flood of emotions? Do I even have a choice?

I have to trust Creator in all of this. I know He knows best what needs to happen in my life. He knows best when I am ready to deal with the buried grief, whether I “feel” ready or not. I have seen Him work in so many ways over the years. I trust Him to not allow me to collapse or implode. He is always good, even when I am not. He is my Rock to stand on. He is my Tower to run into for shelter from the storm.

I will–I must–continue to trust Him. My life, my stability, my emotional and mental health, everything depends on it.

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When do we get to grieve?

February 10, 2021

Grief seems to get both triggered and hindered in so many ways. Flashbacks trigger grief. But flashbacks also trigger avoidance. Part of me wants to feel and remember and process–to take the power out of the flashbacks. But I also do not want to go there. That’s why those memories are buried or, at least, pushed away.

I used to wonder why even good memories would feel overwhelming. I think I am beginning to understand. Experiencing horrific things causes us to shut down our ability to feel. We find any way possible to go numb. From what I have read and learned, it is very difficult to separate negative from positive emotions in the sense of allowing only one type to go through the filters we put up.

Even if we could fine tune our filters, there is another problem. We grew up with bait and switch and constant deception. When something good was offered, it was often either substituted with something negative or withheld until after something negative or led into something negative. So, even the “good” events and “good” memories are so often attached to negative (even horrific) ones.

So, almost all memories, both positive and negative, actually lead to/are connected to something negative. Do I remember enjoying something with my mother? There is the manipulation always lurking in the background…and worse buried deep in my psyche behind the veil of amnesia.

Thinking of my sister is hard. I really have very few memories of her growing up. We lived in the same house, but my memories (except a rare handful) do not include her. It is as if she only visited once in a very great while. I know that is not true, but I have so thoroughly blocked her. Or, maybe, they blocked her for me. Or both.

When I had some memory recall two decades ago, I remembered enough about the relationship my sis and I had to not really want to remember any more. I was trained well and I became her trainer. Or, at least, cotrainer. They are always there making sure we do it “correctly”, leading and guiding us in their evil sickness.

So, I find myself avoiding memories. When they come, I allow myself to grieve as best I can. But it always feels incomplete. Grief is hard. Grief is triggering. It’s hard to process when feeling overwhelmed, but I know of no other way through it. But the shutdown of the flow of both memories and emotion is automatic. How do we turn off that automatic valve which is there for our protection?

I have no easy answers, especially as a survivor of such horrific things. I just do the best I can to allow myself to sit in the emotions triggered by the brief snippets of memory I have, by the photos I see, by the dates passing by. (It’s my sis’s upcoming birthday that got me into this post.)

It is my desire–my prayer–that all of us survivors find a way to grieve, even if we have to make it happen. In fact, maybe making it happen is the answer. Instead of waiting to be hit, I can take some time to choose to go there. I can be the master controller of the process. Maybe. Obviously, I would need to be prepared.

I just know I need to do something. It seems as if the walls of separation are starting to crumble and I had better be able to handle it. And I would rather handle it on my terms. Is it date programming? Age programming? Just the natural progression of aging and healing and growing? It could be any of those, all three of them or even some other option.

I live in a heavy cult area. They are everywhere, even in the places and groups that are supposed to be “safe”. It is absolutely imperative I trust G-D for my safety.

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Two Right Answers?

July 9, 2011

In our Good Grief group meeting this last week, AR suggested that the two choices I have are both right. That neither one is wrong.

I can choose to take the emotional risk to once again call my parents. Or, I can choose to not take the risk…especially given the history and the next to zero chance that anything will have changed…and especially since my parents DO know how to contact me should they wish to actually connect.

We were talking about guilt…guilt over things we wish we had or had not said or done with the person we had lost. My focus right now is my mother who has melanoma. Although any relationship we once has been gone long ago, her death will bring a final end to any possibility of change.

My husband referred to it as “anticipated” guilt. I had shared how I am looking forward and wondering what decision I should make and whether it will be the right one. How can you know? One thing AR said is important is that we keep talking about the things we are experiencing surrounding the losses we have. Keep talking until we can work through it.

I have been pondering his comment that both decisions are right. In my mind, I kept feeling like I was being a wimp…too fearful to face my father’s abusive words. And what if my mother is somehow being controlled by my father? Forget that she was abusive, too!

In our last conversation, my mother admitted that it was being pushed aside for my son. She said she REALLY WANTED (her emphasis) for me to understand why that was…that it was IMPORTANT that I know. Then…no more contact. It could be manipulation. It could be that she actually let her guard down and got real for a couple of minutes. It could be all kinds of things.

I think it was really helpful for me to hear AR say that BOTH decisions were right….especially since he knows a lot more details than the other women in the group. He knows my parents are toxic for me from meeting with me previously.

I just want to do what is right, but having it pointed out that they KNOW the door is open…they KNOW they can write my hubby and my mother can write me…helped bring a more balanced perspective. It IS helpful to hear that from outside of myself.

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Grief Group…

June 15, 2011

AR is the therapist facilitating the group. I had an advantage in the sense that I have worked with AR before. He helped me with some tough things. Unfortunately, though, he had no experience working with clients who have experienced the type of abuse I have been through. So, between that and finances, I quit seeing him. When I saw that he was doing the grief group it just felt like something I needed to do. The price was right…free.

Tonight, there were only two others…women who had lost their husbands within the last year. There are supposed to be a couple more people who could not make it the first night. I felt kind of the odd one out, but as AR said…there are many different things a person can grieve over. In fact, I recommended it to my hubby afterward because he is going through so many losses himself…especially in the area of employment.

One of the first things he did was share some things about himself and his own experience with grief. After that, we each shared why we were there. Although I feel I have a pretty good handle on what I am grieving and why, it still felt kind of awkward. My situation is different from theirs, although it is not unusual, per se. I know of many people who are estranged and one wants to reconnect. And yes…there is oftentimes even one who is very ill…making a desire for reconnection more urgently felt.

I shared that I did not need to connect, but that I wanted to. When she dies, I want to know that I did everything reasonable to reconnect…that I did the right thing…that I did what I believe Abba wants me to do. I want my conscience clear. Really…it is more about making sure they know the door is open on my end. It would be nice to be able to have my mother receive the truth that I love her…in spite of everything, but I really don’t see that happening…outside of a miracle. But then, I serve a G-d who does miracles. Still, He won’t force Himself upon a person, either.

We were given a little book to read as we go along…a tiny thing…on grieving. I forgot to bring it in the house with me so I can’t give you the title. He read a few paragraphs here and there and we talked a bit. We covered being in shock and some of the different ways people grieve and the different things they grieve over.

It is hard enough for me to start something new like this. It is harder still when I feel as if my story is so much different from the others. I wonder what the circumstances are of the new ones that will come next week. At least I have the advantage that AR knows my story enough to understand what is going on beneath the surface of what I share.

I know this is rough. It is a bit difficult to focus, so I hope there are no typos!

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Grieving…

June 15, 2011

I leave in an hour for the first night of grief group. All day long I have struggled to function. In fact, it has not only been today. This has been building over days…perhaps even a week or more. For the last week or so I have been struggling with bouts of depression, culminating with feeling like I am so nonfunctional today. It is hard to even think, let alone accomplish anything. Yet, I did get some things done anyway.

I have no idea what to expect regarding tonight. I have never been to a group like this. I just know I need to go…so I am going. I am determined to work through this. I figure it will be interesting being the only person there with an SRA history. Or at least, that is the most likely scenario. Who knows? Perhaps there will be others there with abuse histories, although that is not the focus of the group. I kind of wish it was, but it isn’t. So, I will have to use some discernment when I share. (I assume there is a time of sharing.)

 

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This Is the Week…

June 13, 2011

I start the grief group. The first of six meetings is in two days. Emotionally…I am all over the map. Body memories I was hoping I was done with have come back.

Our living situation does not help. There is a LOT to do and only us (mostly hubby and son) to do it. He (and I) are feeling a bit overwhelmed. We are no longer in the old place, and yet not completely in the new one, either. We have to do laundry at the old place still and we are paying for two power bills…which really hit when I opened the mail today. We also have things that keep going wrong…like a persistently leaky shower. Thankfully, we think we finally have that one figured out. And then there are the tools that either stop working right or quit altogether.

Our son has been staying in the extra room while his room is finished. Hopefully, he will be moving into his room tomorrow…which will give me access to the office room. Once it has a door installed it will be the one room where no one is to walk in on me. It will be the office, the counseling room, the art and craft room, the guest room. It is not very big, but it will do.

I figured that being in a much bigger place where I can actually have some privacy to process would start bringing things up. I believe that most of what is coming up is related to my parents…specifically to my mother’s condition. As the body memories raged yesterday morning, I found my focused on my mother. It was mostly nonspecific…just a sense that it was connected to my mother.

I expect there will be lots more coming up once I have that room and things are a bit more settled. Not only will there be issues surrounding my mother (and father), but I am sure all kinds of things that have been shut down due to our previous living situation will start to open up. Randy Noblitt says he thinks my system is totally shut down. We will see how correct he is.

As for mom, I have already done a lot of grieving over the years for what was and what wasn’t. Now, there is a new level of grief…just like when my sister died. Grieving over the finality of things…over what will never be a possibility of happening if she dies.

One of the things that is difficult is that I don’t know who is really calling the shots. Is it him? Is it her? Is it both? He wrote to rail at me and she has been silent…unresponsive to my emails.

I guess what is most frustrating is that it seemed almost as if we were on the verge of a breakthrough of some sort. My last contact with her was on the phone. My father had interrupted the call to let her know that she had to get going for her oncologist appointment. She said that she loved us all and I told her I was glad to hear her say that because it seems like it has always been about our son and that I was being pushed aside. She actually told me then that I was RIGHT! She also said that there was a reason for it and that she REALLY wanted to share it with me. She even repeated herself that she really wanted to talk to me about it. After that…nothing.

I emailed her to tell her to tell when is a good time to call her as I did not want to wake her if she was resting. No response. I have emailed her a few times…just simple things like letting her know that I still love her and reminding her that she said she wanted to talk to me. Nothing. Is dad reading her emails and deleting them? Is she just giving me the silent treatment? Is this just more of the manipulative head games they try to play?

My dad says that the only way they will consider reconnecting (since I left them – HA!) is if I let my mother talk on the phone with our son for as long as she wants without interference. That is very interesting seeing as how she lost phone privileges in the first place due to her telling my hubby that he had no right to correct our son when he was on the phone with her…that she was in charge. And this was after she blatantly did not respect the boundaries we drew for our son.

So, I get to check what a grief group is like and see what I can do with all this stuff. It is important that I face it…not run from it. I sure wish I could talk with a therapist who has experience with cult survivors…a SAFE one! Even if I had the money and transportation, I just don’t know if I am ready to trust that again.

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Grief Group…

May 31, 2011

A therapist I went to for a while is having a free grief group. I am not sure why it is free…perhaps the church it is being held at is paying for it. Or, maybe he is just giving something free out of gratitude for how blessed he has been in his practice. I just know that price is right and I am signed up. He needs a minimum of 5 people and I hope he gets them.

So…why am I going? Because of my mom. There are so many issues I am facing surrounding her death. I may not even be told that she when she dies…although I think my father probably would tell me by throwing it in my face. Actually, I can see him writing and telling me that I need to call him in order to find out how she is doing. I just cannot believe he won’t pull some kind of power play.

Her death will mean the finality of so many things…a loss of little girl dreams that never really do die. There are so many levels of grief. Grief that I am not being kept up to date. Grief that I will most likely never be able to have a connection with my mother. I can live without it, but I do want it.

On another level, her death will mean a releasing. There will be no more chances to think about or even try for. It will be time to grieve and move on in a different way than I have moved on so far. There is a separation and yet a connection right now. Like it or not, she is my parent. Although I am not holding my breath, I cannot ignore the hope that we will be able to at least talk about some things.

I have thought many times over the years about how I would respond to news of the deaths of either or both of my parents. It is one of those things that I think you just cannot know until it happens. Their deaths will mean the loss of so many possibilities…so many things that could have been. The fact that they were among my abusers does not change that. I have found freedom and I so wish they could, too. I have heard of such things happening and I know that nothing is impossible with G-d.

So, I think it will do me good to be able to voice some of this in a group. At least, I hope it will. I also hope we can afford the gas, but I will just have to trust my heavenly Abba for that just as I do for everything else.

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Parents…a Love/Hate Affair…

December 21, 2010

There is a drawing I did back in 2005 that so reflects how I feel right now. You can see it here:  Always Out of Reach.

My parents are one of several reasons I have not been writing here for a while.  Some of those reasons are good ones…I have been baking, shopping and wrapping. Others are not so good…I have been struggling in my living situation even more with the early onset of cold weather and snow and I have been emotionally drained from trying to deal with my parents. Yeah…my parents.

As you can see in the picture, nothing has really changed since I have been a young girl. The man who used to be my hero (in what I came to realize was a made up life) is just as unavailable as ever. The game playing still goes on. The manipulation attempts…or maybe…they are not merely attempts, but actually accomplishments…at least on some level…in spite of my attempts to not be drawn in.

Awhile back I phoned my mother. At the end of that call, she admitted that my perception of being pushed aside for my son was accurate. She was being real and she told me that she wanted me to know why that was. She said it was important, but not, apparently, important enough to answer any of my emails following the call.

Writing to my father produced more of the same messy communications as always…or should I say lack of communication. He ignores part of what I say, picking and choosing what he will respond to. His responses do not always make sense because he will quote me out of context. This last email he basically wrote everything I wrote back to me.

My husband had already written him…telling him to piss or get off the pot. Either communicate in a real way and start a relationship or back off. Make a choice. His choice was to parrot what I wrote to him back to me.

So, I wrote him with four things he could do to show me that I can start to believe what he writes to me. I have blocked his email addresses. He can do those things and he can write via my husband. If that happens, then I will consider unblocking his emails, but I am not holding my breath. No longer will my pulse race when I see an email has come into that email account for I will know it is not him.

I did not block my mother, though, so I won’t be surprised if she suddenly starts to write me. It is difficult to predict, but they do like to sort of play tag team at times. I hate to cut her off seeing as how she is dying. However, it does no good to try to connect if she is not truly open to connecting.

When Paul wrote and reminded us of sending in a piece for the 6th Arts Carnival, I started looking through my pieces to see what I might enter. When I saw this one, only two days after telling my father I was blocking his email, well…it just seemed fitting. As I wrote Paul sending him the link and telling him why this particular piece, I found myself tearing up. There is a lot of grief still inside over not having my parents and over never really knowing what it is like to grow up feeling secure, loved and sane. The only love I really remember is the love of Yeshua/Jesus.

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Cruelty and Healthy Boundaries…

September 17, 2010

What my mother has done is cruel. I keep trying to empathize and to understand her pain. But not matter how much I empathize…no matter how much I forgive…it still hurts like hell. I am the unwanted daughter. I did not step up to the plate. I did not take over. I stepped out of line. I left. I have no desire to be a princess other than in the One True Creator God’s kingdom.

I will never live up to her expectations. Her expectations (and his) lead to death. I have chosen a different path. If they do not want me…they can forget my son. I was actually willing to let them talk to him on the phone, but if they don’t want me…forget it. That is not being selfish…it is being real. It is not being vindictive…it is setting boundaries…healthy boundaries.

Boundaries are not OK in the cult. My whole life I had no boundaries. I did not know where I ended and other people began. I was trained to be a chameleon…to anticipate others needs/wants. Those in the cult who knew the trigger words and actions could get anything they wanted. NO MORE!!

I was accessed by a “Christian” therapist after we moved here. He had experience with cult clients. Little did I know that he was not only cult himself…but that we had met many years ago. It ends here…and now! I will not kowtow to my parents. I will not kowtow to anyone but my Lord…and He does not ask me to. He lifts my head to look into His eyes so that I can see His healing love.

I hurt. I am angry. I do not deserve to be treated this way. Even IF I had been the worst daughter on the planet…rather than simply and imperfect one…I do not deserve this. I have reached out via email for a year and a half. It has gone nowhere. I tried. My conscience is clear. I have done what I can. It is their loss. They can blame me all they want…but they have a part in this. I am an adult. I will not submit to them or to their control. I will not go back to the way things were.

So I will continue to mourn what was and I will mourn what never was. I will mourn the dream of having a somewhat regular family. I will keep my heart open until there is nothing left…and at that point…I will mourn for what will never be. I have dreams. I have always had dreams. Many of them are just broken dreams…turning to dust beneath my feet. Oh, well.

I have survived. I will survive. Nay…I will thrive! In spite of how hard my life is right now…I have more freedom than I ever did living under their control. The Creator has given me the gift of who I am…all of me. I am His…and no one else’s…no one’s.

I hope we can make peace before she dies…same with him. But if it does not happen…I refuse to beat myself up with guilt that is not mine.

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About the theme…and other stuff…

July 6, 2010

OK…the other theme was driving me nuts. I could not get the background light enough without washing out some of the text…and I could not adjust the color of the text. So…I am trying this one out for a while. It is called “Neat”. I don’t really have time to mess with themes any more right now.

On other lines of thought…I started a poetry blog. It has a real original title…NOT! But at least I am pretty consistent! A Survivor’s Poetry. You can either click on the link here or you can find the link at the top of the RSS blog links in the right hand column. I can appreciate that there are some who might only want to read poetry…or only look at art…so, I made a blog for each.

My computer goes back soon. I don’t really like it, but I also don’t like the idea that I might not be to get it turned on one of these days. *sigh* I don’t know if they will fix it or not. One guy told me they will send a check for sure. Another guy said the first guy had no right to say that…that they might be able to fix it…or send an entirely different PC. I don’t mind fixing…but I am not thrilled with a different PC unless it is the same kind or better.

I am tired. I am grieving. This grieving has to do with my ex. Not that I am grieving him…but as I see his family on FB interacting with my first marriage sons…well…I am just so aware of losing not just a spouse…but a whole family. I know it had to be…in my head. But in my heart…it is another story. There is a part of me who wants to say “hello”, but I was so vilified and lied about that I don’t really dare. I have regained some connections…partially…but not all…which is actually probably a good thing.

I am continuing to work on getting my art into jpeg format. The motivation is the Webinar I am doing in August. But this is also good for me…to have all my pieces sorted through and categorized and numbered. The Webinar is being done by Survivorship. I will put a link in the sidebar. The Webinars are being done as a community service and also to raise funds for ongoing Survivorship services.

As for my parents…still no word. Such is life.

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What Do You Do With Anger?

April 19, 2010

I feel like saying something. I feel like wagging a finger in someone’s face. I feel like getting a bit loud. I feel like yelling. I feel like…what??? I don’t know. I don’t do anger very well. I try to be very understanding, very forgiving. I try to let go of my wants for the sake of others. We give…for their sakes…but they don’t even have a clue how much we give. And for one of them…that is OK. But the other. I need some acknowledgment. When you work so hard to present as “normal”…whatever the heck that is…it is so easy for the other one to forget who you really are…what you really are…who ALL you really are. It has been building up for some time.

So…what, exactly, DO you do with anger? With frustration? With an inability to get to what you feel you need? An inability to do what you feel you need to do? To process all the stuff you have had to put on hold for the last few years. Talk about healing interrupted! I know it is not totally interrupted, but in so many ways it HAS been.

I have grown in the sense that I have actually been holding it together through all of this. Well…I believe it is my Abba who has really been holding me together. Many times I have reached the end of my proverbial rope and it is my Abba who has kept me going…who is holding me together.

I am human. I have feelings…sometimes very conflicting feelings…depending upon the who and the what. Again…something that tends to be forgotten by the very one I most need to remember that. I am OK…but that does not mean that I do not have those feelings to battle at times. He does, too, and even from some of the same things. We each have our stuff. And then…I have stuff for more than one.

I think it is time to remind someone. I am praying about the how and the when. Do I write it?  Do I speak it? And then there is who should write it or speak it? What “voice” do I use? What will be best heard? Best received? I am not talking about manipulation here…I am talking about practicality. Know your audience. Speak accordingly.

Is it hopeless? Sometimes it feels like it is. Some times…it feels as if things will never change.  It feels as if I will always have to hide a lot of myself. I have to accept that life might just be that way. Can I do that? Can I trust enough for that?

Our living situation is going to change…most likely during this summer/fall…maybe sooner. That will bring a lot of challenges of its own…while also opening up some things for me. How will I handle that? I don’t know yet. I am trying to get prepared for both change…and for no change. I really hope that I do not have to face no change.

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My Sister

February 16, 2010

My sister had a brave heart. She was beautiful and childlike. She was a fighter who would not give up. She was trapped…caught in an unseen web that was too sticky for her to break free from. They had her where they wanted her.

My sister ran away from one cult family right into the arms of another…but she didn’t know. Neither of us did. At that time, we were both amnesic to our true history.

I wonder…did she ever figure it out before she died? Did she finally remember her childhood abuse…the younger years? Did she remember “everything”…or just the minor “stuff” she used as an excuse to run away?

My sister kept trying…in recovery and out of it. I remember her telling me how she had to fight with the recovery people to get her a counselor. She kept saying she needed one, but they did not want to give it to her…not even in those fancy, high class, expensive recovery places.

Was it because it was being paid for by his parents? After all…counseling might mean that she would remember something…something important…something damning…about them. Maybe she would finally wake up to the truth about her boyfriend and his parents…the family she lived with. Or…maybe she wanted a counselor because she already had an inkling of the truth? I will never know in this life.

This is the time of year that I especially think of my sister…as her birthday approaches in a couple of days. And I wonder about her death…and sometimes, I wonder if she even really died…or if they have her holed up somewhere. It didn’t look like her. And my father would not leave me alone with her. If he had…what would I have done? I don’t know. We weren’t supposed to touch the body…but I think I would have. It did NOT look like her. I had seen her within the last year.

My father said it did, but he had not seen her in years…so far as I know. But then…it is not exactly like I came from a truthful family. Ha! “Family”. What is THAT supposed to be? Not the caricature I grew up with.

It’s funny how everything seemed to be so good…on the outside looking in. All the memories I concocted about growing up seemed so OK…yet I was so not OK.  Stories my mother told me were woven through my mind with photos from the family albums. Childhood. Sure…that was my childhood…only…it wasn’t.

I remember the day I suddenly realized that it was all a lie…a fantasy. It has been so long now that I cannot remember if it was before or after I realized that I could not remember growing up with my sister. It is as if she did not exist…yet I know for fact she was there…in the same house with me.

So many things are buried in the mists of amnesia with a tiny flash of a snippet here and there that blazes through so fast that I can barely figure out what just went by. Yet…those flashes ARE there. And I do have the photographs. My sister was there. Some of the photos I took…yet, I can barely see anything beyond the photos themselves. Whatever I see is more like a surreal picture in my mind.

She died on my birthday. At least…I am told she died. I saw what was supposed to be her body…but it sometimes haunts me to this day. I know she was becoming “inconvenient”. I would not put it past them to agree behind closed doors while pretending to hate each other to me. Two families…warring for her body. It was sick. It was insane. It was my sister.

I will never get the chance to get to know her. Her living…except for the few times in the later years when I finally did meet up with her…is buried deep within. What I do remember makes me wonder if I really want to remember the rest. I don’t know. Maybe I should just create a life with her just like I created a life of my own? No…I want to honor her by remembering the truth…if I can.

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Feeling Blue

July 25, 2009

I am feeling a bit blue today. There are a number of things I could probably point to…but the overriding one…I think…is that I found out today that someone I loved and cared about very much died back in February. No…he wasn’t a cult survivor and his death was not cult related. He had leukemia with other complications. I knew it was coming. In fact, I figured that it had probably already happened…given how long it had been since I had talked with him.

So, I am feeling blue. This man was really supportive of me…of everyone he met really. I believe I have closure…so that is not an issue. I’m just sad…and grateful that I will see him again. It is difficult not being able to keep up with people…but there is only so much one can do in this life without getting bogged down. I feel comfort knowing where he is…and that I will someday join him. That will have to do right now.

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Holding in Hurts

November 20, 2008

I am realizing that I am still holding hurts inside from some things that I had hoped that I had moved beyond. There are times when I will see, hear or read something that reminds me that I have unresolved issues with some friends. (I hope they don’t mind that I still call them friends.)

I really wish I could resolve the issues, but I just don’t know how. I tried and it only got worse. It has been my experience that if I have to explain more than two (maybe three) times what it is that I really said, think or feel, then there is this tendency to be perceived as being defensive.

So, I gave up. I chose to walk away. Some might see it as “running away”, but I can truly say that I did not give up easily. Sometimes, you just have to admit defeat…and walk away. Admitting defeat is not something I do easily. If anything, I will fight against admitting that I am beaten by something.

God tells us to live at peace with all people, so much as it is in our power to do so. I don’t know that any of us likes to admit that we are powerless in a situation. I know I don’t. Clearly, though, there are times when we truly are powerless, or else that statement would not be there. In this situation of powerlessness, I believe that it was wisest to walk away…to let it go…until God opens a door to do otherwise.

I knew that moving on would not be easy, but I felt it was best, for my sake as well as theirs. For the most part, I tell myself that it does not really matter. Some day, I believe we will all be together again, even if not in this life. At that point, none of this will even matter anymore. It will all be forgotten. That is my comfort.

Yet, I find myself reminded. I find myself grieving and feeling other things, too? I guess I really need to work on identifying those other feelings…and their underlying causes. I know that there are other things I am also grieving and I think it all runs together at times.

I need to not hold in the pain. I need to recognize it, embrace it and work through it. I need to be able to let it go. I wonder…is that possible? Is it possible to never be reminded of the pain of something. Perhaps it is, IF I can get to the underlying messages that I am believing as a result of the situation(s).

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