Dear Family that stood still,
I would love to credit you for doing nothing but your inaction was actually an action. The responsibility of an adult is to protect children, whether they are your own or not. It’s your responsibility to protect people that are unable to protect themselves. I’m pretty sure this is outlined in the book on how to be a decent human being.
All snarkiness aside, I’m no longer angry with you. I spent years angry at the fact that you didn’t deem my life worthy of protecting. I spent years questioning if perhaps you were right. Then I fell into denial. I told myself that if the abuse was actually happening then surely the people that are meant to protect me would step in? Perhaps all the abuse was exaggerated; It couldn’t be as bad as I thought because otherwise, you would have protected me.
Then my heart just broke. Pain set in. My heart broke because of the depth of my love and understanding. I reached out to a great number of you at various times and no one helped me. I was confused because I thought, well maybe they didn’t help because they really didn’t know. But when I told you in confidence, asking for help, you turned your back on me. Why? Why didn’t you think I was worth helping?
It’s taken me quite a bit of time to face some truths. I still do not agree that you deserted me in my time of need but I understand. I understand that you viewed me as the most powerful spirit in the family and my asking for help was just me not having faith in myself. You deserting me was actually a gentle nudge to encourage me to grow into the person that I was meant to be. A warrior… of love.
I also know that you knew the depth of dysfunction. At a time when words turned into actions, I dunno how I would have addressed the abuse either. It amazes me that you knew the abuse was much deeper than just my father. It was a sibling (pot stirrer) that refused to let people heal. Just when things started improving, the psychopath created disharmony. You saw this much faster than I. Your refusal to help me is what saved me. The only way out was to leave the country. I see that now. So thank you.
If not for the collective standing still, I dunno where I’d be right now. The family failed me, family friends failed me, the court system failed me, the Downers Grove police failed me, the judges failed me, the black market gun trade failed me… and the drug dealers (read DOCTORS) failed me. Individually, each act was harmless but together, the result was unaccountable domestic violence. An act of aggression against a daughter. An unhealthy obsession with a sister. An escalation of aggressive words into a life-threatening action. And even after that, the trauma continued with various family members still feeding the anger rather than help temper it. *Shakes head*
I accept this reality. I forgive your inaction. I also forgive those still actively trying to cause harm. Whether your actions were intentional or not, active or passive, I forgive you. I also understand the obsession… I am pretty magical 🙂
I’m entering a season where I’m no longer willing to outline why things are dysfunctional. I’m no longer willing to express why my heart hurts. I’m no longer waiting for an apology that I know you are unwilling to offer. I simply offer my forgiveness to you for causing me harm.
To all the people that turned their back on me in the last 13+ years all the way to the people still actively causing trouble, I know there is a hole in your heart. I know that your cup of love is not filled. I know that you acted in the best way that you know how but I also know that you had so much more potential. My trust was misplaced and I learned my lesson to not put myself in such situations.
My heart hurts for my broken family but it hurts more that you were so clouded by your own pain or perhaps fear of my abuser(s) that you simply couldn’t be the person that I needed.
I hope when the time comes that your children or grandchildren need help, that you have learned to know how to step in. I hope (for their sake) that you learned how to fill your cup of love and find the strength to protect those you love from those causing harm.
Because it’s a difficult concept to process when you tell me, “Jess, I love you” but when I asked you for help, you turned your back on me. I wouldn’t wish that lesson on my worst enemy. It’s a completely dysfunctional definition of love and unless the words mean something, they shouldn’t be said, especially to a child.
Love doesn’t hurt.
Conflicted but healing,
#WhyIWrite #MentalWellness #EmotionalAbuse #DomesticViolence #Abuse #LetGo #FlyingMonkeys #SilenceIsAcceptance #StandUp #NoMeansNo #Alliances #HealthyRelationships #LetterToHeal #JourneyToPeace