Tuesday, September 02, 2008


"I got that for you," my mom says excitedly.
I look at her and think to myself, "you sick, sick woman."
I don't say anything.
I don't encourage her glee.
I make a mental note to myself to put this on the growing list of
what not to do as a mother of adult children.

This morning my older brother is coming to see me. We live 600 miles apart and in the past 28 years since I've left home, he's stopped in for coffee once for about 10 minutes. He has good friends who live in our area and he and his wife come to see them every so often. I never know he's been here until after the fact. I think that's weird and at the same time totally normal because we haven't worked at any relationship in the past 30+ years since he left home. C'est la vie.

My mom, in her infinite manipulation, pinned him down a few weeks ago when she learned he was coming up here to see his friends. She knows it bothers me that he never stops in. What she can't grasp is that it's really none of her business. So she says to him "And what day will you be visiting Hope?" And with that he gives her a date. When she was here last week she was so excited to tell me she had wrangled a commitment out of him. A commitment I never asked her to get.

Last night I was doing up the last of the dishes and wondering if my brother would follow through. Right at that moment the phone rang. It was my brother calling to get directions to my house and to tell us when he'd be here today as planned. Planned by our mother, that is, although neither of us say that.

In a few hours he'll be on my doorstep. His wife of 30 years has never been to our home. I have no relationship with either of them and I feel like I'm about to entertain strangers. I have no idea if he really wants to come see me or if he's simply keeping his word to our mom. Fr. Charlie encouraged me last week to simpy be myself, to speak my truth. I suck at small talk. The deep stuff I can do in a heartbeat. The small talk gets stuck in my throat. I don't know if they'll be here for 10 minutes or a few hours.

This will be the first time I'll be seeing my brother since I've been going for counseling to heal the wounds of childhood sexual abuse. He was the first perpetrator. Sometimes I wonder if he remembers that incident.
The one that changed me at my core.
Sometimes I wonder.


Beth said...

My heart is in my throat, reading this.

Praying for you this morning.

dawna said...

good luck hope... you've been doing well at being yourself lately, but i understand why you'd be nervous. i hope it goes well for you.

owenswain said...

Serve instant coffee.

Sorry, what you are talking aboutis heavy and I'm making light. Just don't have words of wisdom. Maybe something good will come of this. One has to hope so.

Recovery Re-Run said...

Oh Hope. I am almost holding my breath now. Please let us know how it turns out. Bless you sister. I am also an incest survivor.

Jim said...

I'm probably too late to put this into prayer, but I'm certainly hoping and believing God is in the incident......

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you, Hope. I hope all goes well.

Anonymous said...

I now know why God connected us. My new wife of almost three years suffers from abuse from an early age. We rarely talk about it but it has defined her whole life. I pray for complete healing and restoration, but her past rears its ugly head once in awhile when I least expect it.

Peace and Love,

annie said...

Hoping you are able to hang on to yourself and that things will go well for you.

daisymarie said...

We have this in common, too. I've seen my brother three times in the past 18 yrs. My mother manipulates me into contact with my sister, but we all don't expect anything out of Marty. He's married to the military and that's supposed to make it okay. Wierd.

I hope your visit went way better and there was no swallowed small talk.

Anonymous said...

I can so identify with the lies and distancing and manipulation -- your family sounds like one big blind spot. My family members have been dangerous strangers or deluded blunderers so much of my life.

Take care and I am thinking of you...

Peter said...