I read a good part of the book "The Emotional Incest Syndrome. What to Do When a Parent's Love Rules Your Life." by Dr. Patricia Love. It helped me identify a lot of things I might not have been able to validly pointpoint, among other people, about why I felt I was done wrong by my own parents. I am re-reading it because I truly do think maybe now I am more accepting and understanding of what I am actually reading. In fact, I have begun to make an artwork piece based on it. So far I have an empty room, with key words and phrases written on the walls that describe the tell-tale signs of an emotionally incestuous relationship. For me, it was my Mom. She keeps saying she did the best she could. Did she? I'll never know. Some of me suspects she could have, other times it seems she's blind and ignorant to her own needs. Whatever the case is, which I think it's a mix of both and I am really working on shifting responsibility of what hapenned, to her, in my mind, because too long I have blamed myself. Blamed myself for not always being on her side, for seeming like a needy, ungrateful child, when really, now that I've learned more, what I wanted were basic things… like having a mother who wouldn't run away when I cried or owned up to her b.s. whenever I stood up to her, instead of guilting me into feelings of disloyalty. I always filled a void for my father. When he was gone, us sisters did so too. I have 2. One biological, the other foster and my foster sister is way more aware of these dynamics because of the life she previously lived before coming to live with us at age 12. After we both left the "nest" of her house, we both felt used, unnapreciated, betrayed. Mom's life and wellbeing always seemed to teeter on having a mate to back her up, make her feel safe, validate her, so she could feel accepted and good with herself. Sure, we all need that at some point, but when there wasn't a man, she used us for that purpose and she quickly accused us of things, if we didn't comply, or blamed us for her troubles. She is a child, basically. Always the victim, always defenseless, always in struggle with the unfair world. I make sense of this with her background but then again, I had an unhealthy backgroud and refuse to use it as an excuse to perpetuate the same deadly cycles I was taught to follow. I have even cried to her to get therapy and, without any compassion, she flatly refused and insisted I was the one with the problem, much like my father would say to me "it is a problem of your nerves". Hah! Wonder why? Nope. Too tough to face, apparently. My little sister, the biological one, still seems to be trapped in a subconcious web of Stockholm-like approval seeking. She moved far from Mom and Dad but now seeks approval, fiercely, from the parents of her fiance who also, admittedly, comes from an emotionally abusive family. I wish I could stop it. Often I just get mirrored back as someone dark, who twists things and points the finger in a nasty way. I rarely do, though. When I do, all hell breaks lose. So, I am destined, apparently, to just deal with things myself. It's been hard to accept they still choose to be blind. Do they? Well… I think it depends on the day but no matter. The result is excruciatingly, mordantly, the same and I still end up feeling like the reject, odd-out orphan. I am but an ugly reflection to them of all they did wrong, if I open my mouth. It's not what I desire but it can't be helped. I'm not saying I will let them bring me down but I will not feign being the perfect child anymore. I don't think I ever was, even though I sure tried, with all my desperate might. When that failed, the task was shifted unto my lil' sis. That fucked her up too, greatly. Foster sis, however, was just a black sheep. Now, I am to begin that part of my life where I whistle blow what I have been through, through my work, through my art and my writing. I may get the response of, why is everything you talk about so damn negative? I have a friend who told me that the response to that question was "Because you won't talk about it." Sure, I can pinpoint all the good, great things, in fact! They gave me plenty. My family is not evil, you know? But all they do is talk about the good. Pretend it's all fine or like the hardship was some sort of miraculous test of faith to prove good always wins. Think happy thoughts. Us vs. the world. Loyalty, loyalty, loyalty. That's how children kill themselves. I know I have died plenty and been reborn out of my own sheer will. Now I rise through the truth. I'm still not ready to have them hear me. I still feel like doing that would be breaking their hearts but part of me feels that if they didn't want their hearts to break, why did they beat us up so much? Did they not expect for bruises to leak, for scars to permanently form? Who deals with it? If it is I, then so be it. I'm just tired of feeling condemmed for simply living in all honesty. I wonder, how many of you can relate to the things I'm writing?