My family and I went to my ex-brother in law’s wake last night.
It was hard.
Because it was emotional for me and for my youngest daughter.
And also because of some of the things I was told by David’s mother and a friend who used to be a very close friend of my mother. I was told things about my sister and my mother that while it did not at all surprise me, made me feel really ashamed to be a part of my family.
I knew some of my sister’s side of the story about her divorce and the problems she had after the divorce.
I had counseled her, at least for a time before she shut me out of her life, to be extremely cautious before casting certain accusations.
And then I heard from David’s mother their side of the story and what my sister had said and done, before the divorce, during the divorce, and after the divorce. It sounded eerily similar to what I have heard and seen my mother do to my father.
I never believed the accusations at the time, because it just didn’t fit with what I knew of him (and I told this to David’s mother).
All I kept thinking about was the years and years of dad-bashing my mother did to and about my real father. The years and years of parental alienation syndrome that she tried to foist upon my two older sisters and I.
In my head, a little movie played out – one where my sister was maliciously attacking David and poisoning her children against him for years as my mother attacked my father and tried to poison my two older sisters and I against him.
As tragic as his death was, I can already see a blessing that he will never have to be subjected to years of verbal abuse as my dad was and he will never be eventually painfully forced out of his children’s lives like my dad was for 19 years.
I was told on Tuesday by a professional in the mental health field that “Healthy people go get help. Unhealthy people don’t. Sociopaths go after healthy people” And it dawned on me – my family of origin has NEVER gone to get help for their dysfunctions. Not one therapy session. Not one support group meeting. Nothing.
When I was asked about how I was, from a longtime friend of both David’s mother and my mother how I have been since she’d seen me last about 10 years ago – I said, “well, I’ve been in a lot of therapy…”.
And I realized that I’m a lot healthier now for having begun my healing journey. I have a ways to go, but I can honestly say the time I’m investing in my own self-care and healing is starting to show dividends already.
I might have left the abuse behind, but I realize, the abuse was still going on with new targets.