In describing my sisters, in all fairness to them, I have to describe myself as well. The person I am now is a long story for another time, so let me start with how I used to be, pre family estrangement. I was the youngest by far, 12 years between my brother and I, 8 years between Sharon and I, and 5 years between Sandy and I. I was a mistake baby – my father had had a vasectomy that didn’t take. I wasn’t planned and actually wasn’t wanted prior to my mom’s pregnancy (the vasectomy shows that). I always felt like an afterthought – my parents didn’t involve me in sports like they had with my siblings, my mom didn’t buy me a bra till about 2 years after I needed one, I wasn’t taken to the dentist for the first time until I was about 16 (my siblings have straight teeth – I don’t and I hate photos of myself because of it), there’s more but I think you get the point.
Because of the above and the incest I suffered, I always felt the need to be perfect – a perfectionist. (It was only a few years ago that I realized why – it was a way to not be seen, while also a way to show I had some kind of worth). I felt like I had to get perfect grades, never get in trouble at school, be the lead in plays and musicals, be the best writer, etc. If I started something and wasn’t the best, I would quit. When I was about 10, a senior member of our church told my parents, in front of me, that I was the one that was going to go out and do it all! So imagine my sense of complete failure when I didn’t?
I was the quiet one in the family, never spoke up or disagreed with anyone. As an adult, just like my sisters, I would agree with whoever I was talking to and then disagree with them when talking to a different sibling. This is what I had learned to do – don’t upset anything! With the incest, I had been taught that I didn’t matter. I was severely afraid of confrontation and would do anything to avoid it, both in my family and in all other areas of my life. It was a big weakness. I also took things too harshly and cared too much about what others thought of me; I was terrible insecure and shy. Unfortunately, in school, that meant a lot of people took me for a bitch rather then the shy and insecure girl I was.
In adulthood, I cared too much about other people, all the people in my life but especially my family. I don’t think this is a bad thing necessarily, but I always put everyone else first, even if it was to my detriment. I have read that this, along with being a perfectionist, are common signs of someone who was abused as a child. If I just do enough, well enough, than no one will see that I’m actually no good. That last part makes me choke up even as I write it. I can’t believe I spent a good 30 years not realizing what my actions and inaction meant.
I used to look for the best in people and believed in unconditional love and loyalty. I used to have hopes and dreams. I used to put faith and trust in people. I used to believe in and have faith in God. Unfortunately, due to my family and my son, over the last 5 years I have lost all that. I am now a shell of that person, one I will share with you after I have shared more of my story.