Siblings: some final thoughts

It felt good, and right, to finally put some of my thoughts and feelings about my siblings into print on these blog pages.

It also seems unjust in many ways. Mine is only one perspective, and I feel that three other voices should be heard to complete the story. That isn’t something that I anticipate happening though. I have confidence that all of you who chose to read the short series of posts did so with an open mind and with the understanding that what I saw, and felt, and focused on may appear very different to N or M or R if they were telling their side.

Any story is about perspective. Personally I want to have the other siblings perspective, selfishly not for those of you out there reading the words, but for myself, in the hope that I can gain a better understanding of our family. So much lurks in dark corners and connections have been lost over the years through the death of most members of the group who would know.

Habit and pattern is difficult to overcome. Honestly I am hesitant to step into contact once more with N. I feel that each time we come together, we end up growing farther apart. Rather there is just too much behind us in memory and hurt to overcome, or simply that we are just too different. She deals with her demons and pain and I deal with mine, but in very different ways. I’ve sometimes asked myself to step outside of the relationship, look at N as simply an individual, a stranger. Would N be the type of person that I would purposefully choose as a friend. Would I be the type that she would choose? I used to think so, but I also wonder, and often I think no, we are too different, too far apart in age, ideals, values, and philosophy.

M was my last, true connection to my dad. She was also someone who I really wanted to know, but again I have asked myself is the knowing about finding her own individual personality, or is it about surrounding myself with the traits that she carries that also belonged to dad. I saw and heard much of him in M. Then there’s R. I know that if R and I were not related we would not be friends. I know that because R is diametrically different from me. R would be the person who I would find interesting to talk with at a party, but not the person I would continue to associate with. I can appreciate R as my brother, I think that I would be irritated often with R in any other setting.

It’s time to end this. I’ve said the things that seem important to say and will put the feelings aside. I hope readers that your relationships with siblings are happy ones, less complicated ones, more open ones, and if not, I hope that you can find a way to move through and beyond your own very intricate family dramas.

 

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4 thoughts on “Siblings: some final thoughts”

  1. You are so generous to say the other three voices should be heard to complete the story. I know that’s realistic but in my own case it seems the others’ voices are all that are heard – at least by them…we’re each telling our own story and no one else is listening?

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    1. The ‘listening’ is a much needed part if one ever wants to move beyond all the issues. I’m not sure any of my cohorts in this family drama would truly hear, but I have often caught insights during rather random conversations that help me to put pieces of the puzzle together. As we don’t even have those random moments anymore we are all just sort of left hanging I suppose…also why it seems the most beneficial thing personally to just walk away…how much time and effort is enough is what I always seem to ask myself.

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  2. These family pieces have been beautiful and hurt-filled and familiar (in that weird way a thing can seem “familiar” even when all of the details are different) to read, and I hope writing them has brought you some new understanding, or at least some greater peace. The theme running throughout of how painful it is, having questions without hope of answers, suspecting answers that may never be confirmed–I ache for you. My brother and I grew up very close (we still jabbered at each other in our own imaginary language until almost high school), yet we now too are estranged. And while I’m clear on what I suspect his perspective is, I have no expectation that he will ever confirm any of his thinking for me.

    Family dramas are indeed intricate. In unhealthy families, children become collateral damage of their parents’ pain, even if also products of their love, and sometimes they pass that damage on to their own children in turn (as it sounds like in M’s family). The work I sense you’ve done (are still doing?) to stand apart from that damage, and to hold your own children in light, is no mean feat. Thank you so much for sharing these reflections.

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    1. Thank you Alice, for your comments. Sometimes it is very easy to believe that, as individuals, we are the only ones touched by these family drama’s, but the reality is that I think humans inflict more pain within our own families than anywhere else, which then simply stays hidden beneath that human quest to appear whole and perfect. I have tried with my children to be different, (better), and my hope is that they continue to do the same in their own relationships, taking note from my own continued imperfections to achieve even greater harmony.

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