Last week, I wrote about some ugly family issues that had resurfaced. My abusive family had finally discovered where I was, and my mother and sister (and I later discovered, my aunt) had physically shown up in my town to push me to have a meeting with them. When I wrote the blog post, I felt very unsafe, even though I knew that physical protection was a false protection and it was just a matter of time before they discovered where I was. (I later learned that my mother wanted to simply come knocking at my door, but my sister wouldn't let her!)
Yesterday morning, I got two letters from them. One was from my mother and was basically a repeat of the first letter: manipulation, guilt trips, melodrama, and so forth. The other letter was from my sister, and it really touched me. My sister and I hurt each other a lot in the past, but I've come to understand exactly why we did that and didn't hold it against her anymore. I've missed her a lot, but I decided not to get in touch with her because I didn't want to put her more in the middle of this mess than she already was. It's no fun keeping secrets from family, even an abusive family (10 years of doing so has taught me that!), and she'd be constantly harassed by our psycho parents for information on me.
Her letter, though, showed me that she understood everything that had happened in our family and didn't hold my decision to cut ties with them against me. She too has changed and understood what she'd done and why. She's learned to set some fierce boundaries with them but admitted that it's a constant battle. She's still the awesome woman she's always been, and I realized just how much I've missed her.
So we met Tuesday afternoon and spent some time together. She updated me on a bunch of family stuff I'd missed (deaths, marriages, births, etc.) and validated a lot of my feelings about the family that I'd had for years. We had a very nice time, and we're going to keep in touch. She also said she believed our psycho parents would stop harassing me so much and that she would support my wishes not to get them involved with my life, even if it's just hearing about what I'm doing.
I feel much more at peace now. I'm really glad I reconnected with my fabulous sister. And I also realized some things that I'd been doubtful about before. I'm strong enough now to resist their relentless manipulation, control, interference, smothering, and other abusive behaviors, but I've made a conscious choice not to keep fighting them. I am not the weak person I was 10 years ago!
I appreciate everyone who's shown me support and understanding. It's not easy to understand how bad abuse can be if you haven't gone through it yourself, and I've had to deal with some judgments when I've shared my experiences this past week. I'm really grateful to everyone who was brave enough to express their support even when so many have judged my actions.
Photo by Frank Kovalchek (Alaskan Dude), a friend on Flickr
Especially for sparrow boy, who was sad over the sad faery picture I included in my last post. I wanted to include a happy faery this time. Find out more about Twig the Fairy at http://www.twigthefairy.com, a beautiful performer at renaissance fairs.