Friday, May 30, 2008

Narcissist Death-Beds and Funerals

On my May 21st post I was posed this question by NNL:

Question for you with respect to something you brought up:

" 'Your mother is dying and in the hospital. She wants to see you.'

This is something I haven't really allowed myself to think about too much yet. But as our parents age, this is an issue that we are going to have to contend with.

You intimated that you still would remain no contact. This is a weighty issue that I would really appreciate hearing your thought process on..."
There are two issues here that I will try to express my thoughts on. That of the dying N parent, and the issue of their funeral. These are my personal decisions based on my circumstances. Adjust as necessary if your circumstances call for it.

The chance of a narcissist being changed on their deathbed is the stuff of fantasy. Your fantasy. Not the narcissist's fantasy. Do not be enticed to the deathbed on the basis of some dream you have of receiving a true gift of an apology or some kind of "closure". You will get neither.

Because I believe what I just said down to my DNA I will not be vulnerable to vague promises of "making things right before I die" coming from narcissist family members. There will still be an iron fist hidden inside the silken glove. I have read many accounts of ACONs being lured to visit a dying N relative, or a funeral, only to find themselves caught in a crucible. I haven't heard anyone say they would do it again had they another opportunity. They consistently regret their decision. I respect the collective experiences of others and try to learn from them. I have listened intently to their testimonies and determined I will not repeat their mistake.

If I ever received a directive from my sister to visit my dying mother in the hospital I would immediately know something to be true: that my sister is there taking care of matters. This would prove that my presence would not be needed to deal with the decisions being made about my mother's care which is the only thing that could possibly make me feel obligated. In other words, my mother wouldn't be in need of my help. The same would be true if it was my father who called me. If he called, he is the one taking care of matters. The chance of my father calling is about the same as a snowball's chance in hell.

The other things I have to consider when anticipating whether or not to attend my mother's death bed is that I will be confronted with dealing not just with her. I will be dealing with my father who very likely will be blaming me for my mother's illness and pending death. Being all too well acquainted with the level of rage he is capable of I feel the need to protect myself from him in that circumstance. And my sister may see this as another opportunity to attach herself to my life. Or she may choose to use the circumstance to get some payback in and I would have to deal with the haughty, snotty version of her. I am not willing to take on the three of them just to go through the motions of giving my mother some kind of death bed absolution.

If my mother called me on the phone in an effort to "make things right", I would likely let her say her piece, give her all assurances that my life was not ruined by her and call it a day. I would not be opposed to her gaining a shred of peace of mind just prior to dying. I'm not into torturing people. If I consented to talking to my mother on her death bed it would not be something I would do for me. It would be something I allowed for her sake.

This probably the most important point when deciding whether or not to allow contact when you know the N is dying. Do not be enticed by your imagination and your hope to allow contact in these circumstances. If you on any level feel you need something from the narcissist then you are perfectly set up for another jab into the center of your heart. You will be handing power over to the narcissist to get you one more time. Don't be gullible. They are unchanged; they are not sorry. If you consent to some contact while being fully aware that you expect nothing from the narcissist then you are better situated to avoid being vulnerable. If you give anything at this juncture, do it for them not for yourself. In other words, if you know you are in the position to give a gift rather than hoping to receive one then you are not set up for exploitation or abuse. Remember, a true gift is something given with no expectation of reciprocation or remuneration. Don't show up with a gift of concern or compassion and expect anything like that in return.

Another problem that can come up with being lured to a "death bed" scene is that it isn't their death bed. They may be feigning to be much more ill than they really are just to lure you by your compassion to their bedside so as to gain an avenue of access back into your life. I've heard those stories too. Once the door is cracked open by you attending their pretended "death bed" they will then pretend you have given them carte blanche to come back as if nothing ever happened and no estrangement had ever occurred.

If circumstances developed leaving my mother completely alone without my sister or father alive to tend to her then my choices would be different. I would feel obligated to make sure her basic needs were being met. Shelter, food, and basic medical care. One of her basic needs is NOT companionship. She has no claim on me for that even if she is utterly alone. Her basic needs would not require me to be in constant direct contact with her. I would use surrogates for everything I could. I would be behind the scenes. There would be minimal direct contact with her. I would discharge my filial duty and not get entangled with her emotionally.

I know there are people who have much more evil mothers than I have. I can completely understand leaving a N parent to rot if they had been sexually abusive, or allowed sexual abuse. In my estimation there is nothing that proves a person to not have been a parent in any true sense if these things happened with their knowledge and approval. My sense of duty to my mother doesn't have to translate to how you deal with yours. You get to decide how much to give in their final days on their earth. Only you know if they deserve to be considered a parent in any sense of the word.

My decision about attending the funeral of narcissist relatives seems like a no-brainer to me. There is no point whatsoever is attending my narcissist mother's funeral. As they say, funerals are for the living. My father would be distressed and angry and vengeful if I were to show up. So, obviously, I wouldn't be doing a kindness for him by going. My sister will have her own self-serving agenda, whatever it may be. I feel no need to comfort her at the loss of her mother. She is the one who has complained the loudest and the most about her mother. I will assume some part of her will be happy Mommy Dearest is gone. There is no other family who will attend my mother's funeral that I have any connection with. My attendance would be superfluous. No one will be there who needs me to be there. I feel zero obligation to go to my mother's funeral. Or my father's. My sister is younger than me, so I don't think about her funeral. Same rules apply though.

These are some of my thought processes as it concerns your question, NNL. I hope there is something in there that you can use. To sum up what I think should be the guiding principle for making decisions on these matters: only give what you are willing to give and do so with no expectation of reward.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Cause of Death

I just received the FedEx delivery of Kathy Krajco's death certificate. I will share the relevant details.

The date she was pronounced dead was May 9, 2008. The certificate indicates her body "was found 24 or more hours after death" in her own home. The coroner certifies that, in their opinion, her death was due to natural causes. The box for indicating the "actual or estimated date of death" is marked "Unknown". Box 19a is for "Informant's Name". Kathy's sister name is in that box. So, I guess we can assume it was her sister who found Kathy's body. The sister's physical address does prove she lived across the street from Kathy.

It can be concluded that the experts believe Kathy died of natural causes and not of foul play. It can also be concluded she was not found for some considerable time after her death. Likely it was a couple of weeks when we consider her last blog post was April 15, 2008. She approved comments for her last post for what looks like could have been four days following her last post. Given she was blogging regularly every day or every few days for months, I think we can assume she probably passed away almost a week after her last posting.

I hope this information is helpful for all who are trying to make sense of her tragically sudden passing.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Kathy Krajco: "NPD? A Male Disease? An Adult Disease?"

Blog post originally published on Tuesday, December 06, 2005 at "What Makes Narcissists Tick". I will include the comments for this post as there is good content there as well.


Another thing that warps our picture of NPD is double standards that are the fruit of stereotypes and sloppy thinking:

  • Women are nicer than men and therefore less likely to be narcissists.
  • What's okay for men to do is wrong for women to do.
  • All old people are nice and deserve a pass to treat young people without repsect.
  • Physically hitting someone is worse than verbally abusing them or destroying their life through slander and calumny.
  • Children are all innocent and, by nature, good.

So, another thing that invalidates current statistics is mental-health-care workers applying double standards of both age and sex.

An example of such a double-standard is this: if we see an action photo of an angry male coach with his mouth wide open and his face contorted, we think nothing of it. He doesn't strik us as ugly. Yet, if we see a photo of a female coach with but an intense look on her face, we find the image off-putting. She strikes us as ugly.

These internal reactions are so conditioned by society, that even if you are aware of the double-standard, you can hardly help but be affected by it. Therefore, we think nothing of this behavior in our male hero, but she strikes us as a bitch.

Again for example, personality traits regarded as distinguishing a man as worthy of admiration as a good, tough businessman are regarded as distinguishing a woman as a bitch. That's just a fact, and mental heath-care workers are taking few (if any) precautions to avoid applying such sexual double-standards in diagnosis.

Which cuts the legs out from under the widespread belief that NPD is far more prevalent in men than women. In my own slice of the world, the ratio is 50-50. And in my own understanding of the disease I see no reason why men should be any more prone to it than women.

But I can think of many reasons why male narcissists are exposed as narcissists more frequently than female narcissists are. Put another way, I see many reasons why female narcissists get away with it more often. Could it be then that women are under-represented in the statistics?

It sure could be! In fact, because of this we must presume that women are greatly under-represented in the statistics. And you can't just chalk this up to the fact that men are more likely to use their fists than their mouths. For, the only narcissist I have observed physical violence in is an extremely violent woman — who had everyone but those who had seen her with her mask off thinking she was a regular Mother Theresa.

And anyone who thinks male narcissists are worse because they're more prone to physical violence is dead wrong. If anything, that makes them less dangerous than female narcissists. The law deals with physical attacks. It does almost nothing to protect us from non-physical attack. Indeed, the non-physical violence the woman I referred to above did was by far more damaging and sadistic than any beating she gave someone.

Author: Kathy Krajco


At 2:26 AM, Blogger Nevermore said...

From my own experience I would say that men are less likely to admit to feeling the abuse of a woman than women are of men. That may be why the stats are so far off. It is a hard thing to admit that I was brow beaten by a woman and took it without standing up for myself. According to our society men are supposed to be strong and self sufficient, not backing down to a woman, but once the Narc has their claws into you, and you feel as though you love them, there is little you can do except take it. It took me 4 years but I finally made the break and I have offended many friends in the process because they never recognized what was going on and have a hard time believing the severity of it. It seems to me that emotional abuse is worse than physical, only for the fact that one is unable to point to the bruises and make people believe. When common friends are involved the abuse continues because of their disbelief and their acceptance of the Narc’s story. The difficulty is not only in the proving, but in the admitting to others.

At 4:41 PM, Blogger Kathy K said...

Yes, what you say is very true. In fact, it's somehwat true when a narcissist abuses a sibling of the same sex. Men are really at a disadvantage in this game, but people don't realize that.

At 4:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I for one have seen more female narcissists in my lifetime than males. As a matter of fact, I have been slandered and suffered so much abuse from my sister who is a narcissist, it is unreal.
I say she is a narcissist but she certainly fits the profile of BPD and HPD. Who knows, wonder if it's possible she's all 3...Is it possible does anyone know if more than one or two personality disorders can be found in a person?

At 8:39 AM, Blogger Kathy K said...

I know that the diagnosis one gets offen differs from psychiatrist to psychiatrist. That doesn't give you much faith in the diagnosis, does it? It's not like these are all different diseases. It might help to think of them as different directions pathology can take, depending on the circumstances. Some even seem to be variants or stages in progression to another (as narcissism and psychosis). Plus, the diagnostic criteria aren't really a definition: they are just red flags likely to stand out in a clinical setting, so they are used to aid diagnosis. But the whole picture is somewhat nebulous.

At 2:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From what I gathered there is a larger proportion of men who are narcissistic and a larger proportion of women who are histrionic ( If I remember well 70 percent ). They abuse both genders but for different gratifications and a larger proportion of them are bisexual.Indeed they can seduce anyone.

At 6:39 PM, Blogger Kathy said...

That's conventional wisdom. But studies show an outrageous amount of error (over 50%) in diagnosing these disorders. They also show a tendency to misdiagnose women as histrionic who would be diagnosed as narcissistic if they were but male. So, those statistics are totally unreliable. I think I still have an article on the Main Site about that that provides the sources. As for bizexuality, that I don't know. This is the first time I heard that.

At 12:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, Kathy, in the world of stererotypes, mothers in particular aren't supposed to be mean. Especially to their own kids. Now, since the mother-child relationship offers an N woman more power over another human being than any other, I'd guess a fair number of female Ns are 'hidden' by the Good Mommy archetype.

The idea that the old are automatically worthy of respect and deference from the young is another one that needs scotching. I've come across a fair number of people who are emotionally and sometimes physically abused by elderly N parents, and I suspect it's actually fairly common, but everyone believes that the abuse only ever happens the other way.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Last Chapter on the Book of Sister

Here is the final episode of the sister drama. I sent this Tue, 20 May 2008 12:53:54 my time:


In your May 10 email you said,

"I know I have always stepped unaware on your sensitive spots."

My last email of 2006 and the one I sent you last week were not efforts to induce you to apologize for past misdeeds; it was an effort to give you some clue as to why you are unsafe for me and my family to be around. It is your ongoing behaviors, much more than your past "crimes", that have been my concern. It is your complete lack of empathy. It is your refusal to recognize the rights and privileges of others - in the present - that prevent me from trusting you and having you in my life as well as the level of deception you're willing to employ to get your way. You can't think of even one lie to cop to. That is a lie in and of itself. Look at the lie in the sentence of yours quoted above. The words "always...unaware" is the damnable lie. You proved the lie in your most recent email. You have done things with intent to hurt. Yet you persisted up to May 10 to insist you never intentionally hurt me.

This latest email of yours confirms what I suspected about your May 10 email; it was a fishing expedition for the next phase of "Operation Trojan Horse". You didn't really care what I had to say as long as I gave you a list. Even though I rejected your pretense of not knowing your offenses of two years ago, I went ahead and reiterated. This suited you well since you ultimately got what you wanted: a formulaic opening for your "repentance" shtick. But it took me having to repeat myself for you to suddenly 'know' what to apologize for. Then, suddenly and miraculously, you can remember details from 2006 that I didn't reiterate proving you were lying about not knowing what the hell you did. This mitigates against me believing in the sincerity and the motivations of your apologies. See my problem? You talk, you lie.

You then indicate you're willing to apologize for more if I'm willing to give you the list. You're only going to fess up to whatever it is I "have" on you.

This is a criminal mindset.

Let me illustrate. A career criminal has finally been caught for one of his crimes. He's been dragged into court before a judge with a list of related charges against him. The evidence is irrefutable which convinces the crook his best hope is to plead guilty to the charges and throw himself on the mercy of the court. This criminal has been doing his life of crime for years. He has just been caught for a crime, but not for a fraction of what he has done over his lifetime. He is willing to plead guilty to whatever the DA has on him because he knows he can't dispute the evidence. There is a list of crimes longer than both his arms that he has never been caught doing. He does not plead guilty to those crimes. Oh, no. He is only going to take his lumps for whatever it is he can't wiggle out of. Whatever it is the "law" has caught him on...that and only that will he confess to.

That is you. You still think like a crook. For all your vaunted "change" and "healing" you still clearly show you operate from the mindset of a criminal.

I don't need to spend my time coming up with your laundry list for you. I'm not going to provide your Jiminy Cricket services. It requires you to do no introspection when we rely only on my memory to come up with what you need to confess to. Expecting me to come up with things for you to apologize for shows me you're not interested in making things right. You are only interested in convincing me you're making things right. It is about rehabilitation of your image, not your character.

I'm not interested in more apologies or confessions. The time for that is long past. You finally getting around to some unvarnished apologies is too little, too late. Sincerely sorry people don't wait two years and several lengthy emails on the part of the victim to start to come clean. Even if I did give you a check-list and you apologized for everything on it, I would still be left with my basic problem concerning you. My inability to trust you. Your way of apologizing inspires zero confidence in you. The only way to find out if you're truly sincere would be to admit you back into my life. That is more of a risk than I'm willing to undertake. There is simply not enough evidence to believe anything has changed.

You need to understand something about my state of mind toward you. I don't think about you 99.9% of the time. And when I do think of you it is just a passing thought with no accompanying emotion. Well, I do usually have an emotion. It is one I would describe as relief. Relief that you're out of my life. By the way, relief is what we call a positive emotion.

That being said, you have gotten a sense of my anger in my letter. Here's the deal: I went from not having to think about you at all to being hit out of the blue with one of your letters where you yet again plead ignorance and pure motives. This is provocative, annoying and manipulative on your part. So, yes, in the present, while I'm having to deal with your latest shenanigans, I'm frustrated and angry. You are mistaken when you extrapolate my frustration at what you've just thrown in my lap to deal with again into some kind of proof that is my constant state of mind and attitude about you. It isn't. Quit pretending my anger is coming from harbored resentments and recognize my anger is directed at your behaviors in the present. Because the past with you looks like the present I bring it up. Your present behaviors make the past relevant. Yes, I was angry in my last two letters of 2006 because of what you had done in the present. I wasn't suddenly lashing out based on some simmering resentment.

I know you'll continue to ignore what I tell you about my state of mind because it doesn't serve your agenda. It is much better for your state of mind to pretend I am the one who is broken, the one with the problem, the one who isn't being "spiritual" enough.

You say you have no expectation that your apologies will result in reconciliation. Yet, you magnanimously offer me the service of further apologies with the obvious implication that you think I need them for my "emotional healing". My emotions are fine and your services are not needed. You have nothing I need and nothing I want.

In the future I will be the one to contact you if that is what I decide to do. Do not initiate contact again. I told you in April 2006 that "Maybe, at some point in the future, I'll call you and see if you're willing to have an mutually respectful, healthy and adult relationship with me". No where in there did I tell you I was waiting for you to initiate contact. I indulged your forwardness. It was yet another time I have given in to your demand for attention that I have lived to regret. I have wasted my time in responding to you. I won't repeat this mistake.

If you want to show me that you've learned to respect my wishes prove it by leaving me alone. The only avenue for the restitution you claim you want to engage in is to leave me to my life without you in it. I am content to let eternity prove who you really are.

Signing off,


Thus ends the sister saga. At least, this ends my participation in that saga. If I ever hear from her again I'll let you know. Be assured, she will not be able to provoke a response from me. It has been three years since I cut off from my parents. They have not heard another word from me. I tell you this to assure you I won't be lured from my peaceful life into my sister's maelstroms going into the future. When I'm done, I'm really done. Maybe I should say she's done. Cooked like a Christmas turkey.

Stick a fork in her.

[Credit for the great 'Princess Bride' icon goes to]

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Kathy Krajco

I am sure that the faithful readers of Kathy Krajco's blog received the terribly sad news of her unexpected death on May 9, 2008. It was brought to my attention on May 14th by one of the readers of both my and Kathy's blog.

Those of us who know Kathy's work feel the loss very deeply. She has been a clear, compassionate voice for those abused by malignant narcissists. She cut no quarter for the abusers. Her intelligence, breadth of knowledge of her subject, her teaching ability, her scientific mind, her humor, her compassion are seen throughout all her writings. It would be impossible to measure the amount of help and good she has been to people around the world.

I was recently contacted by Barbara who owns the blog "Sanctuary for the Abused". She was a "net friend" of Kathy's and had a warm email relationship with her. Barbara voiced a concern to me that I had been pondering too. What will happen to Kathy's blog? Kathy's main website is available in book form which will help keep it in circulation in the years to come, although I am uncertain about the fate of the main site as well. The outcome of the blog is less certain. Barbara is willing to spend the time going through Kathy's blog archives to pull out articles to re-post on her two blogs with full attribution to Kathy, of course. Barbara has asked me if I will help her with this project. I am more than happy to help as I have been concerned about the loss of Kathy's work.

If any of you have any other suggestions as to how to approach this, please comment.

Barbara posted a memoriam on her site for those of you who may not have gotten the sad news of Kathy's passing before now.

A true heroine has laid down her sword. I pray the Lord will continue to richly bless her work to the benefit of humanity.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sister's May 17, 2008 Email

One of the first thoughts I had when I read this newest email was, "why didn't she send me this email a week ago?" Her email below would have had a very different effect on me if I hadn't been treated to her email of May 10th which stands in sharp contrast. Two letters. Two very different realities. They can't both be reality because they are so fundamentally different. Thankfully, they arrived in the order they did because if she had come to me with this last email first I would have been tempted to believe in her sincerity.

I am so tired of my sister right now with all the thought and effort that has gone into dealing with her that I'm not anxious to do much parsing of her email. I'm going to insert some comments into her missive, but certainly not to the extent I could. You all are smart and have enough background on the situation to see things without me pointing it out line by line. I'll put my comments in [brackets] and this color. Like you wouldn't be able to tell the difference if I made no demarcation. I crack me up. It is my neat streak.


Sat, 17 May 2008 23:26:27

Dear Anna,

Thank you for taking the time to answer my email and risk opening up old scars. It has been a help in understanding how you feel and where you are coming from. I am sorry for the meanness and disrespect I have shown you in the past. I am especially sorry that I have not been someone you could trust and that i have manipulated and forced you into my way of thinking so many times. I realize that it is degrading and disrespectful. I realize that I would force you to accept my view points while ignoring yours. Then I would turn the knife in even further by demanding that you not only see my view point but agree with my view point. I wouldn't stop there, I was not content until you would be excited about my viewpoint...all the while totally ignoring your feelings. For all this I am truly sorry. I did the same to [her husband] and he told me how dehumanized he felt when I did this to him. This all the more confirmed in my mind, the truthfulness of what you were saying. Please forgive me.

[Notice how intentional all this behavior she describes is. The intentional nature of her underhanded dealings with me has been completely denied in all her previous emails including the email she sent only one week earlier. Also, she really loves to believe she is all powerful in her relationships. Dehumanizing? My sister has never had the power to "dehumanize me". Or to force me into her opinions if I was unwilling to be moved. What an ego.]

I did want you to be excited to meet K [her biological daughter]. I did disregard what you had said about wanting to meet her later after she turned 18. I thought I could convince you otherwise and I tried to do so. I didn't think your reasons were valid and that by giving you more "information" I could have things turn out the way I wanted them to. I am sorry that I did not allow you to have your own opinion on this matter. I am sorry I tried to convince you that you were incorrect. I should have just said okay. But true to form, I pushed. And you felt devalued and manipulated. I am so sorry. I apologize for this and I was wrong not to just accept what you said. You had every right to be angry and hurt.

[Again, she finally is admitting to the deliberate nature of her behavior and words in 2006. Something she has denied up to this moment.]

You asked me to own up to when I purposely tried hurting you. I remember in my teen years being very angry with you. This was a time in my life when I really was trying to hurt you. I was so resentful of you. I know I put you down and would dig at you. I think I wanted to even humiliate you. I know I wanted to punish you. I was horrible. You already felt degraded and humiliated and trapped in a life you really didn't choose for yourself and there I was trying to make you feel worse. It was evil. I apologize to you for this. I am so sorry. It was cruel and wrong. I was selfish and self righteous and I am so sorry. I know i couldn't have treated you worse because my digs were sly and subtle, probably leaving you to feel like, "did she really mean that". I can only imagine how awful I made you feel. Please forgive me.

[She obviously has a pretty good memory on how she treated me back then. Why am I only now getting this apology?? We've been on the topic of her rebellious teen years on many occasions. Never once did she think to apologize for how she treated me. Not once. The focus was always on her pain and angst.]

Rebellion has been an issue in my life. I can remember being three years old and deciding that mom's way of doing things and ascribing motives and judgments to my actions was wrong. My act of rebellion to this was to disrespect her requests and demands of me. I realize that my rebellion was a sin. It had terrible consequences. And it hurt others. You were hurt in my acts of rebellion. I was so wrong. I was wrong to mom but especially to you, an innocent bystander. As an adult looking back on this I know you are right. I was shielded by you. You did so much to protect me. Thank you and I am sorry that my selfish rebellion caused you so much hurt and resentment.

[I've heard all this from her before minus the part where she admits I was directly affected by the sins of her youth. This is supposed to be one of her recent revelations, yet she talked to me about this when we were still in contact. All her insights and revelations from God that have supposedly changed her completely in these last two years are old scripts!]

I know I put you into the role of mother. I am sorry. It is not a role you asked for or ever felt comfortable with. It was unfair to you. You were a child and needed a nurturing mother yourself. I am so sorry you never had that. I accept your rejection of that role and I agree with you.
I am sorry my paraphrase offended you. It was not accurate, I can see that. I should have said that after your statement, it was the question I asked myself. And God eventually revealed the answer to me. The root was an issue of abandonment and rejection that controlled my life. [emphasis mine]

[Highlighted above, she presents this as a reason for her youthful rebellion. From what I can tell it is the human condition to fear abandonment and rejection. I have observed that some of the most badly behaving human beings are the ones with the biggest issues of abandonment. They know their behavior should earn them abandonment and rejection yet they persist in being vile. They test us with great frequency. Sister had no particular reason to have these fears. She was the wanted child. I was the unwanted one. She was the petted and spoiled child. I was the work-horse and sometimes the whipping boy. Rather than treat people the right way to avoid what she feared most, she acts like a bitch and expects everyone to hang in there with her. I see this confession as self-serving, as an excuse, as a big red sign of her narcissism.]

I know you said that this wasn't the main issue you were interested in addressing but it has everything to do with all the issues you addressed. God showed me that.

["See? It is really all about me, my issues, my childhood fears." No matter what, she always circles back to making everything about her. Oh, yeah, and she has a hot line to God's desk. She always works that one into her emails.]

No, it is not a work of a lifetime. I only had to live with it so long because in my stubbornness and rebellion I was unwilling to release it and submit to God for the healing. But when I did, He healed me. He changed my mind in a miraculous way and all the screwed up ways I think and see things was shown to me. You are right. I have been a terrible person and a horrible sister to you. I apologize for that most of all. My driving need for your validation was more important to me than your need to be authentic and free to hold your own opinion. I am so sorry. Please forgive me. I am sorry that I never showed you the love you deserve. I did not take responsibility for my actions and decisions because I was afraid of being abandoned or rejected because of it. It controlled me entirely. I was wrong. I am asking for your mercy and forgiveness.

[Using words like "terrible" and "horrible" are ways narcissists pretend to be sorry. I call it "horribilizing". It is a frequent tactic of drama queens of which both my mother and sister are. Using phrases like "terrible person" and "horrible sister" sound like an admission but it lacks content. Then she reduces her "terrible" and "horrible" behaviors to her "driving need for validation" and her fears "of being abandoned and rejected." In other words, "I was horrible, but I was suffering. Can't you see my pain?" She is still playing a victim role. She is still not confronting head on what she has done. Least of all, who she is.]

I have given God the authority over my life. He has set me free from the fears that controlled me and caused me to take a very good long look at myself. I can see why you feel the way you do. I finally can see the me you have described. I am willing to look at more and take responsibility for my actions. So, you talked about my "lies" and whoppers. I don't know what you are referring to. But if you want to tell me, I want to know. In fact, if there are any other specific actions that I have done which are an offense to you, I want to know. This is not a game to me. I do not think that if I play it right I get my sister back. You have made it very clear that ship has sailed long ago. I do not think that if I hold up under my "punishment" steadfastly, that suddenly you will change your mind. What I want is to own up to what I have done. I want to acknowledge your hurts and resentments and anything I have done to you that is still a clear memory you have. I want no more hard feelings and resentment to exist between us.



I deal with most of what she says in the last paragraph in my response to her. I'll point out a few other things here that I didn't in my response to her. First of all, notice how she uses the past tense to describe her being "healed" and "set free from my fears that controlled me". In the past she "took a very good long look at myself". If she was truly reformed at some point in the past wouldn't that have been reflected in her email of one week earlier???

Secondly, I see her on another fishing expedition. She wants to perfect her game. "Me? Lie? When have I ever lied??" If I sat down and pointed out every single lie I can see in her emails to me all I would do is enable her to hone her skills of deception. Kind of like the psychopath in psychotherapy. You just make a slicker, more adept psychopath as they get tips handed to them on how to better manipulate normal, decent human beings. I'm not interested in improving her game.

She is also wanting to feed. Since I won't let her into my life to latch onto a vein, she can be happy with a recounting of all the past pain she has caused me. She can live on my recitations of past abuses and know I was hurt enough when she did it that I can still remember them. Which she would assume is still causing me pain. There is much supply to be found there.

She persists in talking about my hard feelings, hurts and resentments. She has not hinted even once in any of her emails that she harbors any resentments toward me. So when she offers to confess to whatever I lay in front of her so there are no "hurts and resentments between us" she is obviously talking about
my hurts and resentments. She has not admitted to having any herself. She continues to presume to know my mind. She reduces our problems to me being stuck in my hurts and resentments. This is a minimization tactic and subtle blame-shifting. It is also coming from her sense of superiority. She has turned over her rebellion and fears to God and has been healed. Wouldn't I like to be healed too? I am supposed to see that my healing resides in her. She is more than willing to provide the salve my soul needs.

Ugggh, she is disgusting to me.

Another thing on this "hurts and resentments" theme she always boomerangs back to. She has brought it up in every single email since Apr. 1, 2006. I have refuted it each and every time. She acts like I never said a thing about my true state of mind and goes back to talking about my "hurts" and "pain" and "resentments". How is this different than what she describes about her behaviors in the past with me where she would ignore what I have said, try to force me to agree with her, dismissing what I say as invalid, pushing to give me more "information" so I'll accept her viewpoint, etc.? She is still doing this crap in her apology email! She is apologizing for doing this very thing...yet, she hasn't stopped doing it! This is largely how she does it. Mostly by omission and by ignoring what I've said explicitly. Acting like I never said it. This was a significant part of how she behaved when I told her I didn't want to meet her bio daughter until the kid was older. She primarily fought by this sneaky way of pretending I never said what I said.

This apology email is more significant in what she chooses to continue to ignore. This is how she can avoid being confrontational. When she doesn't agree with what I've said then it is like I never said it. She, the princess of needy validation, withholds validation at every turn from me. I am glad for more proof that she is unchanged and unchangeable.

Lastly, on this subject of my supposed "hurts and resentments", I think my sister is projecting onto me her own state of mind. She would never admit this to herself let alone to me. A narcissist can not fathom how the mind of a normal and decent person works. They do not believe it is possible to act as I am acting, by cutting her out of my life and saying what I've said, and that not come from a place of pure hatred and seething rage. They can't conceptualize how we are able to happily move on without even thinking about them. They think about us all the time. And they are not charitable thoughts. I am sure she would love to have some kind of pretended reconciliation with me so that she could lay in wait for any opportunity to punish me for these last two years. The hard feelings and resentments are in her heart, not mine. I'm happily moving on with scarcely a thought of her. She certainly doesn't stir up my emotions when I think about her at times when I'm not having to deal directly with her. She, finally, has admitted to the anger, resentment, hostility and desire to punish me back when she was a teen simply because I left home. My leaving was not a personal act against her. Yet she acted like it was. Now I have rejected her personally. What is the chance that old nasty teen narcissist wouldn't still want to get a piece of me when she could if she had access to me? Small, small chance given that she is essentially unchanged in character from what she was back then.

I do not regret having written her back last week. Now that this little drama has worked its way through I am thankful for what has happened. Ever since I started writing about my relationship with my sister I have expressed my internal conflict. Not knowing for sure if she is a narcissist. I feel I have gotten all the proof I need. I can go on from here knowing that I never need to exchange one more word with her.

In none of my previous letters to her did I shut the door forever on her. This is why she felt bold enough to write me after two years. Even though I told her I would be the one to decide when to contact she, of course, disregarded that. All she knew is that I dangled a piece of hope in front of her two years ago when I signed off. This has been rectified. In my response sent yesterday I told her to never contact me again. Yes, I fully expect she will disregard my command at some point in the future. It doesn't matter. What I've made clear is that I will not respond if she does. She will only get deafening silence from me from here.

The reason I was willing to engage her in this latest round of emails is because I am safe. She has no power to get any further into my life than I allow. It is easy enough to shut down her only avenue to me ... email. She can't force me to engage with her any more than I am willing. She has no power over the quality of my life.
Because I had left her two years ago with some hope that she may someday make it back into my life I was willing to see where this latest communication would go. I knew at some point she would need to be vetted. My own sense of fairness didn't allow me two years ago to completely slam the door shut because I wasn't yet sure what she is. She has kindly provided that proof. I never again will feel she deserves another chance to prove herself. She is tested and proven. She has been weighed ... and found wanting.

I will engage in a bit of speculation which is based on nothing more than a hunch. One of my first thoughts when she emailed me on May 10th was that there is something big going on in her life right now. It could be marital problems up to and including a possible divorce. Perhaps she is again having serious health issues. Maybe one of our parents is having a serious health issue. I suspect she was trying to gain some kind of relationship with me now so that in the near future she could try to obligate me to do what she thinks I should do in whatever crisis is pending.

Like I said, this is speculation on my part because she obviously didn't even hint at any of this. I know how she thinks. I have had several conversations with her when we've talked about my mother's 2,400 sq. ft. house that is crammed packed with years of her stuff. Mother is a pack rat. My sister would talk about our having to deal with all that crap when my mom dies. Sister would then become authoritative, "I know I won't be dealing with it alone. You will help me. We are in this together. I'm not going to be miserable alone...etc." She said this several times, and it was after I had cut off contact with my parents. In times of family 'crisis' my sister is always the issuing the orders. My sister has been issuing orders since she was around three years old. Bossiness is one of her most prominent features and has been all her life.

I am very sure she will still try to contact me in the future with some kind of order, "Your mother is dying and in the hospital. She wants to see you. I'm sure you will give her her dying wish if you consider yourself a Christian." All such communications will go unacknowledged by me. They all deserve each other. They can rot in their misery without me.

So much for not doing much parsing. Sheesh. I'm so verbose.

The last installment of this recent saga will be my much more brief final email to sister.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Cover Up Reveals it WAS Intentional

Here is an excerpt from the article, "The Three Rs of Accountability", at Luke 17:3 Ministries.

Many offenders are fond of saying, “But I didn’t mean it that way” or “I never meant for that to happen” . BUT INTENT IS NOT THE ISSUE. RESULTS ARE...

...Everybody makes mistakes. Where most of us begin to lose our patience is with those who never LEARN from their “mistakes”- this tells us that these are not really “mistakes” at all, but rather ongoing patterns of behavior. If something is truly accidental or inadvertent, an accountable adult has no problem sincerely apologizing, doing whatever he can to fix the situation, and moving on. Mature adults do not have a problem apologizing for errors in judgment, or innocent mistakes that caused harm to others. There is no guilt or shame attached to a truly unintentional offense.

Those who feel guilty and ashamed avoid taking responsibility. One who did wrong deliberately, selfishly, or with malicious intent will be ashamed when she is caught or confronted, so she will not admit what she did. She will try to hide it, make excuses, or in some way weasel out of being accountable for her own behavior. She will be angry and flustered at being caught when she thought she was getting away with it. She will not admit she was wrong, she will not sincerely apologize, and she will not try to rectify the damage she did.

The reason guilt or shame is felt is that, despite what the offender might say, her words or actions WERE INTENTIONAL, or at the very least, SELFISH. One way or the other, she knew what she was doing and the effects it might have, but she decided to do it anyway, and hope for the best. Otherwise she would have nothing to feel guilty about and no problem acting in a responsible manner and making amends. Her ego would not be at stake, and she would not react with the shame of someone who was “caught” doing wrong. One who feels guilty or ashamed will lie, deny, cover-up, blame others- anything but admit that she was wrong and take responsibility for her own words or actions.

Someone who is not ashamed of herself has no reason to deny or lie about what she did. She will acknowledge her actions, apologize for the pain she caused EVEN THOUGH SHE DIDN’T MEAN TO, admit she was wrong, used poor judgment, or made a mistake, do everything she can to make restitution, and NOT REPEAT the same offense in the future. She may feel embarrassed about her actions, but she will not feel the shame that leads to covering them up. And she understands that failure to take responsibility would be an even greater reason to be embarrassed.


I know I'm sick to death of hearing about the pure intentions of the perps in my life. How about you? How do people who never have an bad intention so often end up abusing you in some way? Anyone who chooses to plead to their good intentions rather than immediately making things right is guilty as hell. They are lying about their malicious intent by pretending its opposite.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Article on "Selective Amnesia"

I am finding myself having a good time at this web page. It is at Luke 17:3 Ministries. I'm actually looking for something else, but this is too good not to show you.

It is the essay titled, "Selective Amnesia". Ha. You can see why I went there given recent events. Here are a few pull quotes:

When your abuser claims to have no idea what he did wrong, HE IS LYING. He knows perfectly well what he did. He will try this ploy even if you have told him point blank and in no uncertain terms exactly what he did wrong, argued with him and protested his mistreatment for years, and repeated your complaints dozens of times. And yes, even if you have written him a detailed, 10-page letter listing a few decades worth of examples, which he has no doubt read a couple of hundred times. He has seen your distress every time he hurt you. In fact, that was his reward for hurting you and the reason he continued to hurt you. Because he loved knowing he COULD....There is no way he does not know what he did. That is a lie. He only has Selective Amnesia because it serves his purposes to conveniently “forget”.

I laughed out loud at the "10-page letter" remark since that is how long my letter to sister was.

How do you list 50 years of abuse? How do you put it into words? Abusers want to know “what they did wrong” as if it was merely one or two incidents, that could be discussed and settled in a few minutes. But it’s not. It’s a LIFETIME of incidents, 20, 30, 50 or more years; hundreds, if not thousands, of times. It’s overwhelming. It’s not one or two obnoxious behaviors or hurtful episodes. It’s a PATTERN of ongoing, continuous, unrelenting evil. It just never ends, until we leave.

Touche. For me it was more like 40 years, but that is a damn long time by any measure. A lifetime of incidents. It is overwhelming.

This next part says something I have felt but haven't had the heart to say it this bluntly to my sister. I was tempted to say something along this line in my last letter, but I held back. Can you believe I still don't want to gratuitously hurt her feelings? Just in case I'm wrong about her, I still sometimes hold things back. I hadn't thought it out as well as it is articulated below. Had I gotten it this well formed in my mind I very well may have said something to this effect:

The problem with trying to explain to our abuser why we divorced her is that it’s not so much what she DID, it’s WHO SHE IS. Or rather, WHAT SHE IS. With an abuser, it is NOT any one incident. It is not just her behavior, IT IS HER. It is the kind of person she is that we don’t want to have anything to do with. Abusers are evil, wicked, demonic people. Their behavior is merely an outward sign, a manifestation of the condition of their souls and the shriveled up, dead black heart within them.

The reason we stay away is that we have finally seen this. It’s our abuser’s whole persona that keeps us away, not any one incident or behavior. It’s EVERYTHING ABOUT HIM. It’s his personality, his character, his unrighteousness, his whole evil being. It’s not just this thing or that thing or any of the things he does, it’s HIM!

It would be more accurate to list her personality traits rather than her behaviors as the reason we disowned her. Imagine telling our abuser the truth- that we refuse contact with her because she IS nasty, cunning, spiteful, manipulative, belligerent, treacherous, critical, lying, untruthful, bullying, conniving, deceitful, sneaky, trouble-making, jealous, sabotaging, envious, bitter, sadistic, malicious, selfish, narcissistic, hostile, dangerous, cruel, hateful, psychopathic, and abusive? That’s who she is. Who in their right mind would want someone like that in their life? What normal, healthy person would want to deal with this, or to expose themselves and their children to it?

Our revulsion, repulsion, and avoidance is a natural, normal, healthy reaction to exposure to evil. It is our God-given discernment setting off alarm bells in our heads and telling us to run for the hills. We left because we finally realized it was hopeless, and that changing these ingrained characteristics is impossible. Our abuser would have to change her very being, and that will never happen because she has no desire to. She left us no choice but to cut her off in order to protect ourselves and our families.

The only way we can lead healthy, happy lives is to stay away from such evil people. We don’t disown them because of one or two things they did. We disown them because they are unfit as people to have in our lives. [emphasis mine]

"Selective Amnesia"

I appreciate the affirmation of this article since it is exactly what I'm up against right now.

What to My Wondering Eyes Should Appear...

...but another email from sister dearest.

It was a shock. Shocking because she responded so quickly. I had hoped I had bought myself another extended silence. I found it at 1:00 a.m. Sunday. Reading it was not conducive to getting to bed. No sleep until 2:30 a.m. Why was I checking my email at 1:00 a.m.? Hubby and I had just finished cleaning up the kitchen after our family guests left. I always check email just before shutting down the computer.

I will be posting her email for you. All in good time. What is very clear to me is that it's time for me to shut her down hard. The first read-through of her email filled me with a sense of amazement. She was completely showing her tender underbelly. Complete with a confession about how she treated me when she was a teenager. I've never heard her admit to any of it before. It was especially interesting since just a few hours earlier my cousin "Lee" said, "I remember when I was fourteen and living with your family your sister told me she hated you for leaving her there with your mother, and she wanted to hurt you." Here is what my sister's email said about that very time:

"You asked me to own up to when I purposely tried hurting you. I remember in my teen years being very angry with you. This was a time in my life when I really was trying to hurt you. I was so resentful of you. I know I put you down and would dig at you. I think I wanted to even humiliate you. I know I wanted to punish you. I was horrible. You already felt degraded and humiliated and trapped in a life you really didn't choose for yourself and there I was trying to make you feel worse. It was evil. I apologize to you for this. I am so sorry. It was cruel and wrong. I was selfish and self righteous and I am so sorry. I know i couldn't have treated you worse because my digs were sly and subtle, probably leaving you to feel like, "did she really mean that". I can only imagine how awful I made you feel. Please forgive me."

A clean apology like I've never heard from her in my life before. As you can also read here in her own words...I have not exaggerated about her treatment of me. It was nice of her to provide confirmation for ya'll of what I've said about her.

I will say that reading her conciliatory email did have the effect of softening me. I may come off like a hard-ass but I really am in possession of a very soft heart. At the same time she softened my feelings, I also realized it is time to forbid her from further communication. I can still see her working the situation to her advantage. She is now approaching me like she is going to be my savior. I find it repugnant.

I will elaborate more on what I see in her email when I get around to posting it. I think that many of you will see me as being a heartless bitch for dismissing her when she finally gets around to a real apology. I don't relish laying myself out there for the knives to be drawn and to see people feeling sorry for my sister. But I started all fairness you deserve to see how she responded.

Before I close this post I will respond to a question posed in the comments to me from "Poe".

But I have one question. I have read all your posts and there is one thing I can't understand. Your sister is not stupid. Doesn't she know that you have this blog? That her emails will be publically exposed and scrutinized?
She isn't stupid, but she also isn't terribly smart. The thought has not even crossed her mind that I have a blog let alone a blog where I have talked about her at length. That thought would require her to think bigger than herself. She isn't very good at that as you might have noticed. Since the earliest days of my blogging I have kept an eye out for her through Sitemeter and Statcounter. I know beyond all shadow of doubt that she has not found my blog. Keep in mind, too, that she is proud of her letters. She thinks she is right and has expressed herself in a way that no one can see her game or object to her words. She does not possess the ability to know how she is perceived by me. She can't get out of herself enough to get it. She sorta seems to get it in her latest email, but it is too little too late. Anyway, it hasn't occurred to her and I doubt it ever will. Writing under a pseudonym makes the chances of her finding what I've written vanishingly small.

As I've said before, I don't care if she finds what I've said here about her. I don't care if she finds herself publicly exposed and scrutinized. She deserves whatever she gets if she should find me here. In any case, she still has her anonymity. She isn't "publicly exposed" in the truest sense.

Friday, May 16, 2008

My Email to Sister

Here's how I'm going to do this. My email-to-sister post is going under an old date so as to keep it off the front page. This is how I'm dealing with its length. Since Blogger doesn't have the "below the fold" feature that would allow me to truncate the post, this is how I'm doing it. The five most recent posts are what show up on the front page of my blog. Because new people are coming here all the time I don't want to overwhelm them with a huge post that they have no context for and therefore would likely just move on.

After I eventually get at least five new posts up on the blog I will move my email to sister post into its proper order in the archives. I hope this doesn't seem complicated. It really isn't.

My email can be read here.

May 15, 2008 Email Response to My Sister

This was sent to my sister last night, May 15, 2008 @ 17:20 her time.

Those of you who have read many to most of my old posts will recognize I took some (small) pieces of three posts and put them in this email to my sister. I borrowed a concept from my "The Last Straw" post. I also took a paragraph from near the end of my dissection of sister's non-apology letter of April 2006. A dissection she never got to see. I re-iterated a concept I recently blogged on where I make reference to the importance of memory in order to keep from getting burned by a hot stove. This is what engineers refer to as "economy of design".

My sister's words are in black. Mine are in purple.


"I do so wish you would tell me..."


"Please let me know what I have done..."

Keep in mind throughout your reading of my response...this email is in your inbox because you solicited it. Do me the courtesy of paying attention to what you specifically requested.

That being said...

Dxxxx Lxxxxx wrote:

It has been heavy on my heart all these years that I have offended you. The thought of you hurting because of something I have done is a terrible thing. There is no doubt in my mind that I did something which caused this, but time has not helped me bring about a revelation of the event. I do so wish you would tell me so I could offer you a specific apology directed to the specific pain I have caused you. I would also like to know if there is anything I can do to make up for this offense.

I reject the opening premise of your email. You come to me with this pretense that I did not tell you what you did to earn exile. I see this as you playing a game. You come to me acting like you are clueless about what could have possibly provoked me to walk away which tells me you have utterly justified yourself and therefore won't even look at what I've told you was my real problem with your behavior.

Tell you what, I'll play your game with you for a few moments by giving you a clue or two. I'll just pretend you're dealing with a mental impairment and therefore you need an extra bit of help. Here we go...please pay attention:

Your Apr. 1st, 2006 email was grossly manipulative, you were bullying, you completely rejected my right to hold a differing opinion, it contained at least two whoppers, and you pretended I said I never wanted to meet K [sister's bio daughter] when I said yes, just not now and not in the way you wanted me to meet her (i.e. with you there). I did not even try to hold you accountable for the lies you told because history long ago taught me that you don't own up to your lies. I'm mentioning the lies now because, what the hell, why not? I'm done with helping make the path to reconciliation smoother because you've not taken even one serious step in that direction.

Your first email was bad enough. You were only teetering on the edge at this point. I warned you that if you came back at me with anything other than a sincere apology for these above offenses there would be negative consequences. You had some idea how negative those consequences might be because I referred to how I have dealt with our mother for her behavior. So you had some idea of the precariousness of your position. I even gave you the option of silence which you unwisely didn't take.

Two weeks later I receive what is known as "adding insult to injury". You sent me what could be used as the quintessential textbook example of a non-apology. Mixed in freely with your non-apology was a smelly dose of self-pity, self-justification, more lies, more manipulation and continued discounting of my feelings about how you had treated me. Oh, you pretended you cared. But everything was couched in qualifiers. You gave with one hand only to take with the other.

After the insult of your non-apology, I was done with you. You compounded the original problem ten fold with your non-apology letter. You proved you were uninterested in dealing with things honestly and being fair with my feelings and my right to have a differing opinion without having to put up with your shaming and bull crap. You refused to admit to what you had done in your first email. There was no point in my demanding you also apologize for your second email, so I didn't bother to point out all that I saw in your non-apology letter. You had already proven by your non-apology you were not in the mood to reconcile on any terms but your own.

My main complaints were all put in writing to you. If you have the IQ of at least a pencil eraser you could read the email exchange from beginning to end and see that I explained what I was upset about. (You probably threw all the letters away, right?) I don't think you're stupid. I think you're stubborn, selfish and self-righteous. It looks like you're hoping that by coming to me two years later and pretending I gave you the boot without ever telling you what you did could somehow result in a net gain for you. Maybe I can be convinced I didn't play fairly. Maybe I'll take your olive branch and you can waltz back into my life without ever having to really own your poop. Well, it ain't a gonna happen like that.

By the way, it has been two years, one month. "All these years" is a bit melodramatic. We're not there yet, but, at this rate, I think we'll be getting there.

I know it has been a lifelong struggle for you to love and understand me. We have such varied perspectives on life.

You have benefited from years of me loving and understanding you. As usual you make it all about poor little you and what you don't get from me. What was called for in April 2006, and what is called for now, is that you spend some effort understanding me. And understanding me based on the words I have taken considerable effort to express myself with, not with your dismissal of my words in favor of your addled assumptions about my state of mind. I see you've not put forth your efforts in the direction of understanding me and therefore your words to me here do not assuage my concerns. Frankly, I don't believe you are capable of understanding me because you do not demonstrate the ability to get outside of yourself at all.

The "profound" truths you claim I revealed to you were side issues. The truly profound revelations have gone unexplored by you to this day. I do not struggle to understand you. I understand you very well. Understanding doesn't mean I agree with you, or must capitulate to you, or accept the unacceptable. Love doesn't mean I have to have a relationship with you. You continue to make incorrect assumptions about my state of mind and feelings. You assume you are owed what you consider to be "love" and "understanding". Which, in D-speak, means getting what you want. This email and your April 2006 emails all show that you think I simply don't love or understand you enough. That is not true. And it is not the issue. More on the real issue later.

I know I have always stepped unaware on your sensitive spots and caused you much pain. I am so sorry for that. I hope you can believe that most of the pain I have caused you has been unintentional.

Blah, blah, blah. My sensitive spots. Gee whiz. Yeah. I'm sensitive to being treated like my opinions are not mine by right to hold. I'm sensitive to being lied to. I am really sensitive to when people try to manipulate and shame me into submission. You call it sensitive because it pathologizes me rather than put on the onus on you to behave better. I am a sentient and feeling human being who is sensitive to being treated like doggie doo-doo. So. There ya have it. Own it.

Oh, and saying you were unaware of when you "caused me pain" is no commendation for a future relationship with you. It only reveals your lack of empathy and your refusal to look at any perspective other than you own. Excuse me if I don't want to re enlist with such an inconsiderate and self-involved person. It is no fun hanging out with someone who repeatedly and heartlessly inflicts pain, and then who never will truly admit to what they did. And if I dare to point out what you did I get stone-walling, blame-shifting, shaming, excuses, etc. ad nauseum. Yeah, getting stepped on by you is not fun. If I'm "lucky", you give a generalized apology and that is supposed to suffice. When I do demand a specific apology, I am treated to all the reasons I'm misunderstanding you and not loving you enough and how pure your intentions are. This cycle has been repeated too often. Now you have given this new spin where you pretend I never got specific so you can't be blamed for not specifically apologizing. I still need a truck to deal with all the crap you dish my direction.

Appealing to your 'virtuous' motives is not going to save you. We are not judged by our motives. We are judged by what we do. "By their fruits you will know them." Fruits=behavior. This is because what we do is a true revelation of our strongest motives. In the end, we do what we want to do. To consistently do...and then say it's not what you wanted to just a lie.

You give yourself too much credit when you say you've caused me "much pain". I have not given you that much power over me to cause me "much pain". I have kept you at emotional arms length for decades so you couldn't continue to hurt me with your repeated violations of trust and unkindnesses. Yeah, you've gotten some jabs in here and there. I just took them as reminders that you were not a safe person to open up to.

"Most of the pain I have caused you has been unintentional." [emphasis mine]

Ah, a small confession. "Most of the pain...was unintentional" means that some of the pain you caused was intentional, yet you don't elaborate on when those times were. You only seem willing to openly confess whatever it is I am presently demanding accountability for. You are aware of times you intentionally tried to hurt me...yet, where is your confession of those deeds? Only this general statement that is supposed to suffice for a sincere statement of regret. If you actually came clean on something I wasn't demanding you come clean on, then I could feel like we're getting somewhere. But you won't even come clean on what I am demanding accountability for so I can't begin to imagine you coming clean on something your feet weren't being held to the fire for. Instead, once again, all I get is some non-specific quasi apology. That boat don't float for me.

There were a few things you said to me that I have spent much time thinking about. I saw there was truth in it and I wanted to really give it my complete attention. You talked about my need for you to respond in a certain way for me to really feel validated. This made you feel contrived and manipulated. I can see that. I am so sorry that I did this to you. Not only you, but others close to me in my life.

Okay, glad you got the point. But it certainly is no where near the main issue. Which is probably why you're focusing on it.

I struggled with this reveal of my character for many months before I realized it was a matter of surrender to God. What you identified was real and needed uprooting but no amount of my own effort was going to be able to remove it from my life. It was a spiritual matter that only God could address for any lasting success.

You are saying you realize "it needed uprooting" but there is no indication that has actually been accomplished. Oh, well. Work of a life time, I guess. It really is a tangential issue in my estimation. If you never uprooted this aspect of your character it wouldn't matter to me. It is not what keeps me away from you.

Pull outside YOU for two minutes and see that I was trying to reveal something about me. I was telling you why I negatively reacted to your demands for a more emotional reaction from me. I was explaining my reaction to your behavior so you could know that your behavior was irritating, but nevertheless, it didn't alter my behavior. I was telling you that no matter the pressure you applied, you were only going to get honest reactions from me. That was my point. You've made a much bigger deal of this than you should and you have focused on the least relevant aspect of it. You have been concentrating your efforts beside the point and now pretend it is big so that you can try to convince me you've made big changes. Not working. Even while you are acting like you're granting me a point...I see no apology for it.

I'm going to use the opportunity of your point above to show you something. We are up to your second non-apology for this behavior.
In your Apr. 14, 2006 letter you non-apologized for this behavior of yours by saying:

I know that when I am excited I want everyone to get excited too. What I didn’t know is how it made you feel when I do that. I am so sorry.

Here is how I had described this behavior:

"Thank you for pointing out what a failure I have been as a sister because I didn't "enter your joy". Never mind that it would have been disingenuous for me to pretend to feel something I didn't feel. Frankly, I'm just about never enthusiastic enough for your tastes. Here is a newsflash about me: I am honest in my reactions. I fake nothing. I would not be able to count the times when I have expressed honest enthusiasm or praise about something and you keep poking me and prodding me to ramp it up. I always get the message: I'm not emotional enough for your tastes. I don't "validate" you the way you think I should. Why can't I be myself and be allowed to think that it okay for me to be me? Why is it always about you and what you want and need? Why are your needs always top billing, yet when I, in a rare moment, express my need for some respect for my feelings and I get slapped around? Why are you fighting?"

In your response you completely re-framed the description of your behavior. You didn't acknowledge its manipulative, coercive aspect which was my complaint. You put your behavior in terms that would almost make it kinda adorable. It's just you being excited. Oh, okay. How cute. You are doing nothing worse than wanting to have everyone join your Happy Parade. You follow that re-description of your behavior by apologizing for my feelings about you doing it. Either that, or you were apologizing for only trying to get me to join your harmless Happy Parade. Whichever you were apologizing for did not address what I took issue with. It was not an apology for the behavior I had described. You re-describe the behavior and then apologize. Uhh, uh. Not gonna let you get away with that. In this latest email you still aren't apologizing for doing it. Just so ya know. Like I've already said, this point is beside the point of what you are being held to account for by me. I'm just using it to show you what is obvious to me when I read your words. You are a virtuoso at giving non-apologies, but I can't be baffled with your bull anymore.

Which leads me to the most profound truth you shared with me.


You grew tired of me talking about my damages from childhood and asked me if I had so much knowledge...why was I so stuck ( D's paraphrase).

You're doing it again. Your paraphrase sucks. Then you take your suck-y paraphrase and fashion your case for revelation and reformation around it. Let's go back to what I actually said:

"I will have a relationship with you someday.....someday when you grow up and are willing to take responsibility for who you are and what you do and the decisions you make. I'm am weary to the bone of hearing you give yourself a pass on everything by blaming your childhood. It is looking ridiculous for a 40+ year old woman to be blaming anyone but herself for what she does and who she is. When do you start to take full responsibility for these things? I'm beginning to think never."

I did not say anything about you having "so much knowledge" about your past. Neither did I say you were talking too much about your childhood. Your paraphrase neatly dispenses with the nut of what I said. What I pointed out is how you use your proclaimed childhood damage to excuse your bad behavior. That was the revelation. That was the point. You skirted it in April 2006. You are still skirting it.

Good question and one I could not in all integrity ignore. So again I asked God what was up. I learned from Him that going back to the places of pain, the roots of weak character, is only the beginning. It is the starting point, not the completion of the work which needs to be completed. Knowing these roots is essential for surrendering them to God who is the only one who can heal and restore my character. He was showing me these things not so they could be my "truth", but so I could give them to Him for healing. Needless to say, this has been a process. But thanks be to God, "He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it."

Now, here is the center of your attempt at diversion. You re-framed my words, then used the re-framing to simply give another plug for your favorite brand of Christianized navel-gazing. I've heard all this from you before. This is no new revelation you are presenting. You are recycling in a different context and slightly different wording the exact same concepts you've been hawking for years now. This falls flat. You have gotten no where in convincing me you've had any kind of "profound truth" revealed to you. You've simply done a clumsy repackaging of your favorite flavor of Christianized psychobabble.

So your two "proofs" of change only serve to prove you've not changed in any way that I can see. Nothing that would make me think you are safe for resumed interaction. This is a real pity. I would have hoped two years would have given you time for some real introspection. But all I see is that you've waited and hoped that time would minimize my memory and determination. You have thought you could devise a way to pretend to grant me some points even while you get to hang onto your self-righteous belief you really didn't do anything worth having me walk away from you for.

Here's what I think. I think you think that anything short of a cataclysmic event would not justify my ending our relationship.

You look around and don't see anything you think amounts to a cataclysm, therefore you don't think I'm justified in my decision. In your opinion you didn't do anything you'd consider a big deal as shown by how you have minimized all my primary complaints to nothingness. You don't see anything reaching to the level of deserving to have your sister walk away from you. I believe this thinking is what allows you to come to me with your false premise that you are dying to apologize if you only knew what you did.

What happened two years ago is what I call a "last straw" event. It was not the hugeness of the event. It was the sameness. More of the same piled higher and deeper. The weight of the last straw was enough to break the proverbial camel's back. It is not because the straw is heavy or HUGE. No, it is because of its sameness piled onto all the other straws just like it. There is a limit to how many straws anyone can carry on their back. April 2006 was my limit. That is what happened. It wasn't cataclysmic for you, but it was for me. It was the event that shocked me into seeing that nothing was different. The past was fully operational in the present.

I can also liken April 2006 as the end of the "Chinese" water torture that has been my life with you. One, two, three drops of water on someone's forehead causes no damage. Many drops can drive a person insane. Interestingly, what causes this torture method to work is when there is no predictable timing to the drops. The unpredictability...the inability for the victim to anticipate the timing of the next what drives a person to the brink of insanity or beyond. My life with you and Mom has been like a Chinese water torture. Drip, drip, drip. Never knowing when the next drip would hit. You look at April 2006 and think, "For Pete's sake, it was only one drop of water!" In the context of my history with you, for me it was the end of a long series of tortuously unpredictable drips. It was the last repetition of the same type of thing I was willing to endure.

I have left crazy-town.

I did explain this concept in different words and more briefly at the end of my last letter to you. Maybe the explanations above will help you understand the point a little better.

Because I have a working memory that tells me that someone is crapping on my head yet again, I am justified in removing myself from the situation which made it easy for me to be shat upon. History tells me that it will happen again because intelligent people know that history repeats itself. At the very least, history rhymes. There is no law in heaven or on earth that tells me I have to sit still for someone who likes to occasionally take a dump on me. I've left the outhouse pit hole. I'd say it was about time. You benefited for over forty years from my patience. You have no right or claim upon further patience from me.

So I thank you for helping me to see that how I was perceiving life and how I was living was not good enough. I thank God that there is victory in Jesus and a life short of that is no life at all.

I thank God for the victory He provides too. I also thank Him that He doesn't need me in your life to accomplish any good work He wants to do. Even though I don't see any evidence that you've experienced some kind of transformation that doesn't mean you haven't. It just means I can't see it. I can't see it because you didn't provide actual proof of it in this email.

In light of our differences of both personality and experiences, I know we will always have things we cannot agree on.

Yes, I am well aware that we have always had things we can not agree on. Thing is...when you disagree with me on something you decide that you deserve and desperately want, you get nasty. That is the issue. No two people in the universe agree on everything. Because I know that fact, I don't look for relationships with people who agree with me on everything. Just the important things. Shared core values. You and I do not share the same core values. Which is what led to the conflict in April 2006 and you showed how you are still a bitch when I disagree with you. You are the one who can't be decent when someone disagrees with one of your fundamental and pet ideas or stands in the way of something you think you're owed.

But please do not use it as an excuse to stop loving me.

Oh, please, stop making it all about you. Whether or not I love you is not the issue. The issue is whether or not I have to take your garbage when you decide to dish it out. I don't. You are still refusing my right to kick the people out of my life who like to occasionally take a dump on me. Just because you were squeezed out of the same birth canal I was doesn't give you special rights to my life or special claims on my affections.

Please let me know what I have done because I want no offenses to be between us any longer.

Once again you threw at me your false premise in this short email of yours. Your false premise makes me the bad guy. I don't appreciate you coming to me two years after the fact and setting up the basic premise of your email by covertly attempting to convince me I'm the bad guy. You are a master of blame-shifting. You reveal by this email and your two emails of April 2006 that you are highly practiced at your game. That fact, as much as anything else, convinced me you are an unsafe person to deal with. You lie by omission and commission in nearly every sentence. This tells me that, when you want your way, the truth is no obstacle to you. I choose to not deal with practiced liars.

I do not hold any illusions that we will go back to being close.

See, this is one of life's sad little realities. I don't remember ever feeling close to you. I could never trust you enough to feel close. Too many times I would feel you tear at my flesh with your cruel words and sneaky deeds. You have never truly come clean on even one thing you have done against me. Ever. The very few times I tried to get some confession from you for what I had absolute evidence that you did you would sneer and rage at me. I can still see your haughty bearing as you utterly trampled my right for justice and mocked my inability to get it. I learned it was worse than fruitless to confront you with your misdeeds. You would compound whatever you did with very cruel words and abuses. And you would absolutely refuse to admit to anything. It is still true to this day. You've learned to use subtler tools than rage and overt verbal abuse, but the end result is the same. You refuse to take responsibility for what you do.

In our young adult hood and beyond, I quietly moved on. I would give you as much of myself as I was willing to give even though you often subtly indicated I was falling short of your expectations of me. What I gave you was far more than you deserved. The thing you never give me credit for is how I didn't hold the past against you. I didn't live in pain or anger. I didn't keep seeking justice and accountability from you. I kept trying to believe you were a better person. I didn't hold resentments. And, yes, there were times I genuinely enjoyed your company.

But what I couldn't do was trust you.

With distressing regularity you would violate the little bit of trust I had managed to rebuild toward you...setting me back to square one over and over. You have been the beneficiary of so much patience that I almost make myself sick with what a kind sap I was toward you. All those unconfessed wrongs of yours kept piling up and directly negating trust. Yet, somehow, the onus has always been on me to make our relationship work even though you were the one persistently violating trust. You get to behave any old way you want to, and I'm the one who is supposed to just cut you slack because that is how I was expected to show that I love and understand you. Perverted and immoral.

Because you have never been willing to own your crap I have never been able to let my guard down with you. So your saying "going back to being close" is another revelation of how little you have perceived things from my perspective. You never look at things from my eyes. Just your own. You have felt close. Great. I can see why. I've been a decent and kind person and have let you get away with all kinds of crap. On my end of the relationship toward you I was having to always step carefully to avoid your wrath and/or cruelty. Can you see why it is easier for me to give it up? What am I really giving up? Only your selfish version of a relationship. Sorry. It doesn't feel like a loss.

I suspect you have many times seen me as being a selfish sister. Since your mid-20s you have been making noises about how much you love me and, oh, how you wish I loved you back. I'm sure I have many times failed to perform the way you thought I should as your sister. But this view of my behavior ignored why I felt I had to keep you at arm's length. Then we have the events of April 2006 which did not happen in a vacuum. There is a long and checkered history you've chosen to ignore or recreate that informs my reaction and my decision concerning you.

Let's look at some non-revisionist history. You frequently used and abused me during our growing up years. Then you ignored me for the most part after I left home. Especially as you reached your late teens. Then, on a dime, I was supposed to start pretending we had always been close. This paradigm shift occurred during your pregnancy.

Suddenly, cut off from the ego-stroking of peers and the workplace you turned your attentions on me. Sequestered in your hiding place you started playing the new role of adoring sister. Since I had left home at seventeen I had been the recipient of your disdain, your superiority complex, your self-righteous "I'll never do what you did" attitude. Abruptly, while you were in your confinement, Mom starts coming to me with statements like this:

"Your sister loves and respects you so much. It is really too bad you don't feel the same way about her. You really need to learn to love your sister."


I'm abruptly re-cast in a new role. You couldn't have cared less about me for years. You ignored me almost completely as you flitted about gathering admirers and accolades. This worked for me. I didn't mind being ignored by you because it minimized the times you would make me feel like crap on your shoe. Now, in a twinkling of an eye, I'm suddenly in the role of reluctant and unloving sister. This paradigm has continued to exist up to this day. It is an outgrowth of the narcissistic world view of both Mom and you.

One more time. The issue isn't that I don't love you or understand you. The issue is that I can't trust you enough to let you close. All friendships are based on trust. Without it...friendship can not exist. You have never been a true friend to me.

I know too much time has been allowed for festering of pain and old wounds do not heal easily.

You are projecting here. I am not sitting around with "festering of pain and old wounds" that "do not heal easily". I have moved on. I am not festering. I am not angry. I give you nary a thought. Without you in my life you can not continue to re-offend. Therefore, all wounds just close up and make a nice, neat little scar. People can easily live with scars if the scars are not too extensive. Scars just prove a wound once existed. Scars actually aid functionality because they are what is left after a healed wound. Wounds impair function, scars allow function to return. Scars can remind us of a past event, but they don't impede going forward into a good life. I have minimized the damage by cutting contact. You can't create more wounds so I function very well, thank you very much.

This line of my thinking is one of many places where you and I differ. While I don't condemn looking at the past, and I don't think looking at the past is necessarily a sign of staying in bitterness and anger, I do condemn using the past to justify mistreatment of others. I do not do that. You do that. As the saying goes, those who refuse to look at the past are condemned to repeat it. I have finally learned from the past with you and Mom so I can have a better future. It is working out very well for me. I am all for looking at the past in order to learn from it and move on. Which is why I'm not sitting here, as you presume, wallowing in "festering pain" and "old wounds". Far from it.


You could choose to believe that I am mistreating you now. I suspect you feel very sorry for yourself over what I have said (2 years ago) and am presently saying to you. This is not mistreatment. You are experiencing at long, long last the natural consequences of your persistent behaviors. You're finally reaping what you have sown. You are finally having to deal with some truth where I'm concerned. Truth you pretended you were looking for. Well, I'm sure you weren't asking for as much as I'm giving you. Like trial attorneys say, "never ask a question you don't know the answer to." I have carried this load of truth all by myself for decades. It is rightfully yours to carry. It is high time to have your conscience loaded with its rightful due. I'm being kind by assuming you have a conscience. Even after you've read all this letter please know I have greatly spared you. I could say ever so much more truth. I am taking pity on you. So, if you come at me again with more silly games just keep in mind that my barrel is still loaded. I have taken mercy on you at every step. You would do well to recognize this fact rather than accuse me of being unnecessarily cruel. You are still not even close to carrying the full weight of your guilt. I am not anxious to force it on you which is why I hold back. Act wisely and I will spare you. Silence is likely the smartest way for you to proceed. I am far from demanding full accountability from you. Don't push me.

End Sidebar.

A working memory is important in order to avoid repeating past mistakes. Memory enables me to know that the stove is hot so I can avoid burning myself repeatedly. I am simply avoiding getting burned. That is sensible and right. No one has the right to demand I keep near the hot stove and occasionally touch it so it can burn me. You have no right of ownership on my life. No right to demand any little thing of me that you expect I owe you. . I have a working memory and I'm not afraid to use it. Sorry it is to your detriment.
No right to expect I keep you close so that I get repeatedly burned

I am simply requesting an opportunity to make amends to my sister

That opportunity was afforded you two years ago. You are simply refusing to take it. It is not my fault you refuse to do so.

whom I dearly love.

What you call love is simply hunger. You know nothing of love for you have relegated it entirely to the realm of emotion. To you, love is a hunger, and a warm feeling of satisfaction when fed. One way this is revealed by you is when you described your relationship to me as being like a child to a you did in many conversations in the two years prior to our estrangement and then repeated in one of your April 2006 letters to me. I found it curious when this theme of yours started popping up in conversation. It was a new theme. It began in 2003. Time eventually revealed the purpose of this new refrain of yours.

While I'm sure I was supposed to be flattered to be described as a nurturing mother all it does is underline the completely out of kilter relationship we've had all our lives. I was assigned to do the nurturing and loving. You got to decide when I needed to give you whatever nurturing or validation you felt you had the right to expect from me. Your description actually reveals the utterly selfish way you have interacted with me. This relationship structure ignores my person hood.

It ignores who I really am.
It ignores the fact that by virtue of birth order alone I was always the one held ultimately responsible for you. When you decided to shirk your responsibilities as a kid (which you did frequently), I was the one held to highest account by our witch of a mother. So I was always picking up your slack just to keep the harridan off my case. Not because I was "mothering" you. My punishment was worse than yours when we caught flack for your irresponsibility. It was worse if for no other reason than it was supremely unjust.

My presence in the home was a very large shelter for you. You have freely admitted this time and again. Yes, I protected you. Much of that protection was because of Mom's unjust system described above. Some of it was because I hated seeing you get clobbered so I wanted to help you learn how to stay out of trouble. I was a shelter for the first 14 years of your life. A shelter I was never afforded. You felt the full brunt of Mom's wrath after I left home because she could no longer deny what a slacker you were and how much your ass had been covered by your over-worked and over-used elder sister. Yeah, that hurt, I'm sure. But a certain amount of the flak you took was yours to take.

My life as the eldest child was very difficult. You will never know how difficult. You only got a taste of it because you never had a selfish, lazy little sister to deal with. My life at home was difficult enough simply because of the selfish, abusive mother we had. But my burdens were greatly added to because of you taking advantage of Mom's unfair system of government. You took advantage of me and my position of responsibility for you that far exceeded what should have been demanded of me. You totally exploited this system. You have always liked this unfair system and used it to your own ends. I know this because you've perpetuated this system long after we left our childhood home.

Whatever abuses you suffered after I left home pale in comparison with what I endured from my earliest moments. The rejection and anger which Mom focused on you at age 14 were endured by me from before I even talk. As a teenager you were abused. It is a sad and even tragic thing, and I've always felt great empathy toward you for that. Nevertheless, you never really have tried to conceptualize that I endured Mom's rages and cruelties and rejections as a barely sentient human being. I was utterly defenseless. Yet, I survived. And I didn't ever use my tragic early beginnings to justify mistreating you. I was a good sister to you. Which is not something you can rightly claim is true of you toward me.

With this history in the back of my mind I would have to listen to you talk at length time and again about your "childhood damage". You would always talk about your "damage" like you alone had suffered it. You would not include me in your rehearsals of our mother's abuses. It was weird. It felt weird because you would talk to me like you were telling the story to someone who didn't live through it themselves and worse.

It was a telling manifestation of your ultra self-centeredness. You revealed in this that you relish your childhood damage. I don't. Which is why you could so readily act like I didn't go through much worse than you did. I wasn't bending your ear about it. I had moved on. You like being stuck in your childhood damages because it is a one-way ticket out of taking responsibility for who you are. That truth is revealed by how you consistently behave.

So, as adults, you expected that I would join your revamped version of reality that you are the one who had such a hard childhood that you still wanted and needed a mommy figure in your elder sister as you reached middle age. We were supposed to base our adult relationship on this version of reality that pretends your childhood was harder than mine. It was sick. It was twisted. And it only served you. Who the hell was nurturing me all those years as a child? It sure wasn't Mom. It sure as hell wasn't you. How long do I have to be used by you to fulfill your insatiable emotional appetites? Well, if you had your way...forever. But you're no longer getting your way. We're doing this my way.

I have forever resigned from your assigned role for me. I'm not your mother. I never felt like your mother. I was your sister and I treated you decently. I didn't use and abuse you. That just means I was a good person; it didn't mean I was signing up for a lifetime role of servant and mother to you with no feelings of my own that you ever needed to take into account. Mom was the one who long ago set up the unfair system that made you think from your most formative years that I owed you whatever you demanded. I'm sorry as hell she did that. I am even sorrier that you never saw the unfairness of her system and rejected it. You have done all you can to perpetuate this perverted system right up to when I walked away.

It is obvious that to you love is not defined by doing. In fact, in order to perceive your love I have to ignore, discount or explain away the doing. Love is not entirely defined by an action, but neither can it be substantiated by words alone. And if a person’s words and actions contradict each other, a wise person must believe the actions over the words. You insist I must believe the existence of your love based on your words alone. But because these words are often demonstrably lies and manipulations, because the words don't line up with your actions, then I can find no assurance whatsoever in the words.

I will close this here as I'm sure you've had enough. I'm sorry I am not open to re-establishing a relationship with you based on your words in this latest email. I do not expect a reconciliation between us. You are not willing to come clean; I'm not willing to accept less. And now, with you continuing your baloney two years after the fact, I'm scratching my head wondering what would ever induce me to trust you enough to let you back into my life.

I am sincerely hopeful your life is going well. I also hope that you will expend your energies on treating others more unselfishly than you've treated me. You can prove to God you're changed by treating others well.