A Thanksgiving Blessing Rose Out of a Thanksgiving Rejection.

One year and nine months after my sister Sherry’s death, I was rejected by those I had once considered family. I was the only one my sister’s family excluded from the Thanksgiving guest list.

Sherry was my only sibling. Being excluded from the holiday table we’d shared my whole adult life was an abandonment from family that I knew too well. It triggered the childhood wounds surrounding paternal sexual abuse and maternal abandonment around it.

The blessing is, my mother rejected their invitation to be with me.

While she couldn’t, and still can’t, discuss my challenges around dad’s pedofile advances in my direction. She could choose me this Thanksgiving. A choice that has lifted a dark cloud that has hung over us for the last 40-years.

What I’ve learned is: my joy is more valuable than anyone’s anger, including my own.

A meaningful life is a coming home to yourself. It isn’t about being a savior to others or being patient and kind at your own expense. It’s about being your own hero. Only then can you be free to create the life you’ve been given.

My REACTION to my brother-in-law’s anger was calm rational. But my underlying TRUTH was tormented confusion about how he could be so aggressive toward me when we’d always been allies. My REACTION to my dad’s pedophilia was silence. But my actual TRUTH was terrified confusion about how he could be a caring father by day and scary monster by night… and where was mom night after night?!

I believed that my cloak of calm and silence were acts of love.

But I now realize, my passivity was not love at all. It was fear. Oddly, love and fear have a similar vibration, only opposite sides of the spectrum.

Difference is, love wants to resolve fear and fear wants to perpetuate anger.

My REACTIVE calm has created tremendous conflict within me. I became, by my own embodiment, the sacrificial lamb (so to speak). I have felt irrelevant by my brother-in-law’s accusations and unimportant by my mother’s absence. But, while it’s true I am a victim in this story, I also accepted the role.

I questioned my own relevance and importance, and coward to their anger and shame. I gave them permission to continue treating me wrongly. And, as the saying goes, people treat you how you let them.

Silence has been my REACTIONARY response, not screaming or blaming or fighting. It‘s time to change my REACTIONS into RESPONSES that reflect my inner truths.

This Thanksgiving I give myself permission to give my mom a second chance at motherhood. Just like she said over our holiday meal, “you kids gave me a second chance at childhood.” And, I also give myself permission to walk away from a brother-in-law who’s ruled by anger.

My mother’s love has been shown through her RESOLVE to stand with me, no matter what her limits may be. My brother-in-law has only showed a unquenchable anger that uses fear to perpetuate it’s destructive wake.

Answer life’s call! Keep your story moving! Be your own hero!
Happy Thanksgiving.