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Monday, January 11, 2010

Sister Saga

There are so many secrets locked in my head, behind doors that I have been unwilling to open. For the last few weeks, I've been looking at one of those closed doors.

I think it took this long to look at it because I thought it was not about my father. Being angry at my father, finding new and never before thought of reasons to hate him, to hurt him, to justify my anger, that was easy. I had decided a long time ago that he was the reason for all of my problems. The more proof I had, the better.

My mother has suffered from depression all her life. When I was little, my sister was put in charge of me. She changed my diapers, fed me, dressed me, played with me. She was nine years old when I was born and I suppose my younger brother and I were like living dolls for her to play with.
She has always been a wonderful sister. She took good care of us. She comforted us when we were hurt, cheered us up when we were sad, and I have always loved her much more than a child loves an older sister.

When I was eight years old, I began to hear talk about college. My sister was going to leave - to head off to college. All summer, she prepared for this event. Things were bought, set aside in a corner of her room, for her to move out.
I knew she wouldn't go. She could never leave me. I was certain of it and I did everything I could to prevent it. 
Even as I watched her pack her things, watched her close a suit case, watched my older brother carry boxes down the long stairway, I knew she would not leave me.
She couldn't.
I was sure.
My father went out to the car, carrying the last of her things with him.
I stood in the kitchen with my brothers and my mother, and my heart pounded in my chest. The familiar “I can’t breathe” feeling swept over me.
I moved in front of the door. I was not going to let her go.
She couldn't leave me.
She just wouldn't.

I stood in front of the door and screamed, “I’m not letting you go!”
My mother told me, “Don’t make this harder than it has to be.”
A look of exasperation came over my sister’s face. She had tears in the corners of her eyes. “Dad’s waiting.”
I stepped out from in front of the door.
She hugged my mother and my brothers.
I refused to hug her.
She walked through the door, and she pulled it shut behind her, and – in my mind – that door has been shut ever since.


  1. Hi-

    Oh my - powerful story of abandonment.. From your Mom's depression and inability to care for you and your brother to your sister's heading off to college and "leaving" you to your anger at your Dad for________________????

    When you say the door is closed that 'holds' behind it - your sister, what do you mean? Have you spoken since that day? I feel your intensity and yet I cannot identify the emotions - I am here, listening and sighing...

    Love Gail

  2. Great imagery Shen. I could imagine myself there.

    I just realized what makes your writing special:

    You always write from a place of deep knowing of where you were at an earlier time in life. It's truly like the past is speaking. That's somewhat inspiring to me.


  3. Hi Gail,
    Abandonment - something I have always known was affecting me, and something I could not really explain, before. It was my sister, and so I guess I didn't feel like I was allowed to feel like I did. I'm starting to understand it more, now.
    The anger at my father - that's a long and complicated question. There are so many posts already up about that - probably the ones under "sexual abuse" would be the most telling... Of course just saying that tells a lot.
    My sister moved 2000 miles away when she got married (when I was fouteen). Even so, we keep in close touch, and try to see each other a couple times a year. I guess what I was referring to was how confused I've always been about my relationship... and I'm starting to figure it out and will be posting more about it over the next couple weeks.
    Thanks for coming by and reading.

    thank you for the compliment. These memories, like some others I've written about, feel fresh. It's as if they were kept in a ziplock bag in the back of the freezer until I was ready to open them up and thaw them out. I've done EMDR around this twice in the last few weeks, and the details I remember sometimes astound me.

    Equally astounding is how much emotion is attached to this old stuff.


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Co Creation

Co Creation
We create the life we live

Love your inner child...

...for she holds the key...

...to your personal power.
A lesson is woven into each day.
Together they make up the tapestries of our lives.