Working on a bridge thought about my sister.
Our mother died when she was 8 and I was 3 and my sister stepped into the mother role. When she turned 16, she moved from Kenya to the US while I stayed in Kenya. When I turned 18, I moved to the US and lived with her for 6 months. During this period, she went through a divorce, a bankruptcy and chose to move to Korea to teach English. The story I told myself was she abandoned me, thoughts I have worked hard to change to “she needed to do her work, I needed to grow and not depend on her, and it was meant to always happen that way as I become stronger”. She moved to the US 15 years ago and I realized quickly, she was not interested in having a relationship with me; she moved to another state, told me I was not going to be her children’s God mother after I asked her to me my children’s god mother, we had little interaction, cut me off when I tried to build a friendship and was very guarded. I thought I was ok with it, as I had made a life and was fine, but could not help but feel “abandoned”. (Before SCS, I thought I had abandonment issues; mother and aunt’s death, my sister leaving and other key relationships ending.)
1 year ago she calls me unexpectedly begging that I “rescue her from Africa”, where she had moved with her current husband. My husband and I helped her and her girls return to the US and were there for her no matter what she needed: helped with the girls, money, moving, listening ear etc. I felt for the first time, in a long time I finally, had my sister back and felt we were becoming friends. Eventually, her husband moved to the US and she started withdrawing again and has done a few things that have hurt my feelings and I have tried to work on; told me she cannot walk with me as she needs to focus on her girls, told me that I should not try to fix her when she talks about her problems with her husband, told me she is driving out of state to see a friend (one I feel she treats more as sister and is the one she asked to be God mother to her kids) and today told me she will not talk to me about her problems.
T- she is choosing not to have a relationship with me again
A-let her know that her choosing not to have a relationship with me hurts
R-sister becomes defensive and pushes away
T-is going through a lot and needs to work on herself
A-accept her as she is and work on me and my need to have relationships be equal
R-I grow and be empathetic to people
As I was doing this work, I realized I have more work to do.
I have not always thought I should have more relationships and I currently have few. I have always been the type of person who appreciates deep, honest and authentic relationships. I have been told I have an old soul and I love learning how the brain works and how to help people. A girlfriend asked me why I needed to have authentic honest conversations and all I could say was “ it feeds my soul and jazzes me up”. Most people seem to be turned off by me and how deep I am and I have been learning to keep my mouth shut, which is so hard and I hate, because I am not being my authentic self. Therefore, with my sister telling me ‘not to fix her’ and withdrawing, she hit two soft spots. Why do I feel the need to help people who do not want to be helped or why do I need to show people the work I have done? Sorry having a very hard time coming up with a model. Any pearls of wisdom to help me through this?
Thank you so much.