Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Something dumb this way comes

This is what I wrote on FLAK about my conversation with my younger sister. Obviously this was written before I had talked with my older sister yesterday.

My conversation with my younger sister didn't go quite so well. I mean, overall it did, but I started to babble and drool. I so wanted her to not feel threatened by me that I basically said that she should feel open to sharing spiritual experiences with me (please, please bear your testimony to me!) and that she needn't worry about me "mocking" her (she actually said that word) or casting "pearls before swine" (that last one was me. What?! I'm comparing myself to swine now?!? Get me off the phone NOW!) Sigh.

I know my sister doesn't really think I'll mock her, but that she used that word anyway, and had the guts to say that she isn't sure she'll feel open to sharing her spiritual side with me, was hard to take and I just fell flat on my face. Fortunately she is less TBM than my older sister and my mother and I think I will be able to "straighten" things out over time. I haven't talked with my older sister yet and really dread it.

Overall, right now I know I did what was best and what I needed to, but I wish it would all go away. I am so tired and depressed. I feel no relief of stress or "happiness" or anything like I had hoped I would after sending the letter. I keep picturing myself handling everything with confidence and dignity. That conversation proved I lack both right now! Smile I think that those things will come with time, but that I am just dealing with a lot of difficult emotions and I have never really learned how to assert myself with dignity or confidence. I hope I get it fast before I really do something stupid.


ykoops said...

The anticipation was killing me. I was counting the time zones to see when you were most likely to post. From the other side of the world that is alot of time zones. You took a huge step and I admire that of you. I have followed your blogs for a while now and they have helped in so many ways. I have so many questions for you but will wait for another time. For now I wish you the best and look foward to your posts.


Gluby said...

I know I've told you, but I'll say it here too: you did fine, all things considered. It is really difficult to face the disapproval of peers and authority figures from whom you had before had solid approval, and from whom you had consciously sought it.

I'll remind you that Bertrand Russell (yes, I know I'm quoting him a lot lately, but I just read three books by him, damn it) wrote something very insightful. There is a certain courage needed to face danger, to face bullets in war, to do difficult things. But the courage to face the disapproval of one's society, peers and former mentors is a whole order of magnitude higher. It ain't an easy thing, and yet you're still doing it. NO one leaves a cult -- even the most egregious of them -- without enormous difficulty.

So, you're doing great and I love you.

One thing you didn't mention here is that your younger sister saw fit to open the conversation with "I don't hate you."

Now, I know she did not mean that nearly so badly as it sounds; LB and her younger sister are close, they're familiar and feel comfortable being relatively direct with each other, and the family has a very dry sense of humor that endures through bleak times. To a considerable extent, I have no doubt she meant this in that half-joking way.

But, nevertheless, it displays a certain feeling of entitlement, a certain presumptuousness beyond the call of duty, to say such a thing. And, of course, it is a display of at least a detectable amount of passive-aggressiveness.

While her older sister's anger helped steel LB against it, her younger sister's more empathetic way of communicating just threw LB totally off, and she, well, screwed the pooch.

It was a hard lesson to learn, but now she's having to develop coolness under fire, a skill that can only be learned, well, under fire, because it involves our dealing with emotions that cannot be evoked in simulation or practice.

After the first emotional jolt during her conversation with her older sister, and after she resisted the invitation to a dance that could only be counterproductive, she was cool from then on.

It was only afterward that she was a mess.

Again, you're showing courage and you're doing great!

Sister Mary Lisa said...

Gluby, must you point out that she was a mess, ever? It's not something most women like to be reminded of. Gosh.

LB, I'm very proud of you. You have done this kindness for your family, when really it isn't their business or their life, and you have shared out of love for them. I know you will be happier in the long run not to have this boulder hanging over your head, threatening to drop at any second.

Take care, and don't worry. Those who really love you, do so no matter what you are. :)

Gluby said...

Yes, I must. You, more than most, know that your question is akin to asking the zebra why he must have stripes.

And you know that I merely seek to speak truth with compassion. Honor others, honor yourself, and honor reality, and you'll always do fine.

Sister Mary Lisa said...

My reality is that I'm thinking of coming over there and kicking your ass. That's all. Is that so honorable??


Gluby said...

Be gentle.

Sister Mary Lisa said...

You wish.

Lemon Blossom said...

Ha! You guys are hilarious!

Sister Mary Lisa said...

Sorry, LB. Didn't mean to take over, but us wimmens need to stick together. We don't need our truths pointed out to us (and everyone else) ALL the time, do we???

Lemon Blossom said...

Definitely not!

I certainly enjoyed reading the exchanged, so no apology is necessary. And, yes, us wimmens do need to stick together. You get 'im! (Sorry sweetie!) :)

Happy Birthday!!

Lemon Blossom said...

Kyoops - Welcome and thank you for your sweet comments! I love hearing from lurkers, especially if something I have written has been able to somehow help them.

And please feel free to ask any questions whenever you have them. You can send me an email or just post one in the comments. We'll support each other. :)

Freckle Face Girl said...

Such a tough experience and it sounds like you handled it well. It was good to stumble a little more with the easy going sister & prep yourself for the other one. I hope they are able to compose themselves and understand where you are coming from soom. Best of luck.

Cele said...

LB, undoubtly you are up to the task, despite doubts inside yourself. Your sharing your experience with the rest of us has more restorative powers than you would initially imagaine. We learn from your example and experience, you are growing, and your family will have to find a new appreciation and respect for you, your determination, and your self merit.

The comment your sister made about not hating you, cracked me up. It's not her place to hate you for something you did not do to her. And yet often, because we are so unsure of our own footing in a situation we stay stupid things just like that.

I would love to say the Lemon Blossom is maturing through the process - but that would mean you're a fruit or a Lemon.

Gawd, I hope that made you laugh.

Bishop Rick said...

What they said.

Just my 2 cents.

JulieAnn said...

The big picture--look at the big picture and how you're growing. You'll be fine. My 3 cents and what everyone else said except the whole SML and Gluby thing which started to get a little weird...not sure I wanna reiterate any of that! LOL

Just one of many said...

They say time heals ALL wounds...I'm still waiting and it has been a year since I left. At least your family is willing to talk you! As long as there is communication, there is hope! Be happy you "Swine"! LOL!! I second SML's need for a good ole ass kickin!!

Jer said...

I was hoping for relief of stress when I told my parents as well but it got rocky for a while with my Mom.

With each new discovery (regular underwear, coffee, beer) she's had a freak-out but she's coming to tolerate it, even if she doesn't accept it.

Asserting yourself with dignity and confidence is something you learn how to do over time. Be kind to yourself and understand that you're human, subject to some particularly strong emotions right now.

Much congratulations and hugs for your bravery in telling your family. I know how tough it can be.

Gluby said...

It helps to not be knee-deep in Mormonism. It's an order of magnitude more difficult to "come out" when everyone you know and associate with is Mormon. The same problem exists with many similar organizations.

Of course, this has been five years of living with this whole thing since I came to my own realization. If we lived in that kind of situation I would have gone crazy looong ago.