Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Guilt Trip 101; Revisited

I invite you to read this post. It is the beginning of this quest, to work out family issues. This was some life long issues, that had gone on unchecked, unbridled and unresolved. When family love is truly right, it is unconditional and it sure doesn't play mind games. But we get mixed up in the world and we forget what's important; Family.

This was sent to Aunt B via email

Dear Babs,
After i had written the letter, my sister took 2 days to respond because she had just returned from a cruise and was catching up on her paperwork...i don't think it was hesitancy on her part.
Her response was short but rather nice, she told me that and i quote: " don't think for a minute that i don't love you" and also that she will be visiting here where i am in May. Her title of her reply to me was : (regarding your wonderful letter!)
That was so nice but short but it made me feel very happy at the time and relieved.
I was quite worried that she wouldn't respond or that she would think i was whacky for writing that kind of letter to her lol.
I did finally speak to her on the phone for a short couple of minutes upon calling my mother to wish her happy birthday. She was there giving my mom gifts.
I asked my Mom to speak to my sister and she said hello just like she always did in a casual way. I said to her that i got your e-mail and she said why did you write that and that i must have been very bored that day. Well that kind of threw me and i didn't know what to say to her saying that. I kind of laughed and said without knowing what to say that i was just writing something nice to you and then i changed the subject and started asking about her kids. Then she had to go and answer her cell because of her husband calling her. She wasn't mean but i think maybe she thought i have lost my mind lol. Oh well, at least i got to finally say to her in the letter how sorry i was for all the name calling and how family shouldn't call each other hurtful names and how it really is wrong and hurts our feelings. I think she must have wondered if i was writing a suicide letter lol.
She was all business like but not mean but the comment about me being bored that day really made me think that she was probably thinking i need a life or something lol. Like i don't have enough on my plate in my own life for her to figure out i don't have time to be bored with my husband and my disabled son and worrying about his future, health etc.
Sometimes, i think maybe she just forgot how to love and appreciate family...i wonder if she even feels anything for me and her letter was just a "just being nice" letter.
I am feeling good about what i wrote though Babs and i am still glad that i sent it to her and i am taking back my power and i understand how sometimes we give that away to some people without even realizing it. And i don't intend to let her pay for my airline tickets anymore even if she offers which i doubt she will do. I understand what you mean about it making her feel superior especially since she employs a lot of people in her office and is used to bossing people around and having them under her power so to speak.
I have come to terms with how it doesn't matter to me whether she pays for other family members and not me or my family and doesn't really care too much about me. She does have her own life and i have mine and we live in two different countries even though she comes here often to visit my other sister. I don't know what will happen when she comes to visit in May next month. I don't know if she will call me and invite me to come on over etc. She has bought some property here and is furnishing the home in May.
This has been a growing up and maturing in many ways experience for me and i am so glad that you have shown me the way to get where i am right now...thank you Babs.
It is not a quick fix but is a healing process for me with the guilt about the name calling of her and also i hope it touches something in her heart.
God only knows.
I love her but she is very, very different from me and i don't think she and i will ever really be as close as she is with my other sister. As you said to me earlier, this letter could just be a temporary fix and that is that.
I am reclaiming the power i gave to her Babs and i have you to thank for helping me do that!

>>>>>Email #2

Dear Babs,
I just read another e-mail my sister sent to me.
This one was quite positive...she said she hopes that we can get
together when she visits in May...and wrote Love, and her name at the end.
If only i didn't have to deal with her husband who is totally obnoxious and on any given moment spits out mean comments directed to me when he is in the mood.
How do you deal with people who only have bad things to say about you such as him?
Anyways, bye for now Babs.

My Dearest Janet,
This is truly a step in the right direction and I am pleased. This didn't happen over night and it'll probably take a bit of time to fix it. You planted seeds. You can bet your sister is thinking. You made her think and you may her look at this whole scenario. It will warm her heart. But your sister is not that woman from long ago, so anything you get is a gift. We must maintain that approach and carry that information in our pocket...anything is a gift!

I am so glad you wrote her and I know, without a doubt it was one of the hardest things you've ever done. The issue was really not what you'd done years ago but how she had treated you, basically less than. But if we went back and tried to find the root of that evil, we see some childhood hard feelings. We all have them and we can only rise above it, right? But life is way to short for the bullshit, isn't it? I mean really, you could both die, never having said how you really feel, for what good reason; Pride? Stubbornness? Who's right or wrong?

If we begin to live our lives, like we have no time left and say what needs to be said, a whole lot more would be done and it would be said. If we thought what it would be like, to be handed a death sentence, like I was back in 1998, we'd begin to view things and people, relationships and love in a whole different light.

Life runs by, so very quickly, doesn't it? I mean it was just yesterday, you guys were Easter egg hunting together, you and your sisters or riding bikes, eating dinner together. Now look at you, all grown up and you forgot that sense of what family is really all about. You tippy toed around your sister, for whatever reason, because she built up walls and only let you in with a simple plane ticket, her control mechanism. She could show that she could still care but keep you at a distance and still keep the wall up. So, you've gone after that wall with The Letter.
That wall will begin to come down, little by little because you humbled yourself, figured out what was really important and sent that letter. I know you humbled yourself. For this, I applaud you and I wish their was a trophy that you could look at every day. See, my concern was for your growth in this. You've shown this and I knew it was all you could do to write that letter to that undeserving sister. But she is your sister and the secret to life is family, love and laughter. That's it and that's all. So, you have stepped up to bat, in that nasty game and you swung and you did your part for the team; Family. If you died tomorrow, you can say you tried, right? And that's what it's all about; letting those around us know how we feel and letting them know they are and were loved.

The Brother-in-Law

Put on Aunt B's Bitch Belt! Put it on every single day, when you get up and dressed for the day and wear it proudly. This fellow and many like him, had to exude confidence. In his world, it is survival of the fittest, prey or be preyed upon. Seriously, you must exude confidence. He can feel, maybe even smell your lack of that confidence around him.Doctors are especially guilty of this. They are held in such high esteem that they forget they are not gods. Not all of them are like this but to get where they got, they sure had to show the fortitude to be confident. You can be handed a college education but you can not get a degree with just money, well, in 95% of those that must pass the tests and so on. I'm sure you get my point. So, here's the lowly Janet, sitting in the same room as the Doctor/god. You walk in the room and there he is, smug and crass, just chomping at the bit to show you just how brilliant he is and how brilliant you are not. But you've got on your handy dandy Bitch Belt. It repels bugs and asshole's alike.

There are two kinds of people in this

  1. Deep Feelers
  2. Surface Living
Us Deep Feelers, have a harder time in life but we're more aware. We seem to go through more, trials and tribulations while the surface people seem to skate through life, unscathed. They often fall into shit, come out smelling like roses and look good doing it.
Some of us have to evolve and reinvent ourselves. After you've had your face mashed in the mud, you learn to rise above it, learn from it's grit and pain and move on. You had your face all muddy. You wiped it off, long enough to write a letter and that took guts.I'd rather be you, than your sister, any day. I know, without a doubt, that you are an extremely caring person, a deep feeler. I'm sorry to say it but your sister is a Surface person. You two are different and always will be. She may look like she's living a charmed life but in reality, you are the one who's really living, feeling, loving. Why do you think that God placed one of His most precious creations, a handicapped child, in your care? Because you are a deep feeler and He knew you'd both learn from it. It is a blessing, in disguise, believe it or not. Trust me.

"An undisciplined and untrained child, is an orphan."

My own Mother spoke those words to me, after I cried out about all of my hardships. I could not understand why I had to go through so much. But God was teaching me and prepping me for the real things in life. I know this now but I sure did struggle and still do. But I wipe off the mud, pick myself up, put on my bitch belt and exude that confidence. It is a confidence, only afforded those of us who have truly lived, been rode hard, put away wet. But we're the ones with the real brass ring; we learned the secret to life...love, laughter, family.

Here's your brass ring Janet!!

**I just had to post this wonderful reply from the author of this letter to me;

Thank you very much Babs for your helpful and insightful advice.
You have truly been a lifesaver in healing my pain.
I really, really think you are the greatest and i mean that.
Exceptionally smart and like an angel.
God bless you.

**Thank you Janet. I think we've both been given a gift of perspective here!!

1 comment:

Xmichra said...

Janet - about the brother in law...

The best possible thing you can do, if when he starts to cut in on you (with scoffs or remarks or even the looks) is ACKOWLEDGE THEM. Call his shit like it is.

Say something smart and controlled like
" I realize that we have had our differences in the past, and that you may still think little of me. But I am here to have a relationship with my sister, and you are more than welcome to either join in and be happy, or ignore me. But stop saying I am *insert insult here* because i am trying to do my best here and your co-operation would be more appreciated than your insults."

Trust me, that will point the finger on him from anyone around (including his wife). Your sister will either appologise for him, get mad at him, or get mad at you (sorry, that still may happen) but you will at least have stood your ground, and made it unacceptable for him to treat you as a lesser human being.

And if she does get mad, i wouldn't worry to much. She will actually get pissed with him later (i can gaurantee that) and will eventually blow the steam off. And the next time you tow talk, she will know where you stand too.

The part about that statement, is that you are showing willingness to change, love for your sister, the importance of your relationship, how you choose to be calm and respectful, and how you choose to be treated.

All good things.