Ahhhhh, the soothing balm of growing older, gaining more perspective, learning more lessons. Realizing things that once plunged a dagger to the heart, sending me reeling, are now just… interesting.
For decades, I experienced the MASSIVE pain of having sibs who just aren’t that into me. Okay, let’s be honest – when it comes to my sibs feeling any sense of positive connection to me, there is no there there. Never was.
When I was single & living with Mom, could never be truly on my own because they dropped by for weekend stays or even longer – a lot longer. They could go off on their merry way, to apartments I never saw. And back whenever they wanted. After I married John, our home was also Mom’s & they’d swing by to see her. Whenever it suited them.
John got used to my long bouts of depression triggered by such visits, thrown into despair by the fresh knowledge that things were not as I’d always wished & never would be.
But age & length of days CAN make things better. Today, a cousin posted Happy Siblings Day photos of herself & her two sibs. And there was a comment from my oldest bro, thanking her for the photos, saying how proud he is of them & their parents. Not long ago, that would have been salt in the wound of an invisibled baby sis. He hasn’t accepted my friend request, but there he was, unexpectedly popping up in my feed.
Which gives me the opportunity to share with the world the reality that with age can come wisdom, a more full-hearted acceptance that people don’t always see eye to eye, let alone heart to heart. It matters less that my bro doesn’t feel connected to me than the forever fact that I am connected to him. Instead of wailing with the pain of a knife in my heart, am able to feel blessedly NEUTRAL, checking to see if he’s accepted my request & not feeling crushed that he hasn’t. Instead of woe is me, to feel a whoosh of relief to have gotten to a point where I am neither apathetic nor open to hurt, where I am vulnerable without putting myself at stupid risk.
To everyone dealing with a cruddy relationship with people who matter, who struggle to get past the pain to the caring, who are thinking of cutting yourself off rather than face another paper cut to the heart – – hang in there! Let yourself be vulnerable, put yourself in their lives to whatever extent you can WITHOUT putting yourself at grave emotional risk. There is no down side. They might middle finger your efforts, they might not.
It’s not always easy, but the day might come when you realize you’ll never be close, but you’re okay with how things are, however they are. When you can finally see something that would have felt like a dagger to your heart, cutting close to the emotional bone, and instead of falling apart, you find yourself thinking, “That’s interesting.”