I thought my sister and I were working out how to exist in a relationship. She then decided to tell me that I act exactly as I believe she acts. The emails flew. She took a stance that I won't accept anymore. When we were younger, she would lie and blame me for things that she did. In our adult lives, she once admitted to this when we were at a restaurant with my mom. Now, I perceive her words as lies yet again. She believes herself. I struggled with how much of her chaos to allow in my life. I thought about common cultural ideas around family -- they're always there for you, blood is thicker than water, no one knows you like family. I decided that those sayings don't apply in my life, and I wrote her the following letter.
I considered some of my words in my past few emails, and I apologize for utilizing "turd" and "asshole" in the context of a way in which you act. I don't intend to hurt your feelings when I feel angry. I could understand how my word choice might affect your emotion state. Instead of saying you act like a turd or asshole, I could have said that the ways in which you used your words made me feel insulted, humiliated, and unimportant.
It appears that we are in complete disagreement about our relationship and each other's behavior. You perceive me as a bully in the recent email chain and a selfish callous personality through the past 10 years. I perceive your behavior as emotionally manipulative and prone to gaslighting through our childhood and adult years. You perceive that I am playing a game with the visit. I perceive that you are playing a game with the visit.
I don't know if there's a way around this disagreement. I suspect that there is, and then I wonder when it's considered acceptable to simply throw in the towel forever and ever. Why should we both think that there's a possibility that this relationship will ever feel good and helpful for either one of us? We don't have much of a past with which to work -- it contains much pain and emotional and verbal abuse and closed communication patterns.
I respect that you perceive me as a bully and a person who caused a lot of pain in your life. I apologize for hurting you. I did not intend to do so, and in fact, I believed I was loving you and treating you with respect as best I could.
Part of us having gotten to this place where we can both decide to not interact is that we went through a long time in our lives during which we did interact. We tried. A relationship between us doesn't lead to either one of us feeling balanced, supported, and creative. We both deserve balance, support, and creative fascination in our existences and with our relationships.
I think it's amazing that we both lived through our childhoods and developed into the adults we are today. Together and individually, we experienced many challenges. Maybe it's too much for us to have a supportive and creative relationship in our adult lives. Maybe we gave each other as much as we could and got us both through our early years and now we go on and live separate lives. It's not what I pictured because in my mind we are an 80s movie and a Disney movie all rolled into one -- everyone lives happily ever after and one or both of us gets to kiss John Cusack. I thought of us as an American movie, and we're really an indie movie from another country that has a couple of American actors.
We're not compatible as adult creatures. That's ok. You love me. I love you. It's enough.
Well hello there.