Archive for the ‘past’ Category

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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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Old Messages

August 17, 2008

I am realizing that there old abuse messages that can be triggered in current life. When they are triggered, it can be very difficult to see clearly what is really going on in the present. The past and the present can become all mixed together.

I figured it might be helpful to identify some of those messages from my own life. Messages I somehow got growing up…and some even into adulthood…written as if they are being spoken to me:

Good girls do what they are told.
…because I’m right.
…because I know.
Never challenge authority.
Never question authority.
Always obey authority.
You are not authority.
You are stupid.
You are smart…you should know.
You don’t know…we do.
If you…(fill in the blank) you will be love.
If you…(fill in the blank) you will be accepted.
You must do things the right way only. (Perfectionism)
If I am unhappy, it is your fault.
If I go crazy, it will be your fault.
If your sister turns out poorly, it will be your fault because you are a bad example.
Doing a poor job is deserving of criticism.
Doing a good job is simply expected and not deserving of praise or gratitude.
Do it again…and again…the whole thing…until you do it right.
Do NOT defend yourself.
Do not try to explain.
Do not tell me I am wrong.
I know you better than you know yourself.
I know what you think and feel…do not try to correct me.
You cannot hide from me.
I will always know the truth.
You cannot keep anything from me.
You must answer every question…completely…and precisely. (wow…I wonder if this has anything to do with my tendency to freak out over filling out forms?)
You must never hide anything from us.
Obedience must be immediate…and without question.
Never share anything negative about the family with anyone for any reason.
Image is everything.
What other people think of you is all important.
You must hide your true feelings.
No one will accept the real you.
Being accepted is everything.
It does not matter if nine out of ten like you if the tenth one does not. You must win the tenth one over.
You must do whatever is expected of you, regardless of how it effects you…or makes you feel.
If you are not right all the time, there is something wrong with you.
If you disagree with someone, one of you is wrong. It is your responsibility to change their thinking…or change yours.
If you are wrong, it is shameful.
If you are wrong…people will think you are stupid.
If you don’t know something…people will think you are stupid.
You must be all things to all people.
You must never do anything wrong.
You must be a sexual person.
Being a sexual person makes you a … (fill in the blank).
You must tell us everything we want to know.
It is OK for me to be angry with you and take that anger out on you. It is not OK for you to be angry with us.
It is OK for me to “discipline” you until my anger is spent, but it is not OK for you to cry out, or yell, or duck, or hide, or resist in any way.
You are to know what I mean, regardless of what I say.
You are to anticipate what I need…and meet that need.

There are other messages, too. But this is all I am going to list at the moment. There is already plenty here. Wow! As I look over this list, I am amazed at how many of these messages I had forgotten because I simply do not live by them anymore. Way cool! It feels good to be free from them.

Some of them, however, I find can still get triggered, even if only subtly, still today. I need to watch out for that. It really feels good, though, to see how much I have actually grown. I will keep on working on that.

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