My wound that you cannot heal

I had such a strong need to speak to my sister this morning.  I knew she had not been feeling physically well with headaches and nausea.   My mind wondered if it was emotional or due to her liver but of course it is not my job to know and yet there there was that longing for a familial connection that runs so deep and doesnt have a lot of places to go now that my Mum is dead and my older sister too.   I found myself remembering painful times in our past and seeing also how I was not seen in the way I needed to be at a critical time.   I could not ever seem to find a soft place of comfort and support when I needed it, despite the fact my sister did reach out to me after my marriage ended and wanted me to spend the first Christmas with her.   I could not do it so I had the Christmas with my Mum and my older sister who was not in a very kind or empathic place.  We ended up having conflict which then upset my Mum and it was all around my own emotional wound which I really started to feel when sharing this morning with my sister about times of emotional neglect in the past especially around my family’s overconsumption of alcohol.

I was triggered by watching a comedy last night in which a drunk person threw up.  It was a show about other people watching the comedy on television being filmed themselves, some of the laughed a lot and one person said “that is just not funny, its awful” which was my feeling as I know how horrible it feels to be throwing up from drinking too much and it’s something that happened following this sister’s 21st when I was only 13 which was held at a fancy hotel when the waiters kept giving me alcohol and no one was watching.  Of course my family felt it was a great joke and I know there is a funny side, but for me it was not funny at the time and now just strikes me as sad.

Anyway, my sister does listen and doesn’t dismiss things now.  “You have such a good memory,” she said to me, “mine is awful”.  Well if you have had shock treatment and suicide attempt after copious prescriptions of a cocktail of over 10 different medications on the back of a hysterectomy and abandonment by your husband that kind of thing is going to affect you, but it means when it comes to emotions there is not a lot of insight and ability to share from that level from her side which means I do a lot of the work and its a long conversation with many gaps I am always feeling my way through.

I am glad we had the chat, and found myself crying at times in some of the longer silences, and as I listened deep within to the pain of my wound I realised how it came out of a longing for her to see me and for my father and mother to see me, to see how alone I felt when young, how I struggled and how it hurt not to have the things I loved recognised.  That was when I became aware of what I was longing for from my sister which she cannot give to me and that is sad and its also sad how I keep on trying and trying?  She has her own wounds too and I am very very aware of that.

This is our first Easter without my Mum.  My sister doesn’t seem to be keen to ever meet up, the exception was my birthday so I feel that the distance between us is really meant to be.  I do need to accept it.  After getting off the phone I hoped I had not talked too much about everything as we spoke for over an hour about different subjects.   But the lovely thing was that during the call my sister did acknowledge things in me.   And I was able to acknowledge in her some good things she often does not see due to her tendency as another trauma survivor to blame herself or be confused at times.

I am looking for the gifts inside my wound and pain today.  My Chiron in Pisces lies in the seventh house a few degrees off my sister’s Sun and Venus there which is squared by a fiery Mars at 5 degrees Sagittarius which she shared with my Dad.  At times I have been wounded by her blunt approach in her less sensitive and aware days, just as Dad could be blunt even though he had a soft side.     I don’t always want to keep a distance from my sister but such contact is often bittersweet.  My older sister Judith alway expressed her love for me and used to look on me so lovingingly.  Today I remembered being called to her bedside several times when she was highly dissociated in her later illness and over medication.  I would sit and hold her hand and she would come back to me.  I may move around her little room in the care home for people with acquired brain injury she shared with four others tidying and often we would listen to music or sing along to songs we loved on the radio.  I know reading this back it was my inner child who was bonding with hers then and I remember the times she was emotionally dismissive and very cutting and hard on me too, as our mother could be in younger years.

It’s an easier life, to be honest now that my older sister has gone.  It was always painful visiting her but also lovely in another way when we just sat and held hands and connected.   The love I have for my living sister is different.   She was my boss for a while between the ages of 13 and 17 and was often trying to pull me into line from being too casual with other workers or customers at the clothing boutiques she owned along with my mother and brother in law.  When I asked to be included in the family business in my later 20s I was told “NO”.    I eventually went away to Sydney after my father died and from time to time she would visit with her husband and ask me out for a meal but this was during the later days when my addiction was worsening and one day after I had been out to dinner with her I got a call from her telling me how ashamed she was of me.  I had gone out to a pub afterwards and was sitting on the side of the road  with a group of people in the early hours of Saturday morning and she had driven past and seen me.  “What the hell are you doing down there,” she screamed at me.  “living some kind of double life?”  I felt so ashamed and alone that I just hung up the phone and later when things got worse with my addicition I did not feel I could turn to her.

Anyway sobriety came for me a few years later and I met my husband and we married and there were some happy years.  My relationship with my sister was always distant and when it broke apart (my marriage that is) I did not feel I could turn to her.   Now it is just us two family members here in our home town apart from my brother’s son and his family who are very formal and never keep in touch.  I am aware this wound is here and I treat it tenderly and possibly my sister has also felt wounded by me.   Eight years difference is not an easy one, as I shared in an earlier post as children she said she found me a ‘pest’ and its how I felt.  I was ‘the tissue queen’ because I was sensitive and cried when she got married and left home, I needed to ‘pull myself together’ when I got emotional at my God father’s funeral and hugged his grandkids ‘inappropriately’  I was a show off when I danced to a favourite song at mutual friend’s New Year Eve party.

These things stay with me and make me feel anxious (and probably unconsciously angry although on an ironical level it’s kind of funny).  I wish I had a sister who just didn’t think I was too much but then I think I need to be an adult and just accept its okay to be me regardless of these kind of things.  I can write about it here so I externalise rather than internalise all of this and I can acknowledge that this wound hurts but is not the whole of me, it just tends to ache around those times I am reminded of other losses and defeats.

31 thoughts on “My wound that you cannot heal

  1. We’re just seeking love, validation, acceptance and connection. It’s hard in families when one of us begins our healing work and others may never be ready and yet the deepest ache seems to be a desire to connect with our relatives, even if they’ve hurt us. I found love first inside myself, through faith, then in through helping others and eventually it comes back around. Wishing for you to be surrounded with the love you long for. ❤️

    1. I love your comment E. I think enough frustration finally gets us to put attention in a better place. Helping others is a wonderful way to work with this. I find myself working my way through to a deeper acceptance at times, hard to articulate here…. I will always love my family regardless of any hurt. Bless you for commenting and being here ❤

  2. feeling for you. this wound is so tough for you to deal with. you shouldnt have to just accept it. grief is so hard. i’m sorry. hugs you tight, you are so strong, xo

    1. I think in a way I do have to accept it though as reality is reality… I really dont like it but I can only see acceptance as the way through, but it still confuses me as I would have wished for something different but its obviously not meant to be. thanks for kind support ❤

  3. Family is a topic to which I have confessed to you I struggle mightily. I empathize with you, I really do. It feels like you have come to accept the new reality of your relationships. Sometimes you just have to appreciate the good times while moving on.

    Peace

      1. I have my kids, my sister and mom. That works It is unfortunate that I am not closer with my father or the rest of my family, but that has happened over time and for a variety of reasons.

      2. It’s more difficult when you used to gel and then life happens and the dynamic changes and you find that it just doesn’t work the same way any longer.
        But you’re right, and I am grateful for the connections I have. Indeed.

  4. I know how you feel. I am also an emotional Pisces. I almost died from meningitis at the beginning of this year and my brother did not come to see me and gave me some rubbish excuse as to why he wasn’t there for me when I was in hospital for a month and rehabilitation learning to walk again. Unfortunately you cannot change some people. After suffering and surviving and crying and being in a lot of pain I finally realised that life is what you make of it. Yes it is great to have the perfect family but at the end of the day if they cannot treat u with the love and respect you deserve then is it really worth suffering for. Yes it hurts, I still haven’t spoken to my brother but in a way I also feel a sense of liberation as the penny eventually dropped and I gave up on expectations of my brother. I had friends that were by my side day and night in the hospital and they are still helping me during my recovery and let me say that they are my real family. Appreciate the people that actually love you, listen to you, laugh with you, make you feel comfortable and that you can rely on because that is what relationships are really supposed to be about. You supportive people in your life! You can even pop me a message for whatever. You have to do what is good for you ok! Please don’t settle for less than you deserve! And don’t bottle up those emotions, speak your mind to your sister and let her know how you feel otherwise nothing will ever improve. I really wish you all the best. Chavaune

    1. Thank you so much Chavaune for reading and sharing with me. Yes we need our spiritual and emotional family that so often is not our biological one. I will listen to your advice. I do bottle things up. Thank you again and lots of love ❤

    2. I also just wanted to update you that my sister is now in hospital getting treatment for her depression so she gave me the best she was capable of at the time which was nothing much. I do have a very good therapist who helps me but I may take you up on the messaging offer Chavaune.. It was so kind of you to reach out to me. Love Deborah

      1. I really hope she gets the help she needs and maybe does the right thing as a person and as a human being. My spiritual family is my everything, they are the reason I am still here. I’m glad you are Gona take me up on the offer. I believe that things happen for a reason and maybe I found your blog because you needed someone to be there for you. It’s nice to be able to talk to someone who also has a sibling problem. But it’ll be alright. You can add me on FB if you want. Chavaune Brown is my name

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