Part of my story starts back to where I started…
I’m the youngest of 6. I hear all the time ‘wow you are from a big family, that must be so nice and you must be close’ but the truth is we are not. Well some of us are to accurate. It’s a bit clickish.
One of my siblings was abusive to me. I remember a block of my clildhood that this happened many many times. I never told anyone. He was always mean to after that.
When I started school, I struggled reading. And I went to summer school 1-8th grade. I had tutors and I was taken out of class for additional help. I was embarrassed that I couldn’t keep up with the other kids and found ways to look like I was not behind. I cheated when I could and never got caught. I had friends that helped me. And no one ever knew. I was teased by several kids my entire 1-8 grades. But that is story for another post.
My parents were both alcoholics. They drank everyday. It’s got worse the older I got and at the end of my moms life it was pretty awful.
My siblings are 5-11 years older than I am. So I was typically in the way or a pest or the baby. They were off doing big kid stuff and I was there but not doing big kid stuff. I spent all day on Saturday’s on the ball field watching.
My oldest sibling moved out when I was 7. I’m still very close to him. Always was. We talk several times a week. And I go to his house almost every weekend while he runs errands and has some time away from being the full time care taker to his wife. He never stays gone for long.
My sister moved out when I was around 8 and I came an aunt when I was 11. We are not close at all. If fact I have not talked to her in many years.
My other brothers moved out one by one and by the time I was 12/13, I was like an only child. Both my parents worked and they had more income with one kid at home. I went to catholic school for all 12 years. While some of my siblings went for part of their school years and the older ones did not at all. I went out to dinner pretty often compared to my siblings and went on a few vacations too. Just the 3 of us.
My siblings continued to grow their families and I saw them at holidays or other get togethers at my parents house during this time.
My senior year of high school my one brother moved back in for a few months with his wife and baby daughter while they settled back in to the U.S. after being in be military for several years. I wrote him letters while he was overseas and we talked every Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’m still close to him.
My sister moved back in with her 2 kids and stayed with my parents for 10 plus years. She was not happy about having come back home but really there was not many options after she left her exhusband.
After high school, I moved out on my own in a basement apartment. It took more than one paycheck to pay the rent but I was on my own. I then moved in with roommates and in my early 20’s I moved in with my now exhusband.
Because I was in such a different stage of life, distance grew between my siblings and I.
Because of the time I had with my parents as ‘an only child’ I was very close with them.
When I started having kids, my newphews and nieces were all hitting high school or close to it. So that generation of kids is not close to my kids either. One of my nephews (well his wife) and I had kids a week apart.
Since both my parents have passed away. We no longer get together. Maybe for a wedding. No holidays. No birthdays. No just because.
One brother really doesn’t even know me. And I don’t really know him either. I did not attend his wedding a few months ago because it just was not a safe place for me to be. At the last dinner after my mom died and then wedding, I was ganged up on my 2 of my siblings. And just could not bear the thought of being in that place again. So I didn’t go.
I’ve since asked this brother and his new wife to get together for dinner and I have not gotten a reply. Which makes me sad.
I know my mom saw the distance and I know she would be upset to know that we don’t get together as a group anymore. Well I guess she does know.
When my mom was sick, my oldest brother and I had power of attorney. I know that was upsetting to my sister being older than me but I was 20 minutes away and she was a plane ride.
I was trying to do a step 4 on my siblings (except for the abusive one, I did a step 4 on him) but I just don’t understand.
I have amazing kids. I have friends and I work hard. I am well liked. But 3 of my siblings don’t know me.
I’m sure they have their own reality of growing up in an alcoholic home. I’m sure they would tell a different story. I know what they have said to me in the past. How much better my life was. Because I went to catholic school and went out to dinner and vacation and got a new bike and had braces.
But was it? I also was the only one home when mom and dad drank to the point of passing out and not remembering conversations. This was on the daily. The smell of their drink of choice or hearing ice being stirred in a glass or someone slurring words make me want to throw up and cry. Mom didn’t tell them that she was thinking of divorcing dad when I was a freshman, she told me.
I just wish they understood me and that I understood them.
I guess this is my step 4. The start of it anyway.
Thanks for reading my random thoughts on my family. I just wish I understood.
I feel alone. That I don’t have 5 siblings, I have 2. And even we don’t get together as a small group. My oldest brother is not close to the other brother. And that brother is only close to me so it’s like he has one sibling. Most of my friends don’t even realize that I have a sister.
Maybe I should just accept this for what it is. What some of my sibling have said to and about me does not define me. It’s not my truth. Broken people hurt broken people.
I am growing in my recovery and learning tools to cope with life differently. And I am becoming the best version of me because of my recovery and because of the grace of God. I have an amazing relationship with Jesus Christ who strengthens me. This is my journey.
My journey to serenity continues…