On Family…

I wrote to my Aunt again.  She’s the one who found me, years ago, after she came upon my contact information left online from years before.  She left the most amazing message on my voicemail letting me know that she thought she might be my aunt.  After mere moments of conversation it was obvious that we were on the same page.  I was born three months early and I don’t think there’s many who survived that in the 70’s when I came to be.

We talked on the phone a few times and made plans to meet.  I went to her home, a six-hour drive away, and spend the weekend getting to know them…she was my mom’s youngest sister and loved her very much.  I could still see that love in her eyes when she spoke of Kathy.  She wrote me, after we returned home, telling me that she loved me so much.  She said now that she had found me she would never let me go.  I was..elated.  Family.  Blood.  Home….for the first time I felt connected to someone by birthright, not just circumstance.

Anyway, I tripped and landed smack in the middle of a cptsd puddle shortly thereafter and started therapy (wow this was quite a while ago!), then got myself on some helpful medications…some not so helpful.  I struggled through years of depression and wanting to die…I kept her away from that part of me because I was terrified that she would think I wanted something from her.  I didn’t.  I just wanted her in my life.

But, in my way, I slowly stopped talking to her.  We connected once every few months and she seemed okay with that.  I always at least answered her email, even if they weren’t long ones.  She wrote about meeting the rest of the family…having a dinner somewhere where everyone could attend.  I put that off a bit then, considering how messed up I was in the head.  I was so worried they would not want me if they knew.  I wrote them all a letter and lied (or talked around) my past.  I didn’t want them to pity me or feel bad.  I really just wanted to meet them.

Time passed and my aunts letters got shorter, until one day she stopped writing all together.  After my diagnosis with the pain, (if you can call what I’m working with a ‘diagnosis’) I wrote her again.  I told her I was on more even ground and that I missed her.  I told her no one in my family (adoptive) spoke to me any longer and that I would love to have a relationship with her, even if it remained over email.  I just didn’t want to lose the closest thing I had to my mom.  She didn’t reply.

Months later she sent me a note and said she knew I must be disappointed but I jumped all over that, told her no no nooo it was fine.  I just wanted to not lose her.  I didn’t quite understand what she meant, I think.  I now realize she was saying goodbye.  She didn’t want to deal with what I came with.  Maybe she was upset over her loss…I dont’ know. She was so differently minded back when we met.  I told her I didn’t want to cause her any pain but she insisted that wasn’t the case.  She carried that throughout the time we spoke.  Then…she just went away.

I wrote about it here.  Lots of kind-hearted folks told me that she may not have been ready or didn’t think about the implication, but I know in my heart that wasn’t the case.  Her sister had been gone for 30 years.  She was well settled and balanced and my appearance did nothing but provide her with a source of happiness.  A little bit of the sister she lost…as she was a little bit of the mother I lost, to me.

Anyway.  I wrote her again.  I told her about my spine and the things I’ve been going through.  I told her I’d been to therapy and had done well with the depression and ptsd.  I caught her up on Colt and how wonderful he is..did the same with D.  I sent it off to her Hotmail and her work email both, hoping to find her somewhere but….no answer.

Maybe she’s on vacation.  Maybe she isn’t checking those email anymore.  Maybe she died and no one bothered to tell me.  I don’t know.  I don’t think she’s going to write back though.  I feel a huge sadness inside when I think of this.  It wasn’t that I thought she’d replace anything I’d lost, but I didn’t expect her to treat me as if I don’t exist.  Which is how this feels, true or otherwise.  I hope she writes back, even just to tell me to stop writing her.  At least then I’d know.


This ambivalence is part of the attachment issues I have.  When I need to focus elsewhere it’s usually very easy for me to do so, for a great length of time to pass without me realizing it.  I am guessing that I hurt her by not being more connected?  I’m not sure.  It would explain why she wants nothing to do with me though.  Even family, real family, doesn’t want to put up with me.  How did I grow up with all these people around me, saying they loved me, only to end up here?

I’m not very lovable am I?  Not in reality, when you have to look me in the face.  But that’s okay.  I can turn and walk away without a thought.  Not exactly my most endearing skill but….it is what it is.  What else can I do?

(Pain is back.  Tired…haven’t done any work yet but that’s simply out of spite.)

Guess that’s all.


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About Grainne

My name is Grainne. This blog has been with me for years now and has served as a journal, a confessional, an outlet and a place for me to create and express my love of life. Thank you for stopping by and for becoming a part of this life long journey of mine. I appreciate every single one of you who takes the time to do so. :)

10 responses to “On Family…”

  1. Mental Mama says :

    Maybe it’s just that she’s having a rough time right now herself. I know it’s hard, but try not to assume the worst.

    • Grainne says :

      Eeh we went through this before and she didn’t ever write. This was kind of my last try to connect. I’ll leave her alone if she doesn’t get back to me this time. 😦

  2. ~meredith says :

    This was a sad post to read, Grainne, and I’m sorry for your loss, and losses.

    You wrote: “I tripped and landed smack in the middle of a cptsd puddle shortly thereafter…”

    This may have happened to her, as well. I know that, as much as I love my sister, we cannot help but trigger one another, regardless of the number of times we had very close, loving experiences.off and on throughout the times we connected. Sometimes, one doesn’t know what they know until memories begin stirring. Sometimes, the threat of others, unhappy to know a connection exists, create pressure and threats of being shut out… sometimes, people just plain lie about previous lives, previous circumstances, wishing it away (as if this were possible.) I really relate to this post. I was ‘the one who told,’ the one who ‘set boundaries,’ and I remain unforgiven and unwelcome. Once, my sister and I went to pick out flowers at a local flower shop (in the town I lived in for the first 24 years of life… and the shop owner looked at my sister in surprise and said, ‘OH! I didn’t know you had a sister, Sister.” Sister did have a sister. Me. It was one of those red flag moments I didn’t want, so pushed aside, but the flags kept rising. The family ship sank to the bottom of… I don’t know where.

    Anyway… it’s not personal. It never is, and it’s impossible to guess how, why, or if any of the past is real or has value when shit like this goes down. It’s not worth the wondering, either. It weighs on the heart and changes our active, tangible relationships, too, if we’re not careful.

    Now matters. I’m sorry for your losses, though. I’m sitting with losses and legal tension presently… it always hurts. I always cry. The life I think I had doesn’t matter because it’s not part of my present life, except through paperwork and flashbacks. It’s a tough go, presently, but it will end. Once I realized I no longer know the people I thought I loved… well, I cried some more, but crying is now an option in my life… so it’s okay… sometimes more than others. I left that life for a reason, though, and I have to remember I’m a Real Girl for having gone on. (you know how Pinnochio always wanted to be a Real Boy? i never felt real. now, i do).

    Wishing you a better day, and some good music.

    All the best,


    • Grainne says :

      “Now matters” this is so true and it comes back around to me so often…I really should have those words inked on my skin so I never forget again.

      This aunt followed me with phone calls and the like for a few years after first contact but I think she was (quite rightly) put off by my lack of engagement, just like I am with hers now. She might have had some bad memories surface and simply wasn’t willing to have a half-relationship with a dead sister’s daughter. I hear you. It could all be very true. I just wish people would be honest about these things. I didn’t exactly ignore her when I went quiet…but. That was then and this is now. I’m constantly trying to get a handhold on my past. I don’t know why the lure is so damn strong.

      Thank you again. You gave me much to think about. xx

  3. thealgonquinbusboy says :

    people have to be able to accept everything about you and all that you come with or you have trouble acting like most of us do when things get close. the rejection of any of you probably feels like wholesale rejection. lousy boundaries. there have people who simply could not get enough of you and what you had to offer and were glad to put up with the not-so-shiny things that came with it. you know i was one. you told me about others. there are more ahead. it helps not to want it, probably.

    • Grainne says :

      Interesting. I guess what is going on in my life now is a forced inventory of my not-so-shiny parts. It’s hard to accept that so few people love you when you’ve been telling yourself the opposite for so many years. More to think about.

      I have to add that sexuality plays a huge role in things, often. You were caught in that particular spider web, I think. It wasn’t just my nature that kept you coming back now was it? This time around I’m trying to connect with people without the sexual overtone and I’m finding that not so many people like me. Hilarious eh? The one thing I strive to get away from is the thing that keeps me in friends.


      • Pete says :

        Hey you Peppermint Gal!

        I like you, heaps and heaps and so wish we lived closer to each other because we would make perfect BFF (Best friends forever) in the ‘hip’ language that is now out there amongst younger people 🙂 Or at least BTF (Best twins forever). I love you for you Grainne xo. And that feels so powerful at times!

        I think if we lived close we would be together so much Dan might worry lol, but he need not as he would see how our relationship would be held together. We would be joined at the hip lots and asleep on each others couches a lot I think (clothes on of course…see no sexual overtones there!). And movie buddies. On man why have we been put on the other side of the bloody earth!!?

        There must be a reason???


        Pete xo

      • Grainne says :

        Dan is glad that I have friends who can support me and understand. He wants to do it all but he can’t be the one I constantly turn to for this pain management…lol. He thinks his head might pop off. 🙂

  4. Sian says :

    I’m really sorry to hear that you have lost connection with her when it’s what you most desire. Always here if you fancy a chat!x

  5. KittyHere says :

    I am glad you wrote the emails . . . whether they reach anyone or not and whether you find out what the situation with your aunt is is a separate issue. Try and view it that way. Writing was an important exercise for you. The rest is out of your hands.

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