I have been in the mountains of southern California for the past week and it has been so blissful. My dad and stepmom live there, and my sister and I visit at least twice a year. The life they lead is storybook. When I go there I get to forget all my troubles and do things I never get to do on my own; shopping sprees, spa days, or just lay out by the pool and gaze into the mou.ntains without a care in the world.
That being said, all good things must come to an end and as I was driving home from the airport tonight I could feel the weight of my life starting to balance on my shoulders again. I did journal one night, but did not feel the emotion and connection that I normally feel when I am at home in my own bed, so close to my life that I can't help but feel everything that goes with it. I spent a ton of time with my sister on this trip, which I really enjoyed. I have learned not to obsess over trying to change her ways. She and I are very different and part of the reason why we had a falling out (among other reasons that had nothing to do with me) is because of my inability to accept her the way she is. I really do feel that I have grown and learned with my own changing that a person can only change if they want to, not because you want them to. I think that has really helped me in continuing to build a relationship with her.
Having so much time with her, we really were able to do a lot of talking. Something we normally don't do and I did my best to be supportive of her endeavors in life. A normal event for us when we are out there is to be handed the credit card and sent to shop til we drop. This time proved to be no different. Seeing as they live in the mountains, we are a good 45 minute drive from the mall or any shopping center, so we had a lot of car time. If you've ever driven a lot with a loved one, I'm sure you've noticed how much easier it is to talk side by side instead of face to face. Anyway, there were so many times I wanted to bring up the guilt I felt about her abuse and ask her if she blamed me for it, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I didn't want to dampen the mood plus I really know what she would say to me. I know she doesn't blame me. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I can honestly say I am starting to not blame myself either. I know there is nothing I could have done to prevent it and there was nothing I did do to cause it. I really think that what I am feeling now is just pain... pain for her.
When I look back on that session where all of this came up, the session that I had that massive panic attack, I wonder just how much of that was a reaction to talking about my abuse so in depth. Initially I thought it had everything to do with how I felt about my sister's abuse and what I viewed as my part in it, but now I'm not so sure. When I think about how easy it was for me to write that letter to my sister AND read it out loud in session, it makes me think that this was not what was affecting me so much that I broke down. When I think about the 6 page account of my abuse that I wrote and brought into session, I can feel the adrenaline start coursing through my body and the increased pace of my heart and breathing. When I think about the last three paragraphs we read before I had to stop, it makes me want to crawl in a hole. That feeling makes me think that the issue of my sister's abuse was just a smokescreen. I am really starting to feel that God was just giving me a break in the road I was on to allow myself to gain some healing in my relationship with her and to gain some insight in how I can help myself before I turn my attention back to where we came from. And where I came from is a deep, dark place where I will need His help the most.
16 hours ago