Posts Tagged ‘family dynamics’

I finally learned how to be a big sister. My brother came to visit me for three weeks, I have not seen my brother or sister in six months. When I heard he was coming, I was at once excited and doubtful. I’ve never been a proper big sister, never was able to be any sort of good example. Actually, the only good example I was able to give was how to stay on the right track so as to not totally fuck up your life.

When I first heard my brother was coming, I had this momentary insane worry over how should I act around him – like the me he knew, or the me that exists now? Problem was, I don’t really know how to act like a suicidally depressed whore, since I’m not that person anymore. I finally decided to simply go with the flow.

At the airport, I wondered to myself if maybe I shouldn’t smile so much. Maybe I shouldn’t act so excited. And while I waited at the arrival gate, I was overcome and wanted to cry, because this felt like a yet another second change for me. He did a double take when he saw me, jumping up and down and smiling. I don’t think my brother has ever seen me genuinely happy.

I forgot my ridiculous concerns as soon as I saw my brother. On the train to my grandparents house, we apologized to each other – it seems my brother did a lot of evolving and healing when I left, he said the sadness remained when I was gone — I simply made a good scapegoat. He also thanked me for being a fuck up, cause it kept him and my sister from staying down the wrong path as well.

It was a weirdly nice change, watching out for my brother, planning interesting things to do while he was here. I had a weird out of body experience as I would pack my knapsack in the morning with an extra pair of socks, sweatshirt, and gloves for my brother (having just come from the Canadian winter, he didn’t really understand that it is winter here in Israel as well). It happened again when I instictively tried to hold his hand when crossing the road.

Before my brother came over, I had been uncertain of the wisdom of returning to Canada for a few months before permanently returning to Israel. My family also thought I should stay here longer. But my brother changed that. I think it gave my family the ability to see more the change within me. And my brother said that I need to come back. To show my family that change is possible. It’s not enough to see the change through skype.

The last few years I always thought my siblings were invulnerable… I always saw them as having a tough shell, and I was envious of their close relationship, while at the same time, extremely thankful for the bond they have together. Any attempt I tried to made at fixing out relationship would end with their hard stares and monotonous conversation, which would start and end at ‘hi, how are you?’. So I was a bit stunned, when my big tough brother came to visit, and I realized he’s the same person I remember being friends with as a kid. A realization that made me tear up and made me feel even more protective of him.

My brother’s visit helped me. It helped repair our relationship, and made me feel better about potential that the future holds. It also gives me hope to mend things with my sister.

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I’m now almost a week in Israel. Which is awesome, and beautiful. And hot. Omg, the sweat. The heat sinks into your skin and clings to you, even in air-conditioned spaces. Worth it, totally. Even if I occasionally wonder why I thought it was a wonderful idea to come in the summer.

I think I’m finally getting the picture for God’s plan for me here. The earthly plan is for me to go to a kibbutz, study and work for a couple months. Which is not 100% precisely my idea of a vacation. BUT! I get why this is such a genius plan for me.

Basically, I need to know I’m capable. And I know, I really do know that I am a capable and functioning person now. This just throws me into life. Putting theory into practice. Cause that was a huge fear of mine for years — that I would forever be trapped in a drug addled mind only able to stare into space and act out in destructive ways.

I proved myself wrong on that front. But 1. I’ve never had a normal job. Was never capable of having one. 2. I tried and failed to go back to school. Several times. 3. I had no sense of worth.

The third point is the most important one. That’s taken care of.

Its the doing stuff that I (now) know in my mind I can do. I’m no longer functionally handicap (by which I mean I could pass, on occasion, for being like any other healthy person for short periods of time and a bit of creative thinking with what I said).

But being here, healthy, is weird. In a good way. But weird.

I went today to a village in the north to see some artwork. The same village where my family wanted to send me to ‘get better’. This was, like, 6 yrs ago. But they couldn’t deal with me. And I couldn’t even being to think of how I would deal with being around other people in a foreign country. I could barely leave my house. So that trip was spent pretty miserably. I thought I hid my rage well. I probably didn’t.

Last night, walking in the dark with my aunt, she asked me in a couple different ways what happened? how did I change? She came to visit my family 3 years ago. She pointed out that she could hardly talk to me, I was so out of it. Totally true. I also remember that at the time I put in massive effort to appear normal (functional). Also a fail.

It’s a really weird question to answer. What happened? I was raped again, moped around, and woke up.

Its the “woke up” part I have trouble explaining. I was made to be chemically brain dead by psychotropics and narcotics.

Yet, this is what I knew:

1. God was there while I was being raped. God loves me. God hates seeing me in pain. For once, I wasn’t angry at God.

2. My mind cleared once I realized I wasn’t angry. The zombie-making effect of the drugs left enough for me to really focus on and grasp the things I was compelled to research, some of which is somewhere on this blog in a rant. Something stuck, and pieces started falling together. I knew how fractured I was, and how, systemically, every part of my body and mind and spirit had been rapidly breaking down.

3. I finally found the will to live. This was different then my willingness to simply remain alive, and if I die… whatever. Everyone will be better off anyways, right? I began to burn with a desire to LIVE.

4. K, so, it took 6 weeks to detox. I was getting off everything at once, which was comparable to getting off herion and/or cocaine. And the psych-meds are supposed to take a couple years to totally leave the body before it’s able to rebalance itself. Six weeks. Seriously. At the same time I changed my diet, so I had the carb-flu at the same time. But I’m fine.

5. Really, God wasn’t there? How easy would it have been to give up, to go back to shit that would eventually kill me but that I was used to. This was before I managed to repair the fragmented parts of myself. Through the worst of my self-worthlessness, I’d remember almost dying, and God’s loving embrace. And the words that it’s not my time yet.

What happened?

Um. Transformation that has lead me here, to Israel. To accelerate an already rapid journey in becoming all that God intended.

I find it hard to maintain interest in anyone. And this goes beyond romantic entanglements. This includes friends and family as well. It’s not unusual for me to just not contact a friend for a period of time, and then ease back into conversation. But… the people who are my friends are the few who just continue to be there year after year. I can probably count on one hand the people who I’ve kept around and want to keep around. It’s weird. It would be awesome to have a group to hangout with (my friends are all individual friendships with vastly different personalities/lifestyles from each other. I can’t actually bring them together. Like the kinkster with the extremely religious. That’ll go over well. Not.).

With family… Fuck. I come from a tight knit family. Even with those who live overseas. I’ve been actively avoiding them for a long long time. At first, I would make up excuses based on the various things that ailed me (pain, anxiety, whatever). But eventually, I stopped saying anything. It was just a given that if family got together, I wouldn’t show up. I’m pretty sure my youngest cousin has no idea who I am. And she’s now a few years old (fuck, I don’t even know her age).

Anyways. I had promised myself to be more social, which is kinda what brought me to date again (I know, totally the wrong way to go about it). But I’ve been making an effort to initiate contact with friends instead of ignoring. Gotta start somewhere.

I’ve been thinking about my avoidance of those I used to be close to. Especially because it’s my great-aunt’s birthday later this month. Her husband is throwing her a surprise party. I have to face them sometime, and I figure this would be a good place to start. Especially since I’d be staying in the hotel where the party is, so really, I have a built in exit strategy.

It’s stressful. The people in my family are well off, well educated, stable… My cousins close in age to me are studying in various parts of the country, living independently, have jobs, relationships, friendships, pets. And then there’s me. Ex-whore who never graduated high school. Weird fact about me – I’d rather admit I was prostituted then someone without a high school diploma. Regardless of the fact that I got into university anyways on the strength of my grades.

Anyways. It’s the questions and comments from others that is stressing me. The whole “what are you doing with your life” conversation that comes from people you haven’t seen in ages. WTF do I say? “Well, I recently got myself off drugs after being raped yet again. It made me realize that what I’m doing wasn’t working for me. And now I sit in my room and write about myself so unknown people can hear my thoughts”?

Hmm.

Part of me wants to say something like that just for the reaction. Then my better judgement kicks in. My therapist offered to roleplay those awkward questions to lessen the anxiety. And I guess I’ll actually have to do that now.

Even though I don’t feel inadequate or worthless, I know if I start measuring myself against them, I’ll lose. Even though what I’m doing and where I am is just as important as studying Russian Lit for the hell of it (One of my cousins. Really, what does one do with an education in Russian Literature?).

Plus there’s the whole body image thing. I’d be lying if I said I’m totally confident in my skin.

I’m not. I fake it really well. But my weight and appearance isn’t something I like to talk about, and rarely like being commented on. Both have zero relevance to me as a person. But, they aren’t blind. I’ve lost 40+lbs in the last while, but I’m still bigger then I used to be (I mean at my baseline weight, not my skinny unhealthy self). And a few of the women in my family really have no tact when it comes to stuff like that. And then I start comparing myself to my sister, who I still think is the pretty one. Or my aunt, who used to be a model (the magazine kind).

So I can’t even comment about my weight, or the fact I’m losing it, cause I don’t want it to be something they focus on (I end up thinking they’re mentally calculating the 40+lbs back on my frame. Or thinking about how good I used to look). But it’s there. I’m not invisible.

Then to dating. I’ve noticed that I have an uncanny ability to tell when a guy is interested, or about to pick me up. In public, I mean. And I hate hate hate being hit on in public. But if it’s a guy I’ve chatted with for a bit, and decide to meet, I really can’t tell. I actually have no clue if he’s interested or not. It has to be said. Otherwise, I’m oblivious.

I was wondering why that was the other day, while I was swinging in the park (it’s a very meditative activity. I highly recommend it). It occurred to be that it’s some sort of residual survival instinct from being a pro. I’d have to evaluate a guy in the few seconds from him opening the door to me walking in and him shutting it. I had to know, instantly, whether I’d be safe or not. So, now, if it’s someone I want to be interested in, or might be interested in, or just someone to know for fun… I can’t. I can’t read them. It unbalances me.

I’ve also realized I’m kinda chasing that connection I had with J. It was just this instant click.

So now, it’s easy to lose interest. Cause if I can’t get that click, I don’t see the point. Or the guy will say something, and I’ll suddenly think to myself, fuck I’m bored. And like that, I’m done.

But… it’s better then toying with men. And it’s better then just giving into sex. I’ve realized a perverse pleasure in saying no. It’s an awesome word. I love it. But it’s also false empowerment.

Back to family.

I also have to get used to small talk. Small talk bores me. If I can’t get into an in depth discussion, I don’t want to speak. And there’s a lot of superficiality in that branch of my family. It’s just not stuff I care about. My life experience has been so vastly different that I get stuck on words and just listen and nod my head and murmur appropriately and daydream. Or find a corner and read.

One person I am looking forward to seeing. One of my younger cousins. Who doesn’t really know me, but seems to adore me regardless. I’m not crazy about kids, never have been. But she just has a spark that’s refreshing to be around. Crazy wild imagination too. Last time I saw her we build a fairy tale castle out of styrofoam and glitter. It was awesome.

At the very least though, it’ll bring some excitement.