Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Different Strokes

I love my sister. We are two completely different people, raised in two different families with two different life experiences. That's not typical for sisters. Normally you're raised together with the same parents, same values, same expectations of life. But being that we were given away for adoption as babies, our lives took totally different paths and we are just beginning to unravel and appreciate those differences in making us who we both are as adults today.

My sister was sexually abused growing up and continues to battle with depression. She goes to therapy every week and takes prescriptions to help her get through her dark times. I dealt with emotional and psychological abuse from my mother, and still do, though she'll flat out deny it if you confront her. I've tried many different ways to come to terms with the damage she's done and part of the fact that she doesn't acknowledge her wrong doing has made it even harder to forgive and forget. But, that is what I am called to do as a Christian, so I pray and give it to God. Some days are better than others, but that's true for everyone, right?

My sister thinks I should see a therapist. She seems to think everyone needs to see a therapist. That works for her and it's wonderful. I'm happy for her that she has that outlet. I'm not a therapy kind of person. Talking to a stranger who's not walked in my shoes seems senseless. I don't care how many college degrees they have hanging on the wall, they really can't understand my life if they haven't lived it. And it seems the answer they want to slap on every issue is to dish out anti-depressants. I've been down that route befpre and pills are not my fix-all.

To me, God is my therapist and prayer my prescription. If anyone knows my heart, it's God. If anyone can heal my heart, again, it would be God. Not another imperfect human sitting on the chair across from me, handing me a box of tissues and refilling my Prozac. (Haha--I keep flashing on the Geico commercial--Yellow makes me sad...You know what makes me sad? YOU DO!! Michael and I would play that one over and over on the DVR busting a gut...The only commercial I'd actually stop to watch...but, I digress...) Not to poo-poo the whole therapy thing--if it works for you, great. It's simply not for me.

Anyway, this all came up yesterday on the phone. She thought I was upset about deciding not to contact our aunt or younger sister, but I'm not. I truly have peace with that. I've lived my whole life without them and have done so quite happily. I have no doubt that the remainder of my life will be just as happy. You can't miss what you never had, right? Not a big deal. Affording Christmas, the possibility of moving, these things are weighing more heavily on the plate. So, I give it up to God and pray for His will in His time and appreciate my daily bread. Life is good.

I lift my eyes up to the hills-
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
~Psalm 121:1-2

1 comment:

  1. Dawn, God has put us on the same path for a reason! I TRULY get this! My sister, who is the love of my life, and my sanity, also has gone the therapy route to deal with my mom's psychological abuse and her neglect of Karin (did you know my mom tried to put Karin in foster care when she started dating Charlie? She moved in with Frank's family instead--at age 16). I personally don't/won't go that route either--wouldn't work for me. God has been my savior in more ways than one! : ) Praying, meditating, and the blessings of my hubby have kept me sane (mostly). Karin is actually better now that she's found God too, although therapy did help her a lot. And we talk almost daily, and I think that helps most of all.

    I am so sorry to hear that your sister was sexually abused in her adoptive home. All forms of abuse are horrible--and all leave scars, either physical or psychological. My mom to this day believes that she is the best parent out there, never made a mistake, and all the problems she's had with her kids and herself are someone else's fault. She'll never admit fault, and that's something we've had to deal with ourselves. You can't change a person; you can only change your own perception of the situation. That's my mantra!

    I am so proud of my sister, since a lot of the problems happened after I left home, and I only found out about them after we were grown. She's forgiven my mother for her awfulness, when I'm not sure if I've forgiven her for the hell she put Karin through, and the lack of parenting she did with Will and me. Will has chosen to just not be a part of her life much at all--he invites her to visit about once every 3 years or so, and calls maybe 2-3 times/year. Which, of course, makes him a horrible person--not something that she should reflect upon to figure out WHY your kids don't speak to you!

    I'm still not sure of my role in my mother's life. It's easy to see her a couple times per year because I'm so far away, and I admit that Karin gets the brunt of her crap still because she's physically close to her. I guess I've taken the easy way out--I see her 2/3 times a year like Will, although I do call her every couple of weeks. And I try hard to live in the present, and not listen to her remarks and her skewed version of the past that only exists in her mind. Ugh! I truly hope, and I pray daily, that I haven't done the same to my kids. Jay has his own issues with parents, so we've talked exhaustively about doing things differently, and I think we have. I guess time will tell! When they don't come around or call, I know one thing: we'll be looking hard at ourselves and making some serious changes so we aren't that person that our kids dread to talk to, and loathe to have visit. Good luck in helping your sister through her life, as I'm sure she helps you. Sisters are truly God's gift to us when the rest of our lives suck! : ) May God bless you both!
    Love, Em


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