Grief

Grief.

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.

Filed under: Abuse, faith, misc.

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  • Heartbreaking, honest post. Thank you for sharing.

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    Thank you for reading it. <3 Writing is very cathartic.

  • I knew I related to you in other ways besides hating the Duggars! My family disowned me too when I was 17. It was over three years before I saw or talked to them again and my brother had changed so much. There is still a lot of tension and maybe other people would have moved on completely, but I do have contact with them a few times a year now.

    If you really want communication, I'm sure you can have it. I guess my point with that is don't let something in the past eat at you because it will only harm you. It has been my experience they will go on being terrible either way ;)

    Good luck my friend!

  • I'm sorry you were disowned too...and so young. I'm glad you were able to get to the point where you can contact them a couple times a year. I've thought about trying to reach out, but I don't want to make it worse or more awkward for my siblings--basically, I don't want dad to use them as a tool to try to convince me to "come back."

    Also, I'm afraid of any further abuse. I know it's only words, but words are so powerful. Hmm. You did give me something to think about, though.

  • In reply to Holly:

    Oh, I completely hear you on not wanting further torture. I called CPS after they kicked me out because I was afraid for my brother, but they basically told me all that would happen if I made an official report is they'd put me back in the home. It was scary and hard, but I just moved on. I got emancipated through the school, stayed with friends, bought a $300 car, earned a scholarship and turned it all around. My life was better in the long run. In my case, it was my mom's severe and then-unmedicated mental illness that was the source of the problem.

    Had they ever disowned you before? I got kicked out for a week the previous year (when I was a sophomore) but they let me come back.

    What was your "crime" if you don't mind my asking? Sorry if I missed it in your post. My big faux pas was they discovered my birth control pills and deduced I was a sinner. Ha! Seems kinda crazy now that I write it out. Maybe I should write my own post about being disowned - and get disowned again! It would be fun times for sure.

    Are you still looking to "impress" your parents? I swear, the only reason I graduated college was to spite my mom. Haha! You LOSE, ma.

  • I'm so glad you were able to turn your life around. There's nothing quite like the silent "fuck you" by going off and being successful. And yes, quite honestly, I'm stuck with college AND went on to grad school to spite him, in a way. And my current goal of running in a marathon was a way to try to drag myself out of depression. I gained depression weight because of the whole disowning and aftermath, and I want to lose it and be skinny just to show him that he has no effect on me at all. Perhaps it's not a good reason, but it's a reason nonetheless.

    No, they never did try to disown me before. Dad would often threaten to put me out on the streets where I would be raped by evil men, he said, if I didn't want to obey him (whenever he was being irrational and insane, I must add. Not just because I forgot to take out the garbage. Well, okay--he did say things like that if I did things like forget to take out the garbage...)

    My sin...I have this 10 page long email (I pasted it into Word) from him along with other emails, and I haven't quite figured it out. Definitely I was "disrespecting" him in various ways. I never kept my room clean enough, which, according to him, I was doing just to spite him. I disrespected him by spending time with my boyfriend-now-husband. He disowned me 4 days after I got engaged, and I don't think he liked that I was marrying a Protestant. And yeah. I wanted to walk side by side with my husband down the aisle to the altar, because I couldn't see myself be given away by dad, and because I believe in equality of genders.

    I'm not sure what my big "sin" was, but as a friend said, I was growing up, and he didn't like it. So of course the natural thing to do is disown your daughter and kick her off of health insurance just to make her be more obedient to you.

    Yeah, right.

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    Sorry for your losses...it is so hard to put into words the level of grief this inflicts and how this kind of thing follows you through your life. I was "dis-owned" at 20 and lost my family because I refused to mindlessly submit to their religion. I hope your days get brighter, your grief gets lighter, and your siblings search you out when they are old enough to. Best to you and yours; I hope your life is filled with love.
    (Oh and sorry your Dad is such an ass!) :(
    Keeping the peace is over rated...
    You are not alone.

  • In reply to Cbrandstrom:

    Cbrandstrom, thanks for reading, and I'm sorry you were disowned too. I am glad you were strong-willed enough to not just submit to them. My family is Catholic, which in of itself isn't a problem, but my family used it to justify my dad's behavior (you know, the "honor your father" part?).

    I'm still not exactly sure why I was disowned, which may be a good thing since I'm fairly certain he has borderline and/or narccistic personality disorder. But religion was definitely part of it. Apparently wanting to do the Catholic tradition of walking down the aisle side by side with my husband at my wedding as the equals that we are was "disrespectful" and a "radical feminist" thing to want to do, so instead of talking it out, he disowned me. Oh yeah. And I didn't clean my room often enough as a kid, was another reason he gave me in the looong email in the disowning process.

    I am going to write down the part of "I hope your days get brighter, your grief gets lighter, " in my journal, because that moved me so much. Thank you for your kind, kind words. I hope you were able to find peace, too.

  • In reply to Cbrandstrom:

    That is so sad and wrong. My mom was a wannabe religious nutso, but really it was just an excuse to demonize *me*. Hello, she hooked up with a groomsman at my wedding right in front of my dad. Such a puritan! Anyway.

    Family should trump rigid "morals". Besides, what's more moral than loving and accepting your children for who they are? Kudos to YOU.

  • OMG, sounds like some of the stories I hear from people in my support group (children of borderline parents.) lol! Religion only when it suits 'em, eh?

    I agree, family *should* trump morals, or at least parents should love their kids unconditionally no matter what. That's why I cry every time I read a story about parents accepting their kids' homosexuality. I'm not gay, but just hearing about that unconditional acceptance...awwww <3 makes my heart grow three sizes larger.

  • In reply to Holly:

    There are support groups for this type of thing? I just thought there was booze. Eh. The best thing about a bad childhood is it's over I guess.

    My mom is a scene. She shows up to church in knee-high feather boots and mini skirts and sits in the front row pouting - yet chased me with a knife and took a hammer to my CDs because it was "devil music".

    This is timely and interesting: She's been married to my dad 32 years, but she hooked up with a guy in like '04. YES. I only have the cajones to say any of this because it's your blog, not mine. I don't think she googles me.

    *whew* This is fun.

  • Oh yeah. Mine is specifically for children of borderline personality disordered parents (disclaimer, he's not officially diagnosed with it or with the co-morbid narcissistic personality disorder but meets nearly all of the criteria in DSM-IV-TR). It's an online group, and I don't always post, but we're there for each other. I'm specifically trying to avoid the booze because I don't want him to make me an alcoholic. I'm too Irish for alcohol, ha.

    And wow. She totally was projecting on you for being a slut because of course she's perfect and isn't a slut herself... geez. Rush Limbaugh would like her. What a nut job. (Your mom, but yeah, Limbaugh is a nut job too...)

    I know, right? It's so nice to get it all out. Writing therapy, you know? Reading therapy, also. I'm studying bibliotherapy at the moment, so this is very timely...

  • In reply to Holly:

    Oh, you are so onto something with the projection bit. It's still hard to see your own mom as a slut no matter how much evidence you might have. It's like how liars are always accusing other people of lying. Brilliant! I was never (that) slutty. Certainly not at that age!

    Thank you for posting this, doll. You are a treat and a gem. Your dad is just angry he can't control you and own you, but you are a person. People can't be owned. Good for you :)))

  • Wow - eavsdropping on both of your conversations has blown me away! I grew up in a screwed up household too, but it was weird screwed up (at least from my point of view - dad an alcoholic, but a funny one, not a violent one).
    Holly I don't think you're a parent yet, but Jenna, don't you find it incomprehensible that someone can parent that way? Especially now that you're enjoying parenting from a new perspective.

  • In reply to kirby:

    Nope, not a parent yet, but my husband and I hope to adopt someday. I'm glad your dad was more of a funny alcoholic, but still, it's definitely screwed up!

    It's so strange--I thought it was "normal" parenting for so long (not knocking homeschooling, but it did shelter me from other, healthier, parenting styles to a good extent), but once I hit college, I started realizing how f*cking screwed up it was. Now, I can't imagine anybody treating children the way my dad does.

    Scary thing is--he's coming out with a book on leadership for homeschool teens. And last I heard, he wanted to write a parenting book of sorts--leadership for dads and moms. If that happens, I'm going to have to speak up about the truth about his parenting. And I'm scared about that.

  • In reply to kirby:

    Yes. Absolutely. My world view has completely changed since having my little girls.

    I made up with my parents (to as much a degree was possible) in my early 20's, but now that I have my own kids a certain indignation has crept in. HOW in the WORLD can you not know where you precious daughter is? How can a person sleep at night not knowing if your child is safe or starving or even dead?

    My mother continues to amaze me. I drive to my hometown twice a year to see them. This past weekend was such a trip and even though I told them I was coming, my mom skipped town and my dad only took a moment to see us when we dropped by to his work. We ended up just leaving because what was the point if no one wanted to see us?

    I'm an adult and these things still hurt, but what makes me angry and astonished is how they can not want to see their only grandchildren? It is out of *my* grace that they are allowed the gift of seeing my girls and then they don't even show up after I drive seven hours. ARHGHGHGHGHGH. Rage.

    Well, Holly, thanks for providing this space in your comment section for me to write a little novel here!

    The positive side I get to raise my girls to value family. And when they have kids of their own, I'll spoil those grandkids ROTTEN! Mwahahaaha!

  • Really good post, and more courageous than anything I could ever imagine. Keep your head up! Thanks for sharing!

  • In reply to Curtis Shaw Flagg:

    Thanks for reading! I appreciate the support. Somehow, I don't feel so courageous :)

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    You should check out this blogger, she had a similar upbringing http://freethoughtblogs.com/lovejoyfeminism and she has other sites for support and help for people

  • In reply to Chrisb:

    Thanks for sharing, Chrisb! I think I might have stumbled across her blog before, but I look forward to reading what she has to say.

  • Oh Holly, I didn't know that you were feeling so sad about all the stuff going on with your Dad and the way it was affecting you and your family. The only thing I can say at this point is that, whether someone is religious or not, to say the Serenity Prayer. Some times there are heartbreaking things in life of which we have no control and sometimes radically accepting the things we can not change helps to heal the heart. I will be thinking of you, will contact you soon (I have an article too it might help) and feel better. Glad you're working on your runs and moving forward with a lot of excellent things in your life! XO.

  • In reply to STS Chicago:

    Some days are better than others, and today is actually pretty good compared to how I felt a few days ago. Thanks for reminding me about the Serenity Prayer--I don't know how I forgot about it. It has helped me in the past, so I think it's time for me to read it again. Looking forward to the article. And thanks--I'm pretty proud of my running progress <3 Hope your triathlons go well this year--looking forward to hearing more about it!

  • "There is no grief like the grief that does not speak."
    -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    You spoke. Nice job.

  • In reply to gwill:

    Thanks, gwill. Having you comment on my blog is almost like a badge of honor if I may say so, ha.

  • So sorry to read this Holly, it breaks my heart. I hope that others comments are helping you. Grief is such a difficult thing to endure.

    I do hope that at some point you are able to reach out to your siblings. I think Jenna had some great words to share. Sending mental hugs to you, I hope you find some peace.

  • In reply to Teppi Jacobsen:

    Thanks, Teppi! (hugs back). It's such a weird kind of grief since it's kind of suspended...waiting for the little ones to grow up and move out of home. When they move out, whether or not they contact me, then I will be able to relax more. Thanks.

  • Holly such a brave post! I grew up in the home made of glass. When my sister left for college my world crumbled. It took my mom 19 years and her two daughters married to find the courage to leave my step-father. You are brave. My sister and I have a unbreakable bond. We survived our Dads death when we were 4 & 6. Lived the remainder of our childhoods in fear but came out the other side together. We have embraced our mom, applauded her courage although to late for us and created the families we had for been blessed to live while our Dad was still alive. We broke the cycle as did you! I pray your siblings will find the path back to you!

    Catie

  • In reply to LCC-Catie D:

    Hi Catie--and thank you for sharing your story, and I am so so glad you and your sister were able to stick together, and that your mom eventually did leave your step-father. My brother and I were like that for a long time, but then he started really itching to move out and away from dad while I was still "drinking the Koolaid." Then when I happened to move out first, I became the black sheep of the family and he became the golden child. Basically, it swapped, and he liked the attention, I think. I don't blame him one bit, though. Maybe I will be able to be able to recreate relationships with the little ones <3 I think and pray for their escape every day.

    I'm not sure if my mom will ever leave dad, though. She ascribes her patience and unwillingness to divorce, to her Catholic faith, and religion can be a powerful excuse to bear with abuse. I hope she does, but I'm more concerned about the little ones.

  • Hopefully, with age your siblings will reach out and you'll be able to reconnect. Don't despair that your father might even try to reconcile, either. There's always hope.

  • In reply to publiusforum:

    Thanks, publisforum. I hope so too. I'm not sure about my dad since it's a mental/personality issue that seems to be extremely difficult to resolve, and if he ever did contact me again, I will continue to use boundaries for my sake (Randi Kreger's Stop Walking on Eggshells has been very helpful for me). But yes, there's still hope.

  • This breaks my heart, I cannot imagine what it must be like. My father is an alcoholic so I know a little of your pain. There is always hope, your siblings will grow up and be able to make their own decisions maybe one day...

  • In reply to Patrick O’Hara:

    I can't ever imagine what it might be like to have an alcoholic parent--I'm sorry you had to go through that. It's funny, every counselor and every friend I've talked to about my family have asked me if my dad is an alcoholic. He isn't--but it it does make me wonder about the similarity between personality disorders and alcoholism. I hope so too, about my siblings. They're young, still, but when they do grow up and move out, I hope they reach out and start asking me questions.

  • I'm new here and don't even know you, but I hope in time you will work through the grief and heal. I am sorry that you are going through this, but it isn't your fault.

  • In reply to Tzippo:

    Hi Tzippo--and welcome to ChicagoNow :) Thank you for your kind words <3

  • Disowning a family member is a silly and impossible thing to do, just as you can't 'divorce' your sister or parents...It's a thing kids do when they have a tantrum and is no more effective.
    You need to go home, demand you be heard, and regardless of your relationship with your parents, re-establish your sibling relationships. Even if your parents make it difficult your siblings will understand you do care, do love them, do want to be a part of their lives.
    It's only by giving up, or giving in, that your parents win and you and your siblings lose. If you love them you will never stop trying. There is no excuse for not trying to be with them every day of your life. If you do not, then i think you don't want to, do not let yourself be made the victim of your parents yet again, it's just more abuse in a new form, this time they've taken away your siblings in a brutal and abusive way...do not let them do this...fight until you have taken your last breath...never give up....never...

  • So sad. I am writing as a father, and feel for you.

    I can't really speak to the situation a lot, because this wasn't my experience . . . I am very thankful for a supportive father. Please understand, however, that your father "may" be very conflicted about what has happened. If you are ready to be done with him, and the rest of your family, well, that is a choice that you can make. But if you wish to have a relationship, do what you can to make sure it is very clear that the door is open.

    It is important for your own mental and spiritual health to forgive him. I also, since he is a Catholic, would encourage you to talk to a priest. Not because you are a Catholic, but because you may find an ally who could be of help in reconciliation, if you want it.

    The last thing I'd say is that when there is a dysfunctional relationship, there usually is dysfunction both ways. My point is that you can't fix your father, but you can take responsibility and ownership for whatever you contributed to the broken relationship. I say this from personal experience. I can't fix anyone else, but instead of blaming others for my own bad choices, I have to take responsibility, and ask what needs to change.

    God bless you, in your grief, and in your journey.

  • In reply to blucinic:

    Quisty below explains it really well why it's more complicated than just trying to go back and fix it. I wish it was as simple as that, but it's not.

    I've always hoped that my dad might talk with a priest and start to get some intensive therapy, but he first has to acknowledge his faults, which he is loathe to do. It's also complicated because of the way he has twisted Catholicism to support his own personality-disordered view of the world.

    For my part, I've gone to counseling, I'm going to a psychiatrist, and I'm doing therapeutic writing. And it is best for me to heal and stay whole, so I can be stable for my siblings whenever they escape.

  • Jparkes: Unfortunately, it is NOT that easy. My parents were so incredibly manipulative; they made up lies about me, portrayed me as a horrible person to my siblings, and because of the type of people they are my siblings grasped onto that info and took it as truth. See, believing put them on the pedestal for a little while, and they knew it would be just a matter of time before they were the ones being attacked again. It becomes a matter of self-preservation, really. Go along and you're the Golden Child. Disagree or even dare to voice your own opinion, and your stuff will be packed up and out out on the front porch at 17 like mine was (minus any gifts they had given me for birthdays/christmas and minus the $100 or so in coins I had in a huge water cooler container.)

    But the plus side is: Now that we are all adults, and now that my siblings have seen and experienced both the crazy inside that house, and the normal living OUTSIDE they know the truth now. Mental illness, in any form, is such a hard thing to deal with, but even more so as a child who grows up thinking that behavior is "normal."

    Holly, hang in there. Some sibling relationships you might be able to repair, some you won't. I still do not speak to my younger brother who chooses to be a part of the crazy still, but like your brother, he's an adult, so that's his choice. But I have a stronger relationship with my 2 other siblings than I have ever had.

  • In reply to quisty0174:

    Thank you, Quisty, for replying. I was trying to figure out how to explain it, and it describes so accurately what I also grew up with. I am so glad you and most of your siblings were able to escape and see the abuse for what it was. Good for you for being strong :)

    I definitely keep hoping that I can reconnect with at least some of my siblings. Someday. <3

  • Holly, I can relate to your grief. I grew up in an emotional (and sometimes physical) abusive family. Between having both parents very controlling and my mother with underline depressive/bipolar, it was very overwhelming for me. They were even controlling after I moved out and was an adult. I had to break ties with them and not speak to them when I filed for divorce because they could not understand that I need to control my own life and destiny without their contrant approval. When I was first on my own after my first divorce, I had no idea how to handle myself nor develop a healthy sense of independance. Their relationship with them caused me to develop a sense of co-dependency for people. I have had to work very hard in my current relationship/marriage to break away from that. I regained my regained my relationship with my parents for a short time when my father was diagnosed with cancer. After he passed away, I had a brief healthy relationship with my mother before her unhealthy behavior from her underdiagnosed depression/bi-polar caused me to terminate the relationship. It has been over 2 years since I have talked to her and have come to terms with it. I still grieve over the loss of having "normal" and supportive parents, but I have to realize that I have to accept what I have now.

    It sounds like your father was very controlling and your mother just put up with that because that's all she ever knew. I hope your siblings get help and are able to get out from under the unhealthy home environment.

  • In reply to MNFirefly:

    Good for you for protecting yourself and creating boundaries. You're incredibly strong to learn and create your own healthy relationships.

    I have been incredibly blessed with great in-laws and friends, so I have been able to accept the fact that I never had and never will have healthy relationships with my parents. It's just the little ones that I most worry about.

    And yes, my dad is a control freak. So, that's why I'm a little scared about his idea to write a book about "leadership"for parents. It wasn't leadership, it was manipulation and control. If he does actually publish it, I will probably have to speak up about that, and that scares me.

    And my mom did grow up in a dysfunctional home herself, so you're right. It's all she knew, so dad's behavior seemed normal enough to her, but I want to ask her, "how is it normal if you tell your kids, 'at least he doesn't hit us?" If someone is saying that, then that's not a good sign...

  • Great, honest post. Thanks Holly. And as you'll see, you're nowhere near alone in these issues because they are more rampant than we ever believe they can be when we're going through them.

    This year is 20 years since my Brother isolated himself, chased after a girl that he was blindly in love with and ceased talking to his family.

    The argument was simple, how could a girl he loved so much and who supposedly loved HIM so much give him an STD when supposedly she was monogamous. Sure you don't openly share all that with your family necessarily but when you're on your parents insurance and another seeming unrelated illness comes up that could be linked to the STD and all information comes out, there's going to be hard feelings and bad words said because at the end of the day, right or wrong, there was lying to parents, parents who still provided rooming & board, and were paying for a college education. It's not the money aspect but the audacity to lie to people to whom you relied so much upon for your daily life.

    Early on, I would run into him at mutual friend's weddings or other events but for the most part it's been 16 years without any contact. It is isolation on HIS terms. Are we guilty for not reaching out? Maybe, but I don't see it as guilt. We could be accused of not being the "bigger" or "better" humans but at the end of the day these things happen in families.

    He soon after married that girl and they have two children. Nephews I've never met. Grandchildren my parents have never met.

    I'm not sure what's right or what is supposed to be done in these instances. I do know this that there's still a bit of sadness, at least on our end, but it's for my Brother's children only. We've moved far beyond any anger towards my Brother, weren't ever really given an opportunity to even speak with his wife other than through nasty exchanges and live our lives without thinking about them much.

    When he left, he did it with such anger that when pressed for emergency contact details, although he KNEW what they'd be, he purposely decided to not give them or even call once he arrived at his destination in her hometown. and THAT is what most of our final memories are.

    I'm sure he's very happy with his own situation, but for whatever anger or hurt feelings he and his wife felt at the time which, if he honestly sat back and thought about it in terms of his OWN children he might feel differently, it astounds me to think he can carry this hatred to this very day and especially since he seems very involved in his Church and one would think that he'd learn some lessons each Sunday with the Homily.

    Kevin, if you ever read this, I have no idea what's going on your mind and what the hell ever went through it back then. If you ever decide to reach out, do not be surprised at initial hurt feelings that will still present themselves and be told to you. But for some reason, I'm not so sure it's a good idea because what's done IS done and really, no good can come of it now.

  • Heartbreaking to say the least. I am a father of three beautiful girls from ages 7 thru 12 and I always encourage them and build them up, particularily on their down days. I am so sorry your father is the way he is but the sad truth is there are many more like him. The bond between siblings is one of the strongest there is. I always remind my girls that one day dad will be gone, but you will always have your sisters to lean on through good and bad times.I truely hope that somehow you can get back into their lives, particularly at these young formative years. Good luck to you.

  • I was the disowner. My sister and I had such a poisonous relationship in our childhood. I was the elder, the caretaker in the family. My father openly perferred my sister while being verbally and emotionally abusive towards me. As children she manipulated this to get her way. At times she could be even physically abusive towards me.

    Jump ahead to young adulthood, my father now dead. I was going thru a shattering divorice and had moved back in with my mother and sister until I could fix the pieces of my life. And fell back into that abusive manipulative relationship. As my sister put it to a boyfriend, " My father gave me everything and so will you." Pretty much sums up her need to dominate relationships.

    Time passed and eventually my mother moved with my sister to Florida. Oddly enough, during this time, our relationship was almost normal. Enough that I let my guard down, enough that I believed this phantom loving sibling relationship I had wanted with her was finally happening. When my mother died , she convinced me to move to Florida as "we are the only family each other has."

    I was stupid. I moved. All it took was 1 month before it started going sour ...back into the old childhood patterns. It quickly became vitrolic and close to physical abuse...enough that I was going to take my children and go to a womans shelter until I could find a place to live and work. I contacted friends in PA who drove down with a truck to bring me back home. The last words I said to her was "Never contact me, I am dead to you. You are now the only child that you always wanted to be in this disfunctional family."

    I've had people thru the years rebuke me on finding that I have a sibling and that we have no contact to pick up a phone, "she's blood." I say no way in hell...I'm finally FREE. It's been 17 years and I do not regret a single peaceful minute of it.

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