Peace snatched abruptly by a group video answered before knowing my younger brother, Stevie, had set it up. Excited to have him video chat so soon again after chatting with us last week, the call was answered immediately, though wondering who the heck it was not recognizing the different initials titling the group.
Stevie made a group of me with his two brothers that he has made close contact with these past several years, me on the outs pretty much. Unable to fall asleep later without a sleep aid, it became clear that being on the outs is the best thing for me as far as groups.
One at a time, fine. But to be part of them is not a thing that is good for me though my mouth said the opposite, oh how nice, in a singsong voice wondering who is saying that. Me.
Luckily the other two didn’t answer probably busy elsewhere. The ability to concentrate on too many at once is beyond my capabilities. Nor do I feel comfortable with those who haven’t taken the time to connect with me now in a group setting.
After Stevie realized no one else answered he wanted to end the call abruptly. I attempted to chat more, but he wanted to get away fast. I’m not a pawn in your delusion of a family to be part of no matter how much you grieve your daughter lost to us several years ago. My feelings of empathy for the hole that must occupy much of his interior cannot negate my own needs for safety and peace.
Liking to chat with Stevie, Don, and Seth separately, the group thing isn’t for me. My lack of sleep last night is the only warning to indicate what is right for me, because a part of me tends to lap up any scraps of attention thrown my way like a hungry, placid, needy, cowering dog.
What my soul requires and what my mouth says contradict, a learned behavior since the age of 8 when raped, but not allowed to talk about the trauma, nor receiving any medical treatment. Nothing.
I learned to stay quiet about extraordinary injustices, even violent crimes against me. That has not changed much throughout life. A tiger for my children, a cowering pet with my tail between my legs about my own needs.
So no beating up on me by me. Though much work has been done to change this, my needs do not come up out my mouth, but there are other ways. While tossing and turning last night, knowing my core was torn up by the call and Stevie’s obvious disinterest in me, a soft voice rose, You don’t have to answer next time.
And there will be a next time because Stevie has not yet discovered his own inner core, hence acts on impulse without considering how it might affect others. That has been how it’s always been, as protecting my little brother from the truth kept us apart emotionally. We don’t talk about real feelings.
Being his protector during that time of chaos after the death of our father, he at age 5, me 8, then the onslaught by brothers who attacked over and over…. left ragged gaps in what was once called family. There is no family. But there is a possibility of some connection with each if met half-way, that you take a chance at getting to know me as I am now each on your own. My best guess as to why this opportunity isn’t taken is their fear of the person I’e become who isn’t the same pliable Patricia.
Not the pleaser easily manipulated by rejection and anger to stay quiet, acquiescing to your needs, demands, and only your boundaries. I have some to. Maybe I cannot yet speak them easily, but I can speak them safely by not answering the call.