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#450842 - 10/21/13 04:45 PM Redeveloping relationships
Vedder32 Offline


Registered: 03/09/13
Posts: 21
Loc: Kentucky,U..S.A
Hi

Its very safe to say the road too recovery has a lot of bends and curves and the hardest ones involve the relationships that we lost and the ones we attempt too make.

I know for a fact it's plagued me through the years and has utterly destroyed relationships involving "close family". It's safe too say I've only got two strong relationships. One with my brother and the other one with my sister but that leaves out a whole lot of people.

One relationship that it hit hard was my other sister and her family. We were tight too say the least. I would baby sit her kids, spend the weekends and play video games and football with the neighborhood kids, go on family vacations...the whole nine yards.

As sad as it may sound, when I came forward with the abuse; things changed. I wasn't welcomed or invited to their home, limited time with my nieces, I never did spend the night again and some very humiliating displays towards me, among other things.

Over 15 years have passed and it's still the same but things appeared to be changing and I don't know why. I guess a better way too put it would be; do I want to rebuild this relationship?

Some of you probably know how I am feeling and the thoughts that run through my head because you've been down this road before but as for me I am extremely terrified of rebuilding this relationship.

My sister has offered me to come visit her in Florida but I am very hesitant. Just based on the conversations we've had on the phone. I know we've never spoken about the abuse and the severe depression it has caused me in my life and the circumstances and choices that have followed.

I myself don't know what too do. I do day dream about visiting her and going fishing in the gulf of Mexico, partaking of her chocolate chuck brownies, watching movies and just enjoying the old days but I don't know if that is possible.

Share your thoughts and your advice brothers; I am very confused on this manner.

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#450855 - 10/21/13 05:51 PM Re: Redeveloping relationships [Re: Vedder32]
Banjo596 Offline


Registered: 08/20/13
Posts: 42
Loc: Ohio
As a complete outsider and only going on information above, it sounds to me as though possibly your sister, and perhaps her husband too, believed the lie about a victim becoming a perpetrator and did not want you around their children.
How terribly uneducated and sad.
If I put myself into your situation, and a part of me truly wanted to reconnect, I would want assurance that we would discuss the past and the hurts it has caused.
I think I would want that because as I get older, I realize life is precious and there is no guarantee how long we will be here. Getting answers and figuring things out can be important and the love of others, including family, is a great gift in life.

(Edit) I don't feel entirely comfortable with my post as I hope you don't consider it as advise. It's not meant as advise, just simply a response as to how your post struck me and what I might do if I were in that situation.


Edited by Banjo596 (10/21/13 05:59 PM)
_________________________
Jeff

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#450868 - 10/21/13 07:14 PM Re: Redeveloping relationships [Re: Vedder32]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 678
Loc: NJ
I agree with Banjo in that at first read, it seems they were scared and ill-equipped, and took actions based on their fear and lack of knowledge. It may also be other things that contributed - like maybe overwhelmed, not sure what to do, how to provide support, etc. I am not making excuses, I just know that as a parent to young children, sometimes my best intentions are swallowed whole by my everyday obligations.

I do think you deserve to have them understand you, your experience, your process in order to have meaningful forgiveness and repair. But I also urge you to see them as weak rather than powerful. It was their weakness that kept them from being there for you - not a weakness of yours.

And now you have a different opportunity. Please know that for your sister to reach out to you, there is the possibility that she misses you in her life. And that is a really nice starting place. Just my two cents....

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#450872 - 10/21/13 07:24 PM Re: Redeveloping relationships [Re: Vedder32]
HD001 Offline


Registered: 07/30/12
Posts: 255
Loc: us
When it comes to developing or mending close relationships there is always a bit of risk involved. Do you feel equipped to handle any emotions or tension that may arise if you do visit your sister? Would the visit still be enjoyable even if it doesn't feel like "the good old days?" If so it may be worth it to go. If she is inviting you to visit then she is probably missing the closeness you guys shared. If you go try not to have too many expectations and you'll probably have a nice time.
_________________________
Everything comes from within

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#450881 - 10/21/13 08:56 PM Re: Redeveloping relationships [Re: Vedder32]
Vedder32 Offline


Registered: 03/09/13
Posts: 21
Loc: Kentucky,U..S.A
so far everyone's feed back is very rational. Please keep on posting

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#450919 - 10/22/13 02:31 AM Re: Redeveloping relationships [Re: Vedder32]
ScottSmith Offline


Registered: 03/18/12
Posts: 26
Loc: CA desert
Hi Vedder,
I mean really. Is this how she wants to lure you back to her glorious family and home. Isnt FL lovely this time of year. Amazing how you have to come to her.
How rich of her to extend you an olive branch with no guilt or sadness for the missed years without you.
Is she in some sort of denial? Was she abused too, such shamed effort to protect her secret at your expense.
Has she finally seen the evil in her ways? So cruel keeping you away from your nieces. I am sure they are just as confused. Like where did Uncle Vedder go?
Is she really worth it. I know the nieces are, but have they kept in touch with you?
Seems like a lot of hot air blowing around. Not sure all the eyes and tees are dotted and crossed. I feel you have more investigation to do.
What is your gutt telling you. You have to listen to your inner voice.
See and hear from your own eyes and ears more emails and phone calls with your sister. Let her get acquainted with who you are now. This is your time to disclose. You two have to rediscover each other.
Both have to come to terms with how you see your pasts. There has to be a mutual agreement of the past. Because if the past is not resolved or settled then there is no present or future with her and her family.
You have to maintain your healthy boundaries at all cost. She has to respect who you are and how you express yourself. So that means you will have to be present and ever so honest.
Please remember, you come first and must make yourself a priority.
This is about your journey, not hers
i feel with rigorous honesty from both of you, the two of you may work this out. The ball is in your court. It is up to you. Do you want to keep the ball or kick it back to her. And see what she does in return.
Expectations lead to disappointment.
That is why it is so important to be in the moment and speak from your heart.
The rest will follow just as the universe intended.
I hope this helps. I read your post and wanted to share my thoughts. And they are just thoughts in how i see it. I felt safe to respond based on your encouragement.
Much respect,


Edited by ScottSmith (10/22/13 02:33 AM)
_________________________
Scott
"You can always hear the laughter but seldom hear a tear fall."
Keith Johnstone

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#450955 - 10/22/13 09:26 AM Re: Redeveloping relationships [Re: Vedder32]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 665
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi Vedder,

I'm completely with Scott on this one. There seems to be a really big chunk of something missing, like an honest reaching out from your sister, an awareness that her choices may have represented an enormous personal loss for you. You're worth a lot more than her bland and tentative outreach. If she is not able to reach inside herself and bring her heart and her caring for you to the table I would be very, very hesitant to engage. At this point I'm not hearing anything meaningful in it for you except a memory of what used to be. Please go slow and be caring for yourself. I know my feelings arise from my own experience. I'm feeling very protective of YOU in this situation..........Don
_________________________
Divine Law is not judgment or denial of self truths. Divine Law is honoring harmony that comes from a peaceful mind, an open heart, a true tongue, a light step, a forgiving nature, and a love of all living creatures. Jamie Sams & David Carson, Medicine Cards

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#451011 - 10/22/13 08:10 PM Re: Redeveloping relationships [Re: Vedder32]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 678
Loc: NJ
I find the responses on this post to be so interesting and yet another opportunity for us to see how each other see the world. You can see trust and lack of trust in each response. In some ways, it is hard to read, as I am married to someone who does not trust - and then there is me, willing to give anyone a chance, over trusting, lacking boundaries.

I do have to say that I take exception with the comment that expectations lead to disappointment. Expectations are natural and human. Pretending not to have any is exactly that - pretending. Shielding. Protecting. We all have expectations. What leads to excessive disappointment is the inability to communicate our expectations. Of course there will be times when people cannot meet what we want or expect from them - but the disappointment is inevitably diminished when we have clearly communicated our needs and our wants.

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#451016 - 10/22/13 09:07 PM Re: Redeveloping relationships [Re: Esposa]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1617
Well said. Many victims/survivors do not have expectations or have unrealistic expectations as to what they could achieve or truly believe. But their spouses/significant others had expectations. The first disconnect. Achievable expectations require trust in oneself--but as you know this is not the case for many survivors.

Your insights are truly meaningful. I too have read this forum and realize relationships can be redeveloped because somewhere along the way there was something special. Trust is difficult because both the survivor and spouse/significant other must rebuild something lost. There is one thing that troubles me, was trust ever there when one never trusted themselves?

It is a complicated and takes people who heal together to accept the past. It is not an easy task. I know for me I now trust who I am for the first time in my life and it has been important in rebuilding my life. I can now share my past and events that may have happened as well as my past including hospitalizations. I no longer am ashamed of not remembering parts of my life and only strive to ensure they do not occur now and in the future. Trust in myself and acceptance of who we are, heals the soul.

Thank you for this thread and the all the insightful thoughts. It helps many is so many ways.

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#451018 - 10/22/13 09:31 PM Re: Redeveloping relationships [Re: Vedder32]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 678
Loc: NJ
I remember one time asking my husband in therapy, WHY DID YOU HAVE TO DESTROY MY TRUST? To which he calmly responded, "Now you know how I live." and it was at that moment that I realized exactly what you are saying, there was never really any trust until we were both in recovery. I had the illusion of trust, while he was under no illusion wink

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