Archive for March 17th, 2010

On my blog entry entitled Animal Rape: Why Is It So Hard to Heal?, a reader posted the following comment:

I was also wondering if you have ever blogged about you and your sister’s relationship. As someone with younger siblings who grew up in an atmosphere of secrets, silence, and shame I am having a very difficult time trying to figure out how to connect with my siblings as adults when we are all at different stages of healing or denial. ~ Cera

I don’t think I have ever blogged specifically on this topic, so I will do so today. :0)

My sister and I have always had a complicated relationship. We are close and yet hold back. We were forced to do things with each other sexually (and never did this without being forced), so our scents trigger each other. We never hug or touch – ever. We endured mostly the same abuses but reacted in polar opposite ways. So, we have the connection that war veterans have after sharing a foxhole together. We will always be connected because nobody on earth other than my sister fully understands what I have been through.

Over the years, we have moved through trusting and not trusting each other, mostly at our mother/abuser’s manipulations. Our m/a has always been threatened by our connection, so she has tried to sever it over the years. For example, when I was in graduate school, m/a bought a townhouse for sis and me to live in. M/a told me that she was teaching sis a life lesson. Since I was a full-time student, m/a would send me enough money to cover my half of the living expenses. However, sis had to pay her own way since she chose not to go to college. Meanwhile, m/a told sis that she sent me plenty of money to cover both of our expenses, but I must have just taken it all for myself. Sis moved out without telling me why, and we didn’t connect again until after she had her baby and I made an effort to get to know him.

As I said, sis and I react in polar opposite ways. I want nothing to do with m/a, but sis believes that no mother should ever be completely cut off from her children, no matter what. Things get complicated when we get our kids together because her children love their grandmother while mine is not allowed to see her. Mine knows that m/a is mentally ill, but sis hasn’t wanted to tell her children this (although it is obvious to anyone who spends any time around her).

Sis and I have done better as we have both focused on healing. While neither of us was in therapy, our relationship was much harder. However, since we have been gone through therapy (and she is still in it), we have grown much closer. We help each other work through the puzzles of the past and assure each other that nothing that happened was either of our fault.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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