I've reached my limit! I am not going to try to spend the holidays with you anymore. How can you be so insensitive? We have lost both our mom and dad, and you are the only close family I have here. It puzzles me how these occasions are of no significance to you. Therefore, I am giving up. I will seek comfort and camaraderie among my friends. This is how I felt after many holidays without my sister.
I was disappointed and saddened that my sister didn't seem interested in spending time with me on the holidays. We always got along okay as we grew up, but she had her life, and I had mine. Yet, the loss of our parents seemed like it would naturally bring us together, fulfilling a desire and need in each other's lives for companionship and family bonds. Despite my hopes, I've decided it's time to move on.
We have all seen this between family or friends, or maybe you have experienced it first-hand, where they are so tired of not seeing eye to eye that they walk away, throwing in the towel. These broken relationships, unfortunately, can last a lifetime, leaving behind what might have been the seeds of a warm, supportive bond, now with wounds too deep for reconciliation. Both sides stand firmly in opposition.
In one final effort, I wrote my sister a letter expressing my disappointment. This way, she could sit with my words and understand my pain. It was apparent we disagreed; at least I'll get to express myself before quitting.
As I began to write, I inhaled deeply, centering myself in a place of compassion. I didn't want to be harsh or throw blame. I knew that type of communication would only reinforce the barrier between us. My hope was for her to be receptive to my emotions. Regardless of the outcome, I knew I couldn't go wrong if I humbly spoke from my heart, even if it didn't work out.
In the days after my letter, my sister reached out. She wanted to talk and clear the air. She expressed that she had always wanted to spend time with me, too, and that her disappointment didn't lie in the holidays but throughout the year. She said I was immersed in work, and when I did have time off, I spent it with other friends, leaving her feeling neglected.
Well, I sure didn't see that coming. She was right. I was caught up in my life. I didn't make that effort. The holidays were the times I set aside for us to be together and share that family bond. This was eye-opening, as I had no idea she felt this way.
The letter I wrote was the best thing I could have ever done. It was transformative. We realized we both wanted the same thing: a loving relationship, but what that looked like to each of us was different. I may have never seen her side had I never written that letter, opening up communication. We could have been at odds for a lifetime, and how unfortunate would that have been, missing out on what could have been?
I often hear from people in broken relationships how terrible the other person is to them: this may undoubtedly be true. However, it takes courage, an open mind, and vulnerability to take the first step in mending them.
Consider the adage about how when you point one finger at someone, there are four pointing back at you. It's a hard concept to accept, and I hadn't even considered it initially.
If you have friends or family you are at odds with but know deep in your heart that you are longing for love and friendship, ponder the possibility that maybe they do, too. It is certainly worth the risk to find out. We all know the saying nothing ventured, nothing gained. Imagine what could be gained. It could be closure or, like in my case, it may be a beautiful relationship celebrated throughout the year, including the holidays.
Wishing you happy and healthy relationships,