When a person touches us and it feels wrong, IT IS. 100% unacceptable– to be touched in ways that feel yucky, unwanted, unwholesome. IT happening, is the beginning. After the moment passes, the wreckage persists- governing all that will follow. My downward spiral continued until…. I realized I could no longer continue suffering, struggling, thinking, fearing as I had for decades. The Gift Of Desperation— 100% clarity– IT(the residual insanity) shall no longer be denied or allowed to continue. GOD and faith replaced fear and shame, as my new navigational tools. Today, I am led by Good Orderly Direction.
Being unable at the time to identify and articulate confusing encounters with my older sister (and later, others), resulted in incomprehensible demoralization. I became “inexplicably” hysterical while she remained artfully buttoned up. And from there it unfolded. The impossible girl who can’t cope and the seemingly unruffled older sister, going along as if her only real issue is her troubling sister. She scored a shit-load of traction off of my hysteria. In fact, it
saved defined elevated her. The dynamic made me want to disappear- to which I dedicated impressive efforts. I used geography, alcohol, drugs, men, men on drugs, food-lots of food, no food.
After 26 years on the other coast, news in 2015 of my mother’s cancer came on the heels of my recent refusal of my ex’s stipulation that he would assume 50% responsibility for our children ONLY if we move to a place where he can buy a home. BUT… I owned my home and 2500 delicious miles of safety, with good neighbors, friends, a romantic partner in crime and was making more money than I ever may again….Relocating close to my mother to a town where my boys’ dad could afford a home, seemed a right move. I sold my home and shipped a fraction of our belongings to a place I would’ve not chosen for myself- to be in close proximity to people whom for 3/4 of my life I had been in conflict. I faithfully accepted the risk. I surrendered things I identified as security, to serve my mother, my boys and my ex— I fucken chose THIS, knowing my older sister remained a “situation”. My ex disliked his job and his apartment-neighborhood. Leaving SoCal is what he wanted. I was happy to be a team with him– for our children and my mother.
I committed to radically difficult choices – returned to serve, did not need rescuing, and could no longer be counted on to fight, be dominated, or become hysterical. If my sister affirms her goodness, only by contrast to my struggles to manage myself, than who would she be now?
In caring for our mother we did manage some fleeting illusions of closeness. As my mother recovered and needed less, my sister resumed her post. BUT WAIT– I have my recovery, boundaries, a voice, self esteem, and children who count on me to show them how to be in the world. I have gone completely off script. What if people took me seriously or listened to me? Or acknowledged the life, the choices, family and challenges that are mine? What if I shared?
My sister’s efforts, to alienate and discredit me, include her pursuit for unwholesome connection with my ex-husband after being asked not to. Ceaseless in her attempts to impose shame and fear of isolation, to make others and me doubt myself, my credibility and worthiness, my truth, where I belong, she has succeeded in disturbing our co-parenting harmony by enflaming him along with my mother. Planning gatherings whenever possible without me creates awkward tension for my children who know better– This is not love. They are passively required to pretend. My sister once bragged to me “Both my girls are pleasers.” This makes my stomach turn. I raise my boys to know and understand themselves, regardless if it is pleasing to others. It is not their job to please, but to be authentic, kind, humble– free to seek knowledge of their gifts and talents.
I seize each opportunity to explore and call out authenticity and the power of NO- and-sharing with Trusted Others. With awareness of when someone speaks to or touches them in ways that feel “off”, they are armed in ways I was not. Healthy touching and talking is our way. My boys and I are Trusted Others- keeping ourselves safe and not being bystanders to gossip, alienation, abuse.
Facing the unspeakable is BadAss. Moving here for my mother: to show up, be of service and share the gift of my children with her and my sister, with no peace between us-Wholesome BadAss Faith. I miss the geographic insulation of my children from this dysfunction and still am grateful for my willingness to serve my familieS, asking only- to address the unmentionable, which always tears us apart. The response is always, let’s just move on.
I am so totally imperfect, and so much better off than that sad, broken little girl, deranged teen, and deeply tormented young adult who fled to the other coast 26 years ago. Progress, not perfection. I choose service over people pleasing. Service is for BadAsses. Serving my GOD…because my life depends on it. Revering another person’s will and pleasure feels like rape—when in conflict with what I know to be right for myself. If I were a pleaser, maybe it would be different. This is my story. I write the ending!