Day 13: Not the post I meant to write

I was going to write a different post – a post about boundaries and a post about how we teach other people how to treat us and how we don’t have to say that everything is okay if in fact it is not. And then I decided not to.

Families are tricky business, aren’t they?

And families that talk a lot – well, it doesn’t mean they’re actually saying what’s important.

My family never shuts up but sometimes it takes some huge epic thing to get the real words to come out. While the process sucks, I’m grateful that at lest the words do come out at some point.

I was upset yesterday – something my sister had done had triggered some feelings in me – I was sad, mad, and a little bit devastated. In fact, it tore at my mind all day. The difference between Sarah now and the Sarah from even a year ago is that instead of choking on my feelings and never saying anything, I let her know I was hurt.

And there was an afternoon of silence.

Last night she sent a long email – about the day’s events, about other stuff, about ALL OF THESE THINGS – things she’d never mentioned, things I never knew were bothering her and while it was a hard email to read, it was a relief to know what she was thinking.

If we don’t tell people what’s on our minds they can’t ever truly know. If you spend any amount of time face-to-face, surely you should pick up on something, but my sister and I have busy lives and we’re not often in the same place these days – and I had no way of knowing the things that were bothering her.

(I should also mention that problems were exacerbated by our mother who isn’t exactly known for minding her own business – as some of the things my sister was upset about were second hand inaccuracies.)

It’s only recently that I have stopped worrying so much about the effect my words might have on people. I don’t want to make people feel sad or bad and I don’t like to see anyone hurting – but the thing is, stuff generally works out somehow if you just tell it like it is. Doesn’t mean you have to be a jerk. Doesn’t mean you have to choose the meanest words your vocabulary holds. Quite the opposite really.

Maybe I didn’t handle things the best way yesterday. I don’t know. My heart was achey and my feelings were hurt and I felt unsupported by my sister, someone I care about. I felt that she should be on my side and that her actions were contrary to that and I kinda said so.

And when she wrote back, she told me why she had done what she had done, but instead of leaving it at that as she had in her texts, she apologized and said it was never her intent. She meant well. That it wasn’t worth this, this negativity we were both feeling. That she loves me. That she wants me to be happy. That she appreciates that I’ve always been one of her biggest cheerleaders. But that she’s always been here for me, rooting me on, and supporting me through all the garbage. And she has.

And I replied.

The thing is that sometimes we don’t know all the hurt someone is carrying with them if they don’t say so. And I’m glad, despite the ugliness that preceded that she could tell me how she was feeling.

It’s amazing, this life. People. We’ve all got our own stuff going on. And how would you even know?

I’m sensitive lately, that I know. And my sister said that she’s probably more sensitive than I – sounds kind of like a recipe for disaster, no? But – we know this about each other now. That’s something.

(There’s no neat way to tie up this post – have you noticed that I have that problem?)

I’d love to keep on being conflict avoidant but I think this way is better. The hurt feelings? We’ll get past it. We’ll know each other better because of it. Maybe treat each other with a little more kindness and sensitivity.

I hope.


About sarah

Sarah is a book nerd, a music lover, an endorphin junkie, a coffee addict. Oh, and a goof ball. She writes, she tweets, and she sings off key.


  1. I can relate so much to this post… and of course I can’t tell you how on a public forum, because it will land me in even more trouble…

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