I am currently in the Midwest visiting my family… I forgot how crazy they can be, but I also forgot how much I love them and miss them dearly. I had one of the most vulnerable conversation with one of my sisters yesterday. She and I have not been as close as we once were and I feel like she has always kept me at arms length.
Yesterday she took a chance in bearing her soul to me, something she would normally do with our older sister. However, she expressed that our older sister and her didn’t seem to be on the same level of understanding when it comes to issues regarding our deceased father. So, she took a chance and shared with me, she was shocked (as well as I) in discovering I feel the same about the whole situation as she.
She doesn’t miss our father, he was mean, abusive, and an alcoholic all of our lives, the bad times strongly outweigh the good times. Our oldest sister is from his second marriage, so she was only there on weekends, she never had to live through the trenches as hell as we did. She got the good times, we got the bad and ugly – even the times of wishing you were dead, that is how bad it got sometimes. I also confided in my sister something no one in my family knows, that through all, despite how angry and hostile I was, how I had to learn how to forgive him after he died and let go of my anger and resentment (which took me years). I realized how much anger and resentment I held against my mother for allowing it to happen, for never divorcing him and for how every time she left after a fight she left my sister and I there alone to deal with him. I explained to my sister that it was much easier to forgive my dad, because he was the alcoholic and though I do not see it as a disease like most, I see it as a choice (he chose alcohol over his children, up until his death) my sister views him the same way (I guess you would have had to live it, to understand it the way we do). My mom however, she was suppose to be strong one, the one to take care of us. Instead my sister and I became survivors and learned to care for ourselves and each other. My sister is 9 years older than me and she moved out when I was 8 because she got pregnant. I was not naive to believe I would be cared for, I knew I was on my own.
Forgiveness is such a hard concept. I was a Christian when my dad died seven years ago, but it took me a couple years to fully forgive him and my mom. I did not go through the normal stages of grief. I mostly dealt with the anger (there was no denial, no bargaining, no depression) – just anger and then eventually acceptance. I think it was because I accepted long ago my dad would die young, that he would die choosing alcohol over me, like he had done time and time again. There was anger, there was hostility and rage, but then there was the calming acceptance, which enabled forgiveness to consume me like a river. My sister is still stuck in-between the anger and rage.
For the first time, my sister allowed me to speak truth, love, and forgiveness into her life. WE unfortunately were unable to finish, because we were driving and arrived back at her house and she has two small children to attend to. But she was more than happy to continue our conversation this evening because she is filled with questions. I look forward to share the truth and love of forgiveness and the gospel to her. She has never been receptive to anything I had to say of this nature.
If your the praying kind, I could use your prayers!