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My sister and I grew up in an extremely emotionally, and physically violent atmosphere because of my manic depressive father. It has been 10 years since he's passed away but there is so much damage because of it. There has never been a wonderful relationship between my sister and I, and my mother. I always felt sorry and protective of her, but now as I get older it has turned to rage about not protecting us and then to add further insult to injury, she doesn't want to talk about the past (I've been in counseling for 2 years), and she and my sister do not come to visit me, don't call, and don't allow me talk to my niece and nephew.

So, my question is: how long does the violence continue and how can I stop the damage that continues ripping apart my sister, my mother and myself?

Can you refer us to any books?


Your note reminded me of a friend of mine who was abused as a child by her father. She didn't address it until years after he was dead. Her siblings and her mother didn't directly deny what she was saying, but they couldn't comprehend why she wanted to address it. This drove them apart -- her wanting to deal with it and them in denial.

It's similar to the extent that it shows that each person has different ways of dealing -- and sadly, we can't always convince them of our way. Hopefully time can mend some of this and perhaps things in their lives might change to the extent that they can begin to be more reflective about what happened. Some people fear that speaking out is unfair since he can't defend himself -- but obviously not everyone feels that way. I hope that you can find a way to have a relationship with your family and then in time address this crucial element. Perhaps try to see them without addressing this, knowing that you aren't compromising, but that they aren't ready.

Take care,

-- Amy

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