How can so many smiling pictures I post not even come close to portraying what hurt and sadness and betrayal I feel inside? It truly amazes me how well I have learned over the years and decades to bury these feelings so well. Yet still, I am unable to forever hide this pain and these thoughts from my self. This post is one which will be different from the many you may have read. I truly do not like to vent my sadness or my hurt and would rather choose to post only the bright and positive and of the good of things to come. But the weight that has been hiding and lurking within is becoming more and more omnipresent in my conscious thoughts by day and my agitated lucid dreams by night.
My mom passed away a horrible death from dementia in January... something I blogged about in this link here. It was the end to many of the dark secrets and more dark secrets I had written about and hoped were put firmly behind me. Yet the box of Pandora is rarely kept closed for long without it being opened again by another event, another force... out of one's own control. Just such a box and chapter of life has re-emerged and it saddens me to no end.
Sadly, I have had to de-friend my own sister from facebook. I had shared the true nature of my self with her on a night out for dinner last November. As I mulled over a glass of wine, I shared pictures of Christen and tried to explain to her what had been a hidden part of me for so many years. I needed to share this with her as I could not play act the rest of my life without being true to my own self and with the others who were part of my very family. Because of the strife in our family and the divisions created by both my mother and father, I never really had a relationship in growing up with my sister (learned later to be a half-sister only in recent years). My mother's hopes and some of the final words she uttered as she slipped into a deeper and deeper dementia were that she wished that out of this life's mess, that I would find a way to reconnect with my sister. And so I did... and I shared my self with her and set her up to know this blog and to connect on Facebook.
All seemed well enough at first.... but then....like fresh paint on a rotting house, the peeling began. At first I tried to slough these bits and chips of peeling paint as nothing to be concerned with save for my own fears. It started with my sister's impending trip back east from her home out west. She was coming to Boston to take her friends on a trip to show them the historical sites. Joanne and I both had asked if we might be able to see her when she did come out but yet her reply was that she would likely be too busy to undertake time to meet up with us.
I still thought that there might be a chance to meet up for coffee or a quick visit anyway and so Joanne had emailed her prior to her trip to wish her a good one and to ask when she was coming. She received no reply from that email. When I asked her after her trip why she did not bother to give us a call when she was out our way, her reply was that she had heard that we were going on a trip sometime in September and thought we were away when she was here. We had never had the opportunity to tell her the dates of our trip in the month of September so there was no way for her to be sure unless she called... or had wanted to call... to find out. Not knowing when our trip was exactly and not bothering to find out was a convenient excuse for a convenient truth.
And then... on a day in September when I had come down to Boston to visit with Joanne's mom, I also stopped by my mother's grave to pay my respects. When we arrived at her tombstone, we both were surprised to see a bouquet of Mum's laying gently on top of it. I was shocked, for I knew that my father had not visited as I had checked immediately with him upon discovery. There was no one else either who would have visited. All of my mother's relatives had forsaken my mother and the entire family years earlier and so there was no one else who would have visited her grave to leave those flowers but my sister.
We left our own flowers next to the other arrangement, took a picture of them both there and reflected in silence for a while before leaving as an ever deepening blue sky heralded the approach of evening. The next day, I uploaded my picture to her wall on Facebook with the caption: "Hey Sis, I visited Mom's grave and was wondering whose flowers were left there already?" Now it is important to note that I had not ever posted anything on my sister's wall that would tie Christen to her as brother and sister but I needed to know if she was avoiding me for who I was and to find out if she was ashamed to have met me in the presence of her friends. Was this, then, the reason perhaps why she did not want to meet up with us on her trip out?
Interestingly, my sister's wall saw very little activity and she never seemed to be online and would never post to any of my updates or pictures. But, although I thought she was not on very often, truth be told that no sooner did I put that post up which associated myself and her as family to all of her friends, did that post disappear in a matter of a few hours.
Not only did that post associating me with her to all of her friends on Facebook disappear, but so did every post I ever put along with those of Joanne. All ties and clues associating Joanne or Christen disappeared in a flash. I was heartbroken and so emailed her of my utter hurt which that had caused. A day went by and then I received a long-winded and relatively stolid and monotonic voice mail in which she explained that she had not purposely removed Joanne's and my posts but that it was some sort of Facebook glitch that must have occurred . She claimed that perhaps her lack of familiarity with Facebook had something to do with this weird anomalous behavior and disappearing act. She further related how much she cared for both of us and that how not ashamed she was to know of my gender variance.... and that any thoughts otherwise were contrived by my own imagination and created within my own head.
I had received that voicemail while out on a hike in the White Mountains and so, when I returned down from the hike and back home that evening, I went online to her page and lo and behold, EVERY POST that Joanne and I had ever made to her page and that had ALL been removed, suddenly reappeared. She had in effect, not deleted them but simply "hid" them all from view by others. That was the icing on the cake and I knew... as obviously as it must be to all who are reading this, what must be going on and truly what is.
I never returned that call to her after I saw this.... I didn't have the words to... and it has been two months without another call from her. Silence speaks to me the answer which needs no words.
Looking back, I recalled when I came out to my sister back in November that I had voiced that I had wished to tell each of her two son's about me on my own, and in person when the time I fell was right. I was able to tell my oldest nephew. He seemed to be alright with it when I told him but later heard back through my sister that he was having a hard time dealing with it and accepting me. When I confronted him to ask him about this he denied he ever said such a thing. He also ignored my attempts to communicate with him on Facebook and would not keep in touch. After many months, both Joanne and I defriended him as well. We have heard no contact nor inquiry from him of our sudden absence.
As for my sister's younger son, who is 24, my sister took it upon herself to tell him about me without heeding my initial request so that I could have the opportunity to explain. His response to finding out about me was, "It Figures". Basically, I took this to mean that with all the craziness of the past and the hidden secrets and lies, that I was just "F'ed" in the head . I never received a phone call from him, ever, and if I do, I shall be skeptical of reason and intent.
Since this blog is public space, I fully expect, that there are eyes which watch silently in the shadows and yet not wishing to communicate with me. Likely this story will be continued if and when that email arrives one day in my inbox or if the phone ever rings. My heart is leaden though, saved by my spouse who loves me with all her heart and soul and who understands me like no other would or could.... and it is saved too by all those who consciously choose to call me a friend and who have and continue to be the light through this maze of hidden deceit and lies and darkness which surrounds the very essence of my life. Perhaps that darkness, sprinkled with but a tinge of hope, comes through in my music on my pages here.... perhaps now you may have some conception of how one who should seem to be so happy with all she has can still lament for what she has lost, regained, lost again, and, in the final act of the mirage of family.... never really had. That what she thought she had was really all lies and deceit and cover-ups to create convenient truths and live that were never true and love which was never there.
Words may speak intentions, but actions can only materialize the promises of utterances made. And in the solitude of the silence which remains, the unspoken truth resounds.