These last few months have forced me to look at my largest vulnerabilities. From March 6th to May 30th we all watched my sister through her last struggles with colon cancer. During this time as you all know some of my siblings conducted themselves with the upmost of cruelty.
All of this was done without regard for anyone else’s feelings. Thus, bringing me to the vulnerabilities that I discovered in myself.
I am undoubtedly acutely vulnerable when I care deeply for someone. If I fear they may be angry or upset with me, I am terrified that I will do something to make it worse. The reasons for this have become obvious during the last few months.
In the eyes of these sisters, I am not a real person, but more of an extension of what they need from me. As their needs change regularly, I am left feeling as if I am standing on cracking ice, ready at any moment to fall through it.
I have always found myself ill at ease if too many family members are in the same place at the same time. Sick nearly every holiday in order to escape the chaos. I have never known what they wanted of me and because of this I think it is entirely understandable why I so much of my life I felt invisible.
After all why should they care about what is relevant to me if they only thought of me when they needed a mirror to see themselves and their activities through? In fact, I wasn’t a real person at least, not to them.
My solution to this particular vulnerability is to distance myself from these sisters. I believe they do love me, and I know I love them. Yet I cannot trust them. I believe it would happen over and over again no matter what I did. We have lived in this particular rut much too long.
I am also vulnerable to their manipulations since my heart wants to believe that we have a genuine friendship and sisterhood. I can do nothing to change them. In order for me be the person that I am when they are not around, I must walk away.
Surprisingly, enough given the many moves and the many, diverse jobs I have held, this is the most difficult step for me. To step out of the shadow of those in my family who have belittled me and my accomplishments, is harder than it was to move across the country, and take on a new career with a disabled mother in tow.
I am opening myself to a new life and a new way of looking at things. By doing this I am more vulnerable than I have ever been, for change no matter if it is for the better is always scary.