Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sisters

Sarah at Writing posted about her sister and their relationship. Reading her post and others' comments made me think about my own sister and how we have dealt with everything over the years.
I am the oldest of 4 children. 2 boys and 2 girls. My sister is 5 years younger than me. When I found out our father had abused her, too, I felt guilty. Should I have known? And should I have done something to protect her? If I had reported my father, then he would not have abused her
But I was only about 9 when he started abusing her. I was just a kid myself, trying to survive. I didn't understand what was being done to me. I was not responsible. It was not my fault.
But still ...
My head understands. My heart, not so much.
My sister and I are different. We have different personalities. We handled the aftermath, the work of healing, the years since the abuse, differently. But we support each other. We understand each other.
And I go to sleep at night, knowing that there is at least one other person in this world who knows exactly how I feel.

17 comments:

Lisa Wood said...

Thank you. I have two sisters I talk about on my blog...Eve has known me for 15 years; we have a LOT of things in common she is not a 'blood' sister but she gets me. My 'blood'sister is an active drinker although I guess she has slowed down in the last year or say and she has never talked about the abuse (she may be like me and not even remember it!) I love her more today than I ever thought I could. Thanks so much for sharing your heart about your sister. I wish there wasn't such an age difference between my sister and I that way we might be able to connect about the abuse that occurred at the hands of my dad. I was 2 when it started happening for me; I think that would have made her 9 (I think) already. Gosh thanks for letting me ramble. Love and blessings ;=O)

Lisa Wood said...

Thank you Sarah. My blood sister is 9 years older than me, an alcoholic (not sure if she is an active one or not right now) and we have never, ever mentioned or talked about the fact that I know what our father did! Your post is beautiful. The sister Eve on my blog is my Soul Sister who is everything to me who has had the same trauma as me and who knows me inside and out. An angel sent from God and she is my sister!!! I love M very, very much and talk to her when I can but Eve I talk with everyday and I am so grateful she gets me. Thanks so much for your post. On my way to bed (hopefully I can shut mind off) and your post helps. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog..I love your little furry friend ;=o)

Colleen said...

Lisa, thank you so much for your visit and comment. You are really blessed to have a sister like Eve who "gets" you!! Hope you and your blood sister can connect sometime. It does help. My sister and I are 5 years apart so 7 is not too bad!
By the way, you left a comment here for Sarah. I will let you know on your blog.

Lisa Wood said...

Colleen I wrote this comment (for Sarah) when I should have been in bed. I typed the first one to you, didn't see that it needed review from you before it posted, re-posted and for some reason (tired and dealing with memories all day yesterday and PTSD I am sure) I put Sarah's name on the 2nd entry of which I should have never posted in the first place. Patience is definitely something being worked on in me but I sure appreciate the opportunity for you to come visit my blog and I hope we will visit each other in the future. Love and Blessings to you new friend ;=o)

Colleen said...

Lisa, no problem. Just didn't want you to think you wrote that to sarah, thinking she received it. Glad to make new friends! Thanks!

sarah said...

Colleen - this post...your words....your journey inspires me. Stay strong and I'm so glad to read you and your sister are close too. Sarah

Colleen said...

Sarah, thank you for your inspiring post that inspired me to write this!! Blessings!

rox said...

Colleen , thank you for writing about this topic . I so needed this . I'm soing to follow the link and read Sarah's post too. I've been praying the last few weeks regarding my relationship with my mother and the relationships between myself and siblings . I had no idea you are the eldest in your family Colleen . I am also the eldest child .
I'm to tired to write yet for the evening but will try for tomorrow . Thanks again

Colleen said...

Rox, you are welcome. I was inspired by Sarah's blog post. It is often difficult being the eldest is it not? God bless.

Patricia Singleton said...

I am also an oldest child. Colleen, I used to feel guilty about my dad abusing my younger sister who is 3 1/2 years younger than me and the baby of our family. My sister and I have a good relationship, much better than when we were younger. When I finally left home at 19, my only regret was that I couldn't take my younger sister with me. She and I were in our 30's before we talked about being sexually abused by our dad. Thanks for sharing your story. Now I am off to read Sarah's story.

April_optimist said...

I am so glad the two of you can support each other. Yes, you were only a child when your father started on her. It was not your fault or your responsibility.

Lisa Marie said...

Wow, I could have written that post. I went through a tough time this summer with shouldering the thoughts of "what I could have done" to save my sister from her abuse. But like you said, you were a kid... so was I. The healing will come in time. God bless.

Colleen said...

Patricia, boy, we do have a lot in common don't we? We were in our 20's when I found out she had been abused too. It started the long slow journey toward healing. Thanks.

April, thank you so much. I need reminding of that sometimes.

Lisa Marie, I sure know how you feel. But the guilt and shame belong to our abuser. Not us. God bless you, too.

hopefortrauma said...

Colleen, Sisters are so special. I have one but she wasn't hurt during childhood. My sister always blames herself for not saving me. I feel bad that she feels that. But as you said "My head understands. My heart, not so much." is so true and real. Your last sentence is so beautiful.
Thanks for writing this.
-Hope

Colleen said...

hopefortrauma, thank you so much for your visit. You are right - sisters are special. We are blessed to have them in our lives!

Marj aka Thriver said...

I know exactly what you mean--I have a lot of guilt about my sister being abused, too. But, regardless of the child's age, it was an ADULT who had the responsibility of protection, not another child.

Thank you so much for your honesty and courage in sharing, and especially for letting us use this great post for THE BLOG CARNIVAL AGAINST CHILD ABUSE.

Colleen said...

Bless you Marj. Thank you for all you do.