Noun. Means "deep sorrow."
Sometimes it hits me harder than others.
One person I know describes it as if my little siblings are dead. I don't know why, but it makes me more upset. I'm glad they're not dead, but I am so sad that they are still living at home with our emotionally and psychologically abusive father, and a mother who values "keeping the peace" in a misguided way to protect the children. (Mom, if you're reading this--it is actually more harmful to "keep the peace" in this circumstance.)
No. My siblings aren't dead. They're very much alive--but I have no contact with them. I tried, but when my parents told me that it was disrespectful to dad to send them gifts and cards, and told me they would return to sender anything I sent to them, I stopped, out of fear. Of what? It's hard to articulate.
It has been nearly 3 years since I last saw them.
Almost 3 years ago, I celebrated Anna's 7th birthday with her. We had a day out--went to Panera, went to my undergrad school to explore it, went to my boyfriend's family's house (now husband) to make cupcakes which she picked out, since I prefer their electric oven to my gas one. Even though I had moved out for my own mental health and safety, even though I was going to school full time and working two part time jobs, I wanted to stay in my siblings' lives. So, I thought the periodic "day out with the big sister" would be a fun way to do that. I planned to do that for Betsy's birthday in April. Tommy's in June. And Joey's in July. When I dropped Anna off at home, I told them all that, and specifically promised Betsy that she would be next, for her 11th birthday.
Then my dad disowned me.
I still feel awful that I couldn't keep that promise to my sister. I know the circumstances were out of my hands, but I still feel bad about it. Perhaps it's grief. Grieving what did not happen. I know, logically I shouldn't be sad about what didn't happen, what isn't happening, but I am.
I grieve because I don't know how Anna is doing. She is such a sweet, sensitive soul. Very caring of all of us and all our pets love her. She would always burst into tears when she couldn't measure up to my dad's unknown expectations, when she accidentally stepped on an eggshell, and I would do my best to comfort her surreptitiously, so not to make dad more angry at her.
I grieve because I don't know how Betsy is doing. She's in 8th grade now, I believe. After my brother and I moved out, she became the oldest in the family. It's hard being the oldest, sometimes. You're expected to take care of your younger siblings. Sometimes at the expense of yourself. I hope she is taking good care of herself. I wonder if she wonders about me.
I grieve because I don't know what Tommy is up to. Or if he prefers to be called Tom now. I hope dad hasn't made him feel bad about his hearing loss or his hearing aids, as he did for me. I know he has up until the time I moved out, but I don't know any more. Seriously, punishing a child because he couldn't hear at a party? My dad is a frigging asshole.
I grieve because I don't know what Joey's up to. He was so little when shit went down in the family. 5 1/2 years old. Does he even remember me? I think that part hurts the most. The idea that one of my little siblings is possibly too little to remember me.
Well, little ones, I'm always here for you. I will be here for you when you want to break free, or have broken free, of the cultic mentality at home. I pray for you and think about you every day. I love you, though time and distance has separated us. Even though our dad's selfishness and personality-disordered nature has kept us apart, I love you.
What about my other not-so-little brother, Cameron? He's married. They're expecting their first child. I do miss him, but the separation is his, so it's been far easier for me to move on from that. We were best friends, each other's protector, throughout our childhood. In college, we grew apart, spent more time with loved ones than with each other. Yet, I still considered him my brother. I still do, even though he told me he no longer considers me his sister, because of the "disrespect" I was giving to our dad because of the boundaries I instated. It's been far easier to come to acceptance about Cameron, because he is an adult and made his own decision.
It's far less easy for the little ones, because of their age and their dependence on our parents, and because they are homeschooled, so little chance of them being able to see what healthy parent-child relationships are supposed to look like.
Yes. I am grieving. Some days are better than others, but some days are particularly hard.
I think it's been hard since it's March. The beginning of "birthday season" for my siblings. Anna's birthday. March, the month I was disowned. I think that's why it's weighing heavier on my mind.