Dear Sister. Part 2.

Dear Sister.

Things could have been so different. Things should have been so different. There are so many unanswered questions and too long a wait to find any answers. I can never understand it, why you went back to him. I do realize how you lost your father figure but it was your decision. You made your choice as an adult, it was based on clear evidence and truth. You saw him through realistic eyes, you weren’t under his spell.

So what happened?

It was your choice to cut our mother from your life too. Do you regret that also? Will you appear on her doorstep one day wanting to reconcile and forget the past? Life is nothing but a game to you. You play with it so freely and we, the pawns get so easily cast aside. I know you will be back, perhaps not in my life but certainly in hers. You have already started. Why can you not just pick up the phone and speak to her? Every choice and action is so cryptic with you.

My father was a bad man. You knew that. He abused the three of us. Knowingly and under no pretense, you let him back into your life. You became close to the man who mentally tortured me for twelve years. You allowed him to be a grandfather to the children you won’t allow your sister to see. How can you justify your actions? What lies are you telling your children? They see their grandfather as a wonderful man but have no recollection of the aunt that once spent so much time with them. I bathed, nurtured and loved my nephew and you have used my love for him against me. It’s disgusting.

Were you brainwashed?

No.

You fell into that relationship very happily. You welcomed him back didn’t you. Did everything just fall into place as though he had never gone? You made him very happy. The prodigal daughter had returned. Not a moment went by where he didn’t mention you. How pleased you made him. Seemingly, it was a match made in heaven. The two of you were destined to become close, like father like daughter eh? It takes one to know one and all that. Perhaps there is some truth in that.

I can’t move forward from it until you say why.

You told me to speak to someone the day I opened up to you. The day you phoned asking for money for his funeral flowers from the girl he emotionally abused. You told me to get help, to offload onto to someone more professional. Even then, you couldn’t step up as an older sister. Even then, you remained selfish, high up on your pedestal. All you had to do was listen and you couldn’t do that.

How many times have I had to listen to you? The anger, the hate, the endless tirades at life. You were a very difficult person and from recent events I have no proof to justify a change in yourself.

How can you be so polite over email yet when it comes to the simple request that you answer your phone to talk to me about something important, you immediately assume I am playing games with you?

Apparently, in your eyes, it was wrong of me to expect my sister to want to hear my good news. Most people tell their family they are pregnant face to face, at very least over the phone. However, with you, it was always going to be a problem. Everything that could be so simple becomes a problem. What makes you so special that you can vet your phone calls? Are you a celebrity? No.

There was nothing “alarming” about my email to you as you so strangely put it.

So why did you proceed to harass our mother? There was no implication in my letter to you that it had anything to do with her! Funnily enough sister, I do not play those kinds of games with people. We are not all like you. To add insult to injury, your irrational conclusions were nothing to do with me! Not once did you ask if I was okay! It’s equally ludicrous and laughable.

I just wanted to tell my only sister that I was pregnant.

I feel we have come to a dead end.

I cannot fight a losing battle anymore. I am tired. Ultimately, you have won. Yet, the war you are winning is sad. It’s sad for you. My love never stopped but yours ended a long time ago.

I know that now.

End of SATs week.

This week at work has been the year 6 SAT tests. We have been working up to this point from September last year so for it to all be over is a relief. Not to say the anxiety has totally gone, we still have to wait for the results!

My head has been elsewhere these last couple of weeks. My morning sickness still hasn’t subsided and my headaches continue to appear. On top of that, my right arm has been playing up again; a symptom I suffered on week 5 of pregnancy. I spent last night with it bandaged up. I hope it gets better soon. 

I still have the conclusion of Dear Sister to write which I intend to do soon. It’s a shame my flow was broken three weeks ago as I really felt like I was getting somewhere. 

I would like to start sharing with you some of my recent poetry. The letters have opened up a new set of emotions, most of which I have channeled into my poetry. Perhaps I could start a May poetry week next week.

Enjoy the rest of your day xx

Where Did it All Go Wrong? Dear Sister, Part 1.

Dear Sister,

Where did it all go wrong? I cannot remember most of my early childhood nor can I find any early memories of the two of us. Photographs show a forgotten love. I cannot say that we were ever close. I cannot even say that I have ever felt a natural bond with you. How sad, for both of us. Perhaps our parents were to blame. Any time I wanted to talk to you, communicate with you, I was stopped. They intervened.

“Don’t upset your sister,” they would say.

What could a seven year old have ever said to upset you? I was a child who did not understand depression. No one sat me down and explained it. I was just left to second guess every action and every word I spoke. That is cruel. In the past, when I mentioned it to the two of them, both have become defensive. Both have denied any wrong doing and I berate them for that. As a parent to be and a parent yourself. surely one is able to admit that they are not perfect. There are and will be times we will fail. It is what makes us human.

My only childhood memory of you that stands out is a sweet moment of sibling protection.

I have made it clear in this blog that there was a time where my mother was not the person she is now. Looking back, she was a very frightening woman. In a flash of rage and disappointment (for reasons I cannot remember) our mother launched at me one day. It was not the first time she had been violent. Smacking happens all around the world and I understand that in certain circumstances it may be necessary but I cannot advocate slapping a five year old child on any part of their body. At that age, a time out should be used or at very least your words. I remember running from her and finding you on the sofa. I jumped on you in tears, scared to the bone, calling your name. She was storming towards us as I huddled and cuddled myself into you. She was on one mission only, for me to learn my lesson. Her flat palm took a large swing and her aim for my bare thigh was on target. With force she let go. I screamed anticipating the pain but before I knew it, you had shielded the beast with a cushion. There was no pain. My tears were staining your shirt, I closed my eyes knowing that she would not be happy. She yelled at you but you just yelled back. She wouldn’t fight you. She never has. You won. I won. You saved me.

I never felt that love again.

What went wrong? At what point did you stop loving me? I never stopped. I looked up to my older sister but I was an embarrassment to you. You only sought my mother’s approval and when you achieved it, I was of little point. As a teenager you distanced yourself. Academics and grades were more important and the small glimpses of fun you did enjoy were not shared with me. Yes, as an older sister, I do understand that having a nagging eight year old wanting your constant attention would be off-putting but I wasn’t a stranger off the street, I was your only sister!

I was no doubt confused the time you requested I stay with you for a weekend at University. To me, it made no sense but my happiness that my sister finally wanted to spend time with me was too much to question your reasons. I cannot remember that weekend. For a while, I thought I had imagined it. Only recently did my mother confirm it really took place.

After that, well nothing.

I felt completely apart from you. The only information I got was from my mother and she was not forthcoming with positive news. I was only to hear negative. It only created a further barrier between us.

How could the two of you ever ask or expect me to live with you instead of my father? You were not the better choice. Neither of you made me feel a part of YOUR family. I wasn’t. I was an outsider in the private, secretive world you had created. You were both so confusing, frightening. Your emotions and anger were raw and your hate for my father was so magnified. I couldn’t live with that. I loved him.

I loved you too. Both of you.

But love was used as a bargaining tool, how many times was I subjected to,

“Well, if you really loved us then……..”

Is that fair? As a parent and a sister tell me, is it?

Is this the point it went wrong for us?

If it is and you cannot forgive me then why on earth did you forgive him?! I have seen and heard of what he did to you. Yet, in his final years, you put that behind you. You forgave him for his torturous behaviour and allowed him into your life.

Explain yourself!*

 

There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.

*Part 2 to follow.

To My Father’s Church.

To the Church where my father worked,

You held him in such high regard, the man who ruined my life. He became a martyr to you when he died. This archetype of a human being. A Christian man with Christian ethics. The words the pastor uttered at his funeral haunt me to this day. His description of him fell short of the image and character I endured for over fifteen years. 

What a shrewd man to deceive you all.

At his funeral, after his cremation, you approached me. You, the pastor, offered your sincere condolences for my tragic loss. You had been there. You had seen my father in action. He had told you the lies he created about me and you believed them. He asked you to pray for me so that I would not be condemned to hell but prayer was not enough. He would have exorcised me if he could. To him, I was possessed, inhuman, a savage. He could not tame me. I was too wild and broke too many rules. This was a lie. I only ever tried to comply. I just could not meet his endless demands and regulations. 

You humiliated me. I did not need your prayers. I was not a bad person.

As you all wept at sight of his coffin I wept too. I wept out of happiness; out of relief. I sat, staring directly down the aisle at his coffin. I resisted the temptation to kick it over. Nothing would have pleased me more to see it lying, broken, ruined. Just as he left me.

My sister became a beacon of hope, of love and loyalty to you. She honored my father well. He did not deserve honor. He didn’t deserve the audience you all gave him at his final goodbye. He didn’t deserve the tears or the laughs, the empathy or the memories. That room should have been empty. 

My father abused me. Mentally and emotionally, for thirty years of my life. He was the epitome of a bad man.

You were naive to believe his other representation.

You were naive to think he was true to his word.

You were naive to believe he cared about people, that he cared about all of you.

He didn’t.

Believe me.

 

A Stop in the Series.

This week has been an eventful one to say the least. Going back to work and into the chaos has played a part but it’s my letter series that has caused upset. It is always difficult receiving criticism and anger from others in response to my blogs, however, as I mentioned previously, we all have a right to expression. It is a shame that I have to defend this blog so often. I never want to cause distress but for once I need to be ‘selfish’ and put my feelings first. I was in a good flow at the beginning of the week but have been put off my stride. There is much I want to tell you but it will have to wait for another time.

I have one more letter to write.

It will be to my sister.

It is a letter I have deliberately been avoiding due to recent events. I have so much to say. I’m holding back. I will write my final letter to her on Tuesday, the reason for this will be made very clear in my post tomorrow so stay tuned for that.

A spot of good news now and I would like to congratulate my husband David on being accepted for a new job. He has been unemployed for a couple of months now which has been frustrating for the both of us. This job has come at a perfect time and it feels like some much needed good news. I am very proud of my husband. He has a tendency to self-criticise and berate himself but his strength of character and determination has prevailed so well done!

See you all tomorrow xx

Dear Dad.

Dear Dad,

you are lucky I’m even using a name as you certainly don’t deserve one. The only form of letters I ever wrote to you were to apologize profusely for upsetting you. Letters that I was forced to write. This letter will be different. There will be no apologies.

I have almost said everything I could ever want to say to you. The longer your presence remains gone, the easier it’s becoming to forget you. Your spirit is not kept burning by me. I want to forget you and all the things that you did. I want to obliterate any memory I have of the pain you caused. But I can’t. You have done too much damage.

Most recently and tragically before you died.

Why did you gain so much enjoyment from secrets? I suppose they gave you power, something that you needed to survive. You liked to know secrets, share them, hide them and keep them. You used them to your advantage. Your biggest secret to date has to be your rediscovered relationship with my sister. Your staggering, cocksure attitude led you into this deceptive journey. You reveled in it. It benefited you to be seen as the perfect father. My sister would eventually make you feel like that. I never made you feel like that and had no intention of doing so.

Both of you say the other got in touch first. Who knows who was telling the truth. Either way it doesn’t matter. You both got what you wanted.

You always talked about her when I lived at home. You regularly compared me to her. I know I rarely met your expectations but they were impossible to meet. If you knew the real person my sister was then you would see for yourself she would never have met them either. However, she like you, is very good at tricking others to believe what she wants them to. Perhaps that’s a skill she inherited from her father.

I wonder what you did to convince her you’d changed. She was wary at first after all. You must have been very cunning to change her perception of you so swiftly. You clearly did a grand job and were a great actor. I applaud your performance.

I especially congratulate you on your ability to continue to burn bridges within this family. You were certain and adamant that no course would be taken on your part to help to reconcile the gap between your two daughters. You reiterated this on your death bed to me as you lay in the hospital. It was my duty as the younger sister to reach out the olive branch and build our broken relationship. You defended your other daughter and her childish actions until the end. Your pathetic need for her adoration amounted to destroying any last shred of kindness I had for you. Love had disappeared a long time ago.

I guess it was your way of sticking your middle finger up at me. A nice little reminder that you were in charge eh? You were the puppet master, holding up and strings as we danced around you, bending to your every need. Yet, the day I found out about your terminal illness, I immediately cut those strings you controlled me with for so long. I deliberately only visited you three times that month. I even wish it was less than that. Each time was dreadful. Not seeing you like that – deteriorating away but just being there, watching you, hearing you moan and complain that I wasn’t visiting enough when my sister and her family were going out of their way to care for you and make you feel better. I did not want you to feel better. I wanted it to be over. Hell, they even left their holiday early to be by your bedside, grapes and newspaper too! You were a very lucky man.

David mentioned something the other day.

Thinking back, he was the last person to speak to you before you slipped out of consciousness. He remembered what you said,

“I’d rather have had my brains blown out by a burglar than be dying slowly of Cancer!”

“Well I’m sure that would have been much nicer for your daughters (!)” David replied.

You really were a selfish, insensitive man. There are many people who suffer for years with Cancer. You were sick for less than a month! You drifted out of consciousness and slowly slipped away. There was no pain. Do you know how lucky you were?! We all hope for a painless death as we leave this world and there you were making a mockery of the thousands of people who suffer horrific deaths beyond their control.

There never was any good in you was there?

Some people are born bad.

You were one of them.

A Right to Expression.

Just swaying off the letter writing for one post as I encourage you all to find a safe form of expression. 

Mine is WordPress and I would like to make it clear as to why.

Venting anger in a safe way is important. Through writing, I can allow myself to feel negatively without letting it transfer into the outside world. I tend not to be an angry person and I am not a fan of confrontation but I feel I have the right to speak when I feel hurt or bruised. If anger is bottled up then it can cause severe distress in the long run. 

I may not present to the world that I am hurt in any way but that itself is a sort of safety barrier. One may not agree with the idea of blogging. It may seem self-indulgent and epicurean to some but that is not fair. I do not write for my own healing only, I write to help others release their emotions and pent up frustrations. Their responses are what matter.

I feel safe through WordPress. I do not offload onto my family and rarely onto my husband. I try to keep things positive with my good friends only focussing on the happier things happening in our lives. Of course, we do rant, don’t get me wrong but even I know that dissecting my abuse history with them might not be the best way to spend a coffee afternoon.

I apologise if what I say does offend. Just remember this. Others have people to talk to. I don’t. I don’t feel comfortable or feel comfort from talking about me. Certainly not directly to anyone. I find that very hard. Writing on the other hand, comes naturally. It is my form and right of expression. It is my release. Even when no one responds, someone is listening.

I only ever want to be heard.

To my Old ‘Friends’.

Dear Old Friends,

In the time we knew one another, what did you really think of me? A couple of you vented your anger at me towards the end of our relationship with unfair irritation over things that were out of my control. You clearly got me all wrong.

There must have been something in me that you liked once. Bizarrely, I never changed. Yet, you found something so unpleasant in me it was enough to walk away.

I know that I was closed off. It was my safety net. You only needed to know so much. When I did let my guard down and revealed some truths, you used them against me as a weapon or a bargaining tool. How could I trust you after that? I was insecure. I doubted myself and any confidence you may have seen was a clever shield of protection.

I was and am a loyal friend, supportive and caring. Your longing to be popular and superior pushed me to one side. I do not want those things. I never have.

To the so-called friends who attended my wedding. You had the free meal and wine and then you disregarded me like an old newspaper. What happened? It took the space of my ten day honeymoon for me to return and find you had changed. No explanation, only distance. You still can’t properly look me in the eye now can you? Are you ashamed of your behaviour? You should be. I am worth ten of you. I would never treat someone like that.

What did you have against me? It is clear that perhaps you do not agree with this blog. You do not feel it is necessary to bring up the past and portray my deceased father in this horrific light. All I am doing is shining the light on the truth. Many run from it but I am facing it. Not only for me but to help others in the same situation. Not every choice is selfish. My father was a bad man. He was a cruel and ruthless man. Just because he is dead does not mean he gets to rest in peace. I do not need to honour him. I have no respect for him, living or dead.

What is abuse to you?

Do you get that he destroyed me? Are you willing to look past your own feelings and see what he did to me? Probably not as you are shallow and narrow minded. You see life in black and white and that is why we were never meant to be true friends.

If you were all such angels, perhaps you would not think it was okay to drop someone like that for no given reason. Maybe you aren’t all as innocent as you like to think you are.

L, it is funny that for someone who came to my engagement drinks and wedding, that now you ignore me if we arrive on the same train platform occasionally. I won’t ever forget that oh so recent day when you clocked me in the corner of your eye and deliberately headed to the furthest point of the tube carriage! I’m lucky I didn’t get a complex from that! It is pathetic. I have done nothing to you. It is almost as though getting married was the only thing going for me in terms of personality. Charming.

M, you’re the same although perhaps a little worse. I trusted you. I classed you as a close friend but that all came to a head when you and P ruined my hen night. If money was so tight why an earth did you both agree to come in the first place? It wasn’t as though we had planned an extensive, expensive outing was it but to leave half way through the evening is really taking the piss and to make matters even worse you took most of the party with you!! Outrageous. I had only planned to have one hen do in my lifetime you know so thanks for cocking that up (!)

I do not wish for you all back. Everything happens for a reason and to be honest, I do not think my life would be any better with you all in it.

Enough said.

Ros.

 

Dear Husband,

Dear David,

It took me two years into our relationship for me to truly open up and reveal to you the extent of abuse and problems my father was causing me. 

When I met you in 2008, the abuse was at it’s peak. My father was controlling almost every aspect of my life. My failed relationships over the years with men were a constant source of humiliation for me as my father used the fact that I was “unloved” as a target to destroy and wound. 

I was in my element when we met. Happier than ever. Almost elated. I hadn’t learned to grasp nor control my emotions with men, almost giving too much away immediately. I just longed affection. You were the easiest boyfriend I ever had. I could talk to you about everything. Well, almost everything. I was not ready to reveal the darkest secret of my life just yet.

In 2009, when I had completely fallen for you, I found myself strangely drifting away from you too. I became anxious, worrying that you were with me for the wrong reasons. My father often told me you must be using me, he said he didn’t understand what of me would interest such a smart man. I know we were different but I never thought you felt that way too. It came as a shock David to say the least, the day you sat me down and told me you thought we weren’t compatible. 

It broke my heart.

The words and critiques that fell so freely out of your mouth destroyed me. You knew a little of my father. You had witnessed his behaviour but you turned a blind eye. It didn’t seem to bother you. I was the girl you supposedly loved, yet his anger for me just washed over you. Did you think I deserved it?

You said you did not want to break up. Neither did I but you left me confused. The trust had been broken. I had been deluded, thinking our relationship was fine when really we were crumbling apart. For the next seven months I would walk on eggshells in your company and around my father too. Trying to impress you and please the both of you. 

It came to a head early 2010. I ended it. I was angry but I refused to allow a man to treat that way. I actually felt happy. Happy that I cared about myself enough to put a stop to it. You didn’t seem to care which shocked me. I thought you were better than that. Soon I realised I had wounded your male pride and your actions were clearly a result of that.

Apologies followed and you were quick to admit fault.

I was not used to that. A man apologising, not forcing the blame onto me. It was new, refreshing. You asked to see me.

I accepted.

That morning was the start of a new beginning for us. Our hearts truly opened that day and looking back it is the best thing that ever happened to us. 

I do not regret the troubles we have had. I just wish I hadn’t run from my truths and faced them earlier with you. I know you would have been there. Both of us were frightened of emotional intimacy for very different reasons.

But we are not afraid now.

I know I can ask and tell you anything now darling. 

Thank you.

Love Ros x

 

To my Father’s Family,

To my father’s family,

He was your son, Uncle, cousin and nephew. To you all, he was a good man. He pursued a life in England, climbed the ladder in his career, played the loving and later wronged husband, became a doting father and most of all, gave the impression of a well-rounded, thoughtful human being.

Unfortunately, I am about to shatter your perception of this ‘perfect’ man.

This thoughtful being was the most unthoughtful person I’ve ever known. Not only was he abusive to me but he spent the majority of his loveless marriage abusing my mother both emotionally and physically. He beat her. Violently. She did nothing to “provoke” him. He chose to hurt her. What kind of a man does that make him now? Do you still think of him as caring and loving?

To my Uncle who asked whether his brother would be having a religious, Hindu ceremony for his funeral. My sister lied. We never held anything of the sort for him and there was never any intention to do so. My father was no longer a Hindu and had not been for over fifteen years prior to his death. My sister kept up his pretence, his shame, well after his death. She was happy to deceive you and probably would continue to do so to this day. She even wrote to me and asked me not to mention it to anyone, you know the fact that he was a Christian

He was ashamed of his religion and would never have told any of you. 

It was secret for many years.

But it is time you found out the truth.

I cannot empathise. He never fully embraced Christianity. He certainly followed an odd set of beliefs too. I myself, having been to a Church of England Primary School and now working in a Faith School, have seen what true Christianity is. My father’s beliefs were not from the Christian faith that I know. It was evangelistic and critical. It was homophobic and racist. Ultimately, it was frightening.

He had become a robot regularly preaching psalms to me, spouting biblical nonsense at me. His life centred around his church. His funeral took place at his church. This devoted Christian man received a very surreal send off. I watched as they praised him for his integrity and wept at the loss of such a wonderful considerate man.

I did not weep.

I was happy. I am happy. I am happy that he is dead.

This man destroyed my life. He was the soul reason I hated myself for many years. He controlled, manipulated, abused, insulted, defamed, lectured, bullied, threatened, tortured and emotionally battered me for sixteen years.

This wonderful person did not deserve a place on this earth.

To anyone who thinks he is in heaven right now…………….

He is swimming in hell.