Interesting how healing happens. The ebbs and flows of my process.
Nearly a month ago, I began a three part story about an aspect of my childhood that I haven’t really identified with. As I have told the story and sat with my realities it has dipped into my energy levels.
Sometimes self-reflection, awareness, acceptance – they all really suck.
Why Did I Even Bother?
In the weeks after reconnecting with my sister’s mother, I questioned why I had done it. I regretted it immediately. I don’t get anything from the relationship, my life is not bettered for it.
Yet as I watched my Aunt struggle with the death of her step father, a man who had been very abusive during their younger years I felt deeply what that contradictory grief is like. To lose someone whom you love, even though you hate. The wish for things left unsaid, apologies never given …
It can be a complex bag.
I also understand the mental health state of my sister’s mom, so I knew for her it would be very difficult too. I reached out with empathy to let her know she had support.
My therapist called this unconditional positive regard.
I’ve Already Struggled With Boundaries
Yep, you read that correctly. I have spoken with her twice and I have already been in a situation where I struggled to maintain boundaries.
After four years of healing work and practice with boundaries, I still found myself in a precarious situation that caused me quite a bit of unnecessary stress. Which led to my regretting my decision to reconnect even more.
It was hard to accept my stumble, with grace, I am not going to lie. I was so mad at myself. Unable to hold a line has created a need for a conversation to correct it – and I am so not good at this stuff.
Practice makes perfect. Ugh.
It All Has to Do With Me
As I talked this all out in therapy, I was very careful to place all of this solely on her, my sister’s mother. My therapist was quick to point out my need to dig deeper into why I am feeling what I am feeling.
It all comes down to me, the little girl I used to be who lost her mother at birth and wanted one so badly. It is the little girl who was abused and accustomed to being treated badly, who accepted a mother who constantly hurt her.
It was the little girl who got no justice or accountability from the people in her younger years of abuse who was hoping she would get that apology here, now, in this situation.
That is why I keep coming back, that is why I am back now.
That little girl is still longing for an apology or acknowledgement of my pain while simultaneously forty year old me reconciles with parts of my survivor story that I have never connected too before.
The Future is Unclear, and That is Okay
I don’t know what the future of this relationship holds, I honestly don’t even know what I necessarily want from it. At least, what forty year old me wants.
I know that the things my inner child needs and wants are not things my sister’s mother is capable of giving me. That is one thing my healing has taught me. So I feel like I suddenly have yet another facet of trauma to grieve and accept. More justice to find for myself.
Why do I even bother to stay connected? Because this is my sister’s mother, our family is small and me and my sister deserve happiness. She is often used as a sounding board by her mother when she is angry at me and I know that is hard for my sister to hear.
I would be just fine going back to avoiding this, and her mother.
But sister means the world to me, perhaps one day I will thank her for being a catalyst that helped me push myself into this so I can heal it.
I am also beginning to understand that I can heal this part of my story, and still choose to cut communication again in the future if I want to. I am always in control.
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