This post has taken me days to write.
Into the volcano I go....
As part of a blogging group challenge to share more of who we are rather than just what we do, I will be posting once a week a response to a writing prompt.
The prompts are not designed to make me the next great Mom Blog author, they are simply there to help and encourage me to share more of myself with my readers and family. The prompts are just simple questions. Some answers will be short, some will probably be too long, but I signed up to post at least one a week.
I have no idea what direction this will go, if any, but I agreed to it and I'm nothing if not committed to things until I lose interest.
I've opted to choose my prompts at random.
And that is that.
As I read over some of the prompts, I feel there needs to be a basic understanding of how the branches of my family tree hang.
I am the oldest of five children. My brother and I are the children of K, my three sisters are the children of M. When I was about three, my father left and did not return until I was an adult. My mother remarried and M adopted my brother and I. My three sisters were born and there was never an issue of 'half siblings' or anything like that, we were brother and sisters, nothing less.
M and my mother are no longer married, there are a number of step-siblings that I have but I did not live in the same home as those children and therefore a tight sibling bond was never formed. I was like an older aunt to many of them and we are all comfortable with that dynamic.
I am sealed to my father, and as an adult he and I struggled to find peace in the relationship. When it was found, it came after a great deal of soul searching on both our parts and we both carry with us some serious emotional baggage, but we're working on it.
I love my father and his wife so much.
It's a relationship that has helped me come to a greater understanding of the promise of healing in the next life. I am thankful for the sealing power of the temple and to know that we have a long time to take out cautious baby steps towards eternity as father and daughter and that our relationship can be made whole through the Savior, as long as we are both trying and obedient.
There have been some branches that broke in our family tree and those breaks remain difficult to understand and reconcile.
Some of the breaking comes from the home we grew up in. It was not healthy. There were some great memories there and I cherish those and choose to focus on those, but there were also things that never should have happened in any home.
Every person grows up and looks at their childhood and has moments where they say to themselves "What the heck were my parents thinking? That was total crap."
The things I refer to were not those kinds of things.
There were bad things.
There were bad things.
Many of my siblings do not speak to each other, this includes me.
If I could fix our family, I would.
But my suffering does not end their suffering. It doesn't even help with it. Cutting another person does not make you bleed less. I do not know the answer, but I know that at this point in my life, I choose distance. It isn't an easy choice and I think about it every day. I feel sadness over it, but every day when I ask myself if it is still the correct choice, the answer is yes.
I am close to my sisters, Sunnie and Lisa.
I do not have a relationship with my mother. I do not anticipate ever having a relationship with her again.
I wish her well, I hope she finds peace and happiness. I put her name in the temple and I even miss her, but this is not something that is going to change.
I've done the therapy, I've done the self help books, I've done the counsel with priesthood leaders and the answer is always the same. That bridge burned to a crisp.
I do not share this to air dirty laundry, which is why I am not giving details and reasons, but it is a thing that exists in my life. It is a painful thing that I feel too many people wanted to be a part of and I dealt with it by withdrawing completely from the lives of those who didn't have boundaries there.
I am telling MY story, sharing the things I took from the life I have lived and how things worked in my life, from my perspective.
I am almost 40 years old.
Memories fade and details slip away.
Time changes how we see things, too.
Some of my memories will be different from those others may have, my opinions will be different as well. This isn't testimony in court, it's simply me trying to share more of who I am in my dumb little blog. I share my memories, as I remember them.
I'm going to get details wrong.
I recently posted this quote on my facebook wall from Doctor Who:
The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. Good things don't always soften the bad things, but vice versa, the bad things don't necessarily spoil the good things or make them unimportant.
That's kind of how I subscribe to life.
I choose to see that which brought me closer to becoming the person I believe I came here to be.
That was all very weird to write.
I don't talk about this stuff, really.
I do not value the purging of emotional poo simply for the sake of spreading out the manure everywhere. I do need to just state what the dynamics are, where they stand in my life and that in spite of all of the messed up pain, I do love my family very much. I just cannot have relationships with all of them and they cannot all have one with me. Maybe one day it will work better, but we all still get to be happy and move on with life in spite of those fractures.
None of the writing prompts will be used to tell 'my side' of some ugly family story. I do not blog to infect and burden others and I will not be doing that.
I blog to share and explore the memories I hold inside of my on heart.
God will mend the broken branches of His trees and I believe that one day, he will mend our tree as well. Until that day, there are still happy memories and funny stories and many many good days to look back on.
We are not defined by our mistakes and our worst days.
The atonement applies to everyone, even those who hurt and offended ME. I am thankful to know that, even if I don't know what to do a lot of the time.
I think that's enough for one post.
I won't do the actual prompt today.
Today, it is scary enough to write that all out and hit "publish."