I’ve been writing much more lately, but I keep noticing that it’s all rooted in the past. I love that I am in a place what I can share my past and get a message of love and hope out there for others going through difficult situations... but I lived in the present up until this need to write the stories of the past hit me.
How can I also write about the present? How can I share my healing and my journey without living in the past or feeling anxious about forgetting the moments I want to share before I’ve gotten them down on paper?
The truth is I love where I am today. It’s not tragic or heavy, like what I’ve been writing about. The present feels calm to me. It’s serene and beautiful and, honestly, it just is. It exists, neither good nor bad. I love that. But how can I share it in my writing?
I recently read a book of poetry, “Why I Wake Early” I think, by Mary Oliver. I absolutely loved it. I loved how she wrote out her most precious moments. I loved how the words pulled me in and filled my heart with gratitude just to be alive…
When I write about the moment and the peace that I feel, it comes out sounding pretentious. It sounds like bragging, like betrayal, like I can’t relate to those still in the darkness I’ve broken free from. My own sisters and my brother are still stuck in there. I feel guilty for leaving them in that darkness and moving into my own new peace.
Who I am I to know this peace? How dare I write this beautiful place of love and light that they can’t yet enter? Is it selfish? Is it cruel to write of happiness and peace when so many people still suffer? Is it wrong to be elated to have found my freedom, my truth, while my own sisters are still buried in the darkness? I remember what it felt like, but how can I say those words while flashing my peaceful safe haven of a life in their faces. It almost feels selfish to want them to see what my life is like, even though I am so proud of it and I’ve forged it out of love for them. I’ve so carefully worked out little ways to make them feel safer and more at home when they visit my home. I’m proud of my little haven because it took a lot of reflection and personal struggle to get to this point... but when A spits in my face that I’m fake and it’s all a show, I can’t help asking myself what I’m really doing. Is she right, or does she just know right where to hit someone because she’s so scared of the idea of really being loved? (See what I mean about sounding pretentious though? The message is genuine, I swear. But reading that, even I rolled my eyes.)
But I do care so much, even if they don’t care to hear about it. I’m not going to try to say it all to their dead ears, I’ll just patiently love them the best that I can.
But, at peace or not, I know 14 feels like hell when your parents have been monsters to you. Every day you remember that you still have 3.7558 years to go. To my sisters, I imagine saying that I forgive our parents for what they’ve done feels like the cruelest of betrayals. Even though I do forgive them, and that’s something I want to share, they are still sometimes unkind to my siblings who aren’t old enough to leave home or do anything about the injustice. It’s not at all the way it used to be, but still.
Where is the line between celebrating my own light and abandoning my sweet siblings in what will someday be remembered as their darkest hours?
I believe I deserve to be happy. But so do they. Am I allowed to be happy while they still suffer? Am I allowed to write about today while they still live in all of my yesterdays? It’s a mess in my mind. One of them won’t even speak to me, but I value her opinion and I love her so much. I don’t want her to think I’ve abandoned her, even if she is pissed at me today. That will pass. We’re sisters, we have ups and downs and that’s okay. I don’t want her to look back someday and resent me for finding peace while she was still lost. I don’t want her anger to eat her up. She can be so much more than her anger and pain. I want her to know I believe in her.
I know I can’t heal anyone or control how anyone feels or what my family thinks of me or of themselves, and really that’s probably what all of this guilt comes down to. I can’t control it. That’s uncomfortable to think about.
I can love them and I can live my life. That’s it. I’ve got to give myself permission to live for my own today; I literally cannot live anybody’s today besides my own. And, really, I wouldn’t want to... So I’ve got to let that illusion of control go.
I guess all of these letters I’ve written really come down to the idea that I’m allowing myself to move forward, but I want my siblings and anyone else who is struggling to know that I still love them and I am still sorry for the burden they have to carry, the one they didn’t choose. I’m sad that I can’t just bring them along with me into this happier time.
Letting go of what’s been done to me isn’t the same as letting go of the people still going through hard times. I adore you. I’m here for you. I’ll do my best to share love and happiness, with the hope that it can brighten the difficult times and give you hope for your own future.
In living my own truths today, rather than dwelling on guilt or fear, I’m deciding not to let my hard times last forever. I am giving myself permission to let it all go. I hope you understand. I hope someday soon you can do the same.
You still have all of my love. Just without the fear, okay?