THE FREEZE

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Sometimes when you think you have to do something, you have to do nothing… except feel. 

I responded to Stevie’s cool email response that he signed off so impersonally and formally with his first and last name. I stood up contesting such treatment, erecting boundaries for the very first time. He’s the little brother I protected by never telling him the truth about his brothers. And when I did finally tell him by sending a link to my book, he said he never received it. 

The confusion settled inside me— ice melted into tears. Indignation at such treatment spewed like a balloon releasing air, leaving pain in its place, along with a pervasive sadness and crushing loss. 

It hurts that we know each so little.

My belief was that the three out of seven siblings who never attacked me sexually were three I could still relate to and feel safe with. That is not so. They are part of the conspiracy to keep me down, to keep me quiet, to kill with silence to insure their own good names and pretend what is, is not.

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18 thoughts on “THE FREEZE

  1. I am sorry that your attempts to get closer and live in the truth with your non-abusing siblings has been unsuccessful. I imagine it makes you feel very young again and not in a good way. You lived with this alone growing up and now, by their choices, they are making you live alone with it again. It sucks. My sister does not believe me about my father and may never. We had been very close all our lives till I told her about him. Then, we became estranged. We are now back in contact and I feel good about this. I recognize that she has mental issues and may never be able to deal with the truth of my father’s incest. We just don’t discuss it anymore. I don’t think this is an ideal way to have a relationship though. And am certainly not advising it for you. I just thought to share this. I hope something nice happens to you today and turns your day around.

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    1. Well, your hopes came true. After a violent two day bug I was well enough to attend our annual progressive dinner with friends with a table of ten. We played charades and ate five courses of yummy food over several hours in between chatting and games.
      Thank you for sharing that you are able to maintain a relationship with your sister even though there is such a divide. That says a lot about you and your high threshold of tolerance for other’s flaws, an admirable character trait.

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      1. I was glad to hear that you were able to get out and have an excellent time. My sister was a source of great good for me growing up. She was affectionate, loving and giving. She was my safe place. That is why I can overlook her inability to face the truth about my father.

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  2. Ah, I’m so sorry that he can’t be what you need and deserve! He doesn’t have the courage you have, to face the truth and then build up a real life with real connections from there. It’s unfair.

    Please remember though that there are lots of us here thinking of you and caring about you and admiring your strength. Love, Q.

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  3. When I first began speaking out about my abuse (from my father), I got quite a bit of resistance from my siblings (to varying degrees). Eventually, one of them came around and actually ended up being someone I could talk to about almost anything. It doesn’t always happen that way, so I’ve always known I was on of the luckier ones, in that at least I had one other person who stood with me in solidarity during those years when I was trying to heal. Don’t give up on it completely. Accepting that they are choosing to hide behind the web of lies for now is healthy (for your own journey), but maybe, given more time, they will eventually wake up to the fact that only the truth can help you heal. With or without their support, you are moving towards a healthier way of living, so even though your siblings may not be with you on this, there are lots of folks like me who are applauding your efforts to continue moving forward with your healing. We deserve to be free of our secrets.

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  4. I have lost count the number of times I’ve said things or written to family thinking that maybe this time their response would be different. It never was. The one thing that has always been a constant for me with family is that when I initiate they shut down and defences go up. I am sorry you initiated a conversation that we all hoped would go one way and did not. Like you I struggle to understand why. All I ever come up with is that they don’t see what we see because they can’t. And perhaps defenses go up because while we think about our stuff all the time I don’t believe they do so it truly catches them off guard.

    That said, I have seen understanding and empathy come from a couple of family members when I least expected it. Like it has to be on their own terms, at a time when they feel is right. Maybe Stevie needs time to digest it all again. I hope he does and reaches out to you. It doesn’t lessen the hurt now though. Hugs Patricia. Family estrangement is so very difficult.

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  5. I’m speechless and so sadly his words scream lies…all lies. I guess once the monster is lifeless in death they suddenly become a hero to the world. I know of people who have openly said ‘I do not want to know what he did to his sister, I’d prefer to remember him as I knew him’ We must not speak ill of the dead is what our mother would say…bullshit, their passing from life does not change anything with how I feel about them. I’m sad for you to be having this, I think we all live in hope that maybe just maybe one of them will understand. I’ve completely let go of that hope, it no longer matters to me. Be kind as you grieve for the loss you feel of your little bro you had believed was different. ❤

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    1. He does seem rather mixed up. I believe his guilt is more related to the sad loss of his 30 year old daughter to drugs almost three years ago. A loss so great I don’t know how parents manage to survive from.

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  6. I am sorry for your sadness but you did the thing you had to do with grace and dignity. I know that sadness, that outrage. Since the ‘family meeting’ that my father organised, my brothers have not been the same with me. I hardly hear from them, I think it’s easier for them all to pretend that nothing happened and even more so because I am so far away but it hurts because the naive part of me maybe expected the family members who I thought loved me, to pull behind me. But in reality they side with the abusers and it’s all brushed under the carpet. In telling our truth we are isolated again, just like we were when we were little. The only way forward is without the people who call themselves “family” and creating a new family!!

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    1. Oh, you are so right. It’s only important that I do not abandon me. I relayed my upheaval with Stevie with a friend yesterday after my post and she shared a similar experience with her sibling, though the rift is without the ugly criminal components. She is family to me as are you and others here.

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