I can't sleep. I feel subdued, undermined. You name it, I’m feeling it. I’m weary, heartily sick of it all. I know, you’re wanting to know why? Just give me time and I’ll try to explain.
So here I am, lovely home, smashing family, absolutely wonderful husband. Why do I let them get to me? Truth is, I don't know.
My Dad died four months ago. It was hard but I was determined to stay with him till the end. I was declared morbid for that!
'Would you like to die alone?' I asked them.
I was told quite coldly 'he wouldn’t have known anything about it'. So on it went. Snide comments, criticism. As if losing my dear Dad wasn't enough. My oldest sister was the worst, but true to her word since then she’s had, 'No more to do with me.' Her very words not mine.
My other sister had a go, brought up my past, threw it all in my face - as she often does when we argue. I told her, I didn't want any more to do with her either. Yet here I am, four months down the line, getting on with my life, grieving for my Dad. We went on holiday in July, had a lovely, peaceful time. Came home to get on with things. When it arrived.
The email asking what was happening. It was really meant for my hubby, the executor of my Dad's will. I passed it on to him. He replied and got a return saying she, my other sister, was contacting me. It seemed there were unresolved issues. An apology perhaps? No such luck. The email came. I begrudgingly opened it. It floored me, it contained everything she’d said when Dad died. I was incensed. So I rang to ask her the meaning of it all. She ranted and raved for several minutes and brought up my past again.
'I don't need this,' I said, placing the red-hot phone back in its cradle. No, I thought, be strong, don't let her get to you. I repeated my plea, adding what was past was past, I was trying to forget it, get on with my life. Couldn't she? Now the crunch came.
Very quietly, she said, ‘I’m sorry but I can’t promise, when we have a spat, that I won’t bring your past up again.’
I calmly replied, if she felt like that then I thought we shouldn’t have any more contact and I was sure her husband would agree.
'Yes, he’s told me not to have anything to do with you.' She announced, 'but you are my sister.'
I wanted to scream at her 'I’m not your sister. I’m a punch bag for your own shortcomings, your guilt for not doing any more for Dad other than your duty. Your jealousy because you don't have the life I have. Stuck, as you are, in a loveless marriage, with kids too afraid to come to you with their problems.'
So you vent your pent up emotions, guilt, jealousy, whatever, by taking it out on me, by trying to exert your power over me. Making me weak, admit I’m wrong, that you’re better than I am. Well I won't do it, I feel the rebel inside me growing. I won't succumb to your power driven mind games! If I do, you win and I go under, become some demented fifty something, on drugs to keep me sane. Oh, you’d like that. You and my oldest sister would delight in declaring to the world that you were right all along. That I am mad, mad because I can't sleep, feel subdued, undermined. But you know what, I’m not any more! I feel a strength that will carry me through all the rough times ahead that I know sorting Dad's stuff out will cause. I won't let you get to me. I will rebel! Why? Because I am my Father's daughter and he had the strength I feel now. I won't let you win!