And I quote …

      Not everyone is okay with living like an open wound. But the thing about open wounds is that, well, you aren’t ignoring it. You’re healing; the fresh air can get to it. It’s honest. You aren’t hiding who you are. You aren’t rotting. People can give you advice on how to heal without scarring badly. But on the other hand there are some people who’ll feel uncomfortable around you. Some will even point and laugh. But we all have wounds.

Warsan Shire

Would you rather be touched by fire – or ice?

This week was suicide prevention week. It occurred to me that for all the mental health awareness there is in the world, it still seems lost on the people that you want most to love and support you … your family. For the life of me, I cannot understand it.  Ive seen my own family reeling from a suicide, all of us asking ourselves what we could of done differently and wondering where we went wrong, regretting not reaching out sooner or more often. 

Yes, it’s too late to change anything about  those who were lost to the depths of depression along their own life’s path, but, No, you do not get to ever go back to being naive to the darkness which swallowed them. Please remember, you cannot forget.

What about the ones who have grappled with the depths of despair that are still among us? 

Maybe in your truth, you see this as a consequence, but  for what exactly? Being touched by fire? Do we deserve to be burned? And if the opposite of this is you…are you touched  by ice?

Seems like a zero sum game. 

Perhaps we could just trust each other to pay attention to our own truth. I’ll stay out of yours, you stay the hell out of mine? Maybe family could learn to treat other relatives with slightly more dignity than a complete stranger? 

Is that the best we can do? 

That saddens me, but then again what do I know, I’m the sick one …

                                                   right?

Letters I meant to send

Just because I’m your big sister, doesn’t mean you can act like a child and give me the cold shoulder on account of you not getting your way. 

I AM NOT YOUR PERSONAL, DISPOSABLE SCAPEGOAT.

Also, If you assume I’m okay with you treating our parents like garbage, or my kids as a nuisance to your life then you must not know me at all. Yes, I see you rolling your eyes at mother and how you resent our father’s efforts to guide you. No, there isn’t ANY justifiable reason for you to cuss at our parents over my child’s birthday cake. I have been tolerant and held my tongue too long.

I am fed up with hearing you pass judgement and blame on mother, father, myself, our extended family, your friends, your colleagues … your  landlord , any scapegoat will do; and of course, everyone else but yourself – for every wrong thing that has ever happened in your life. People can have relationships with friends and family fade without the drama. Fine, there’s no love or respect lost for you here, we get it. You can be superior to us all, but please know that your profound inability to empathize with anyone or anything that doesn’t benefit you in some way was never lost on us. Bad behavior should not be overlooked simply because you act out on people who love you. Being related to someone does not give you a free pass to hurt them. Being hurt in the past by someone you hold dear is not justification to hurt anyone else in the future. Everything isn’t about you and yes, you are still accountable for all the pain you’ve inflicted, no matter how you feel. No manipulations, no crocodile tears, no emotional blackmail. 

No more, sister.

Our love isn’t a shield that protects you from reprisal when you disrespect us while we continue to hope and pray you will sit the hell down, swallow your selfishness, own your shit, and – for once – put other people ahead of you. I will no longer accept anything less than the same love, courtesy, and appreciation that you expect all the time and almost never reciprocate. 

Pain should not be a legacy, and we as relatives should know better than to force someone to inherit our stressors and traumas, ESPECIALLY our children.

An open letter to my nephew on his first birthday.

2:55 am and an electronic notification alerted me that it was your 1st birthday. You were born a year ago at this very moment apparently. I am so sorry that is something I don’t know, but then I don’t even know you. I know your name. I know youre completely adorbs. I know that if “allowed” I wouldve have been there from your first breath to my last. I also know that I could never participate in a game in which you were leverage. I know that I have wanted to be your Auntie since the moment I found out I was going to be a big sister. I know that I love just the idea of you and want so desperately to love YOU you, exactly as you are. 

 I just wanted you to know. 

Happy 1st Birthday.

All my love,  Auntie Stephanie