Reconciling Sibling Relationships
Our steps were different, but they led back to the same place. For Marcia, the turning point came about five years ago, during an anger management workshop where she hadn’t expected to work on our relationship. “The lid came off years of stifled feelings,” she says. “The amount of rage and grief that came out of me was intense, and I realized that my relationship with you was vastly more important than I realized. I had to do something, because the tension of not being real with each other was having devastating effects on my life.”
She wrote me a letter explaining her side of things, but I couldn’t accept it; my wrath was based on an assumption that she had accused our father, in the last year of his life, of having sexually molested her as a child. We remained distant. Serendipitously, after editing a booklet on healing and reconciliation for the Center for Non-Violent Communication (CNVC), she found the tools needed to approach me from a different angle.
We began to email, tentatively at first; the phone calls came after that. At one point we had a delightful conversation. Then she sent me a videotape of her healing arts work with elderly in a nursing home. I was in awe; for the first time in 30 years, I saw my sister as she is today: compassionate, beautiful, playful, wise, and generous. In that moment, my hatred melted, and to this day I find an unbridled love for her that I would never have thought possible. We have stopped hiding from each other. And, as I found out in this interview, she never had accused our father of abuse; all of these years, I had never asked her for clarification. « 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 »