Tuesday, October 16, 2012

"A great truth is a truth whose opposite is also a truth." - Thomas Mann


There is an Indian (dot, not feather) parable of a bunch of blind men who go and visit an elephant.  And because the elephant is so huge, each one can touch only one portion.  So each describes the elephant as something different (rope, wood, etc.)  Here is the link if you want to read the real thing and not my overly simplified version.

Anywhoozle. 
 
My 5 sisters and I, we are like the blind guys.  And the elephant would be (in turns) our childhoods and our parents.  That is to say, our memories are all different, and all valid.

I am (as of last year) living within 2 hours of my eldest sister.  She is 9-years older – that is a huge difference when you are kids.  When I was 8, she was getting ready to graduate high school and go on to college.  I was playing tag while she was being a cheerleader and going on dates and – you know – it was a hugely different perspective on everything.  I have been asking about some of this stuff - I want her version of the stories.

As the youngest, I lived with the insanity the longest.  As the scapegoat, I got much more of the abuse.  HOWEVER.  Nobody, none of the sisters, got out of that situation without some scars.  As the eldest, she SAW more clearly the insanity of what was happening in Florida with our egg donor mother.  She saw dad come and ‘rescue’ us.  I don’t really remember any of that – I was from birth to 5-years old.  I have IMPRESSIONS and flashing glimpse memories, but she was 12-years old when he came?  Maybe as young as 10, but still – your brain records solid memories by that time.  (he came and took the older ones, evidently I had to stay until I was ready for 1st grade) (which, jeebus - they knew the insanity but left me anyway ANOTHER STORY *ahem*)

I would venture to say, if one needed to apply labels, that she was the GC to my SG.  But she will be the first to tell you that her life was far from sunshine and lollypops either.  She has had (and felt she needed) more therapy than any of the rest of us combined.   And the rest of the sisters – well, the one older from me, was Practically Perfect In Every Way.  She could dance ballet on pointe.  She was the singing lead in several high school plays.  She was a cheerleader.  She made straight A’s.  She was responsible.  And the pressure just about KILLED her.  I never, ever, envied her.   She saw and heard most of the physical beatings and mental abuse I went through.   That had to have been a fucked up thing too.  If she had jumped in, she would have been setting her own self up for the same abuse.  Save your sister or save yourself.  Two different angles on the same thing.  Everyone was abused, everyone saw the abuse, we all were affected by everything.

As I write my stories, I am also asking questions of family.  I am finally reading the backs of some of the photographs I have, and there is a wealth of information there (I tend to *bleep* over things which is part of my memory problems).  I am finding out that maybe we lived in a different house than I thought, or maybe an incident happened a different way than what my child brain processed.  I saw things through my filter of being the SG – the rest of the sister saw the same thing through their own filters.  The truth is somewhere in the mix of everyone’s story.

The point being, I updated the story on Judith’s accident to reflect the new info I received.  I will continue to do the same with ALL stories.  I want the truth.  All of it.  Sure I know that my impression of an incident is VALID.  I do NOT feel that my truths are wrong.  And telling the truth about anything will NEVER make the narcs version ‘right’ or ‘wholesome’.  But I want the whole story.  Even if it means I need to re-think a story.  Because the truth was always hidden, and it is now THE most important part of my remembering all of this.  I want TRUTH. 

12 comments:

  1. Great post. My sister is seven, she will tell you six, years older than me. But I keep picking her brain to flesh out stories I was too young to digest. The thing that frustrated me most was finding out the magnitude of the lies my mother told to minimize her culpability in events and worse,to make herself look like some sort of hero.
    It's nice to turn the triangulation back on them for a change.

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    1. I know that Qsis will tell me that she at least LOOKS six years younger than you do. :)

      I'm sorry that they (older sibs) have more solid memories, but they are SO useful in helping us understand...

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    2. hahahaha, you know me well, Gladys!

      For me I'd like the memories to be gone. They need to sell Memory-B-Gone for just unpleasant ones.

      Q's Sis

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  2. Gladys,
    Fantastic post. I hope that you get some of the pieces put together so that you can shine the light on them.

    My sister and brother skipped merrily down the narc path with my Nparents, so I'm left with only my own memories, which I've learned to trust when they come, if they come. I hope that you get to touch and see every single piece of the elephant in your search for TRUTH!

    Love,
    Vanci

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  3. Thanks you guys. I don't want to invalidate our truths the way we remember them - our memories are made up of much more than 'bare facts'. Smells, textures, what happened at school or the previous day - it all gets mushed together to form a memory. I guess I want to remember the elephant from my one angle, and also see all the other angle I want to try see the whole thing.

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  4. *...and also see all the other angles - I want to try see the whole thing* (damned fingers)

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  5. Gladys, I enjoy your blog very much, and a lot of your experiences resonate with me. I have a sister 12 years older who is an automaton naturally, so the meds she's taking don't help further along her communication skills. I can't call her the GC exactly because my mother didn't like either one of us; I guess I can say that my sister was less neglected than I. I live within 20 minutes of these people and haven't been in contact in 5 years (my husband has never met any of my family). I can't contact my sister because she is controlled by her abusive husband and our destructive mother. I destroyed all photos 20 years ago, so I have nothing to refer to; I don't regret that decision. I look forward to reading more of your story; it helps me deal with how much I loathe my mother.

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    1. Thank you Tex Friend - thank you for reading, thank you for commenting. I really appreciate it.

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  6. Keep going on your journey, Gladys. Remember, they're singin' harmony (and maybe off tune) to YOUR song.
    TW

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    1. Thank you TW - this blogging thing IS a pretty self-centered enterprise. Sometimes it makes me very uncomfortable to talk only about ME - but I am the central character in my story - if I wanna tell it, it's ME ME ME all the damned time!

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  7. Oh my Gawwwwdddd. What a fantastic blog! I just discovered you, Gladys Kravitz, and am so proud to be one of your ungrateful little bastards. Ethel Mertz, Aka Cal's Sis

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