I had to cool off lest I write each and every detail of the trip down to visit my parents and not only bore everyone to tears but also bring the rage temperature back up to thermonuclear levels. So you'll get an overview. Believe me, I'm doing you a favor.
Going back before the trip, I can see how I was being manipulated into the whole "I'm a crappy daughter/sister" thing in spite of calling my parents 2-4 times a month. Apparently face-to-face conversations are the only ones that make you a good daughter. So my sisters, my mother, and apparently my aunt have been "discussing" me lo these many months and one sister decided to let me in on one aspect of the conversation: Kathy can't be bothered to come down.
So then they tell me that my dad is in the hospital with pneumonia, not very good at all and his last wish is to see me "one more time." I rushed around trying to get everything in place, all the while dreading this because I could write the script that plays out once I get down there.
Twelve grueling hours later Zach and I were there and my mother had waited up for us in spite of me telling her not to, that I would get a room. Knowing her the way I do, I drove past the house looking for a light on in case she did decide to wait up. She did.
She managed to find fault with me, mostly for not getting there when I supposedly said I would be there. I didn't actually give her a time, but told her it would be about 11 hours. She then told everyone, every time we saw them, that I had said I would be there at 11 and didn't get there until 12:30 a.m. and also let everyone know it had been five years since we had been there. Just in case they didn't know what a crappy daughter I was before then.
It was like that the whole week: finding fault with everything I do, trying to fix my health problems because it's obvious I'm just too lazy/rebellious or whatever to take her advice and then my dad started up (he wasn't dying by the way) on the rest of my life.
So why on earth do I continue to subject myself to the pain...and I mean pain...of family interactions. It's obvious that they bypass me whenever anything goes on, only letting me know after the fact, after everyone has already decided. When Mom and Dad want to get rid of their stuff, my sisters and their children get to pick through everything and we get what no one else wants.
I thought a lot about this on the way home. It kept me awake the night before we got here because I discovered, beneath the rage, a raw pain that hurt so bad it brought tears to my eyes. And I don't cry. Haven't cried over me 3 years or so and then it was for my cat's death. Sappy movie, I'll bawl my eyes out. But for me and my life..not so much.
In Christianity you can't keep your anger. You have to get rid of it because having it is a sin. So what we did was suppress it, hide it beneath our other emotions and let it manifest itself in high blood pressure and weight gain. I'm choosing this time to ride the wave, use the anger and hang onto it. If I let it go, I'll be back to letting them walk all over me because I'll have "forgotten" all about how they treated me.
So as Inannasstar said...I'm going to embrace the anger. I'm going to use it to make me stronger and a better person. One thing I'm learning is that the dark is as important as the light. We need it in order to have the balance our lives need. We need to stop avoiding emotions that aren't all sunshine and lollipops.
From now on, all my successes and failures are mine. I will own them. They will belong only to me. If I succeed, it has nothing to do with them. They won't push me into my success and they won't hinder me from reaching it. Win or lose it's mine.
I'm not sure I'm strong enough to divorce myself from them completely but I am going to work at getting to be strong enough to see them only on my terms. My older sister, the minister, wanted to stay with me next month on her way to a friend's wedding. I turned her down because I don't have room and I don't want to have to deal with her right now, especially in light of the way they manipulated me into going down on a visit I couldn't afford either emotionally or financially. It will take me a few months to recover from it.
One thing that makes this visit different from any other, though, was the Goddess. I could reach out to her without feeling like I needed to fix myself first. Unlike another deity, I didn't have to be pure before I could approach her. It felt unconditional. Which apparently isn't there with my family or their god either.
So while it was grueling emotionally, spiritually and physically, I think it was important I went because I learned so much about myself, that it's not me, I'm not the bad guy here. I've spent a lifetime, including my adult life, listening to them tear me down with only rare moments of building up. And I've taken it because I though I deserved it. I know now, I don't.
So I'm going to ride the wave, embrace Lillith, and grow emotional and spiritual muscles. And I'm not going to look back. My life is out there, not back there.