Well meaning third parties informed me that my sister has been posting passive aggressive comments on Facebook that are directed towards me. These remarks revolve around a central theme supporting her allegation that I’m heartless, a grudge hoarder, & unforgiving. Hiding behind her cloak of Christianity she posted bible verses & quotes. Here’s an example of one:
Surprisingly my mother chimed in “Well said!” Of course my brother didn’t fail to share his two cents. Another one of my sister’s notorious post addressed carrying around grudges like garbage & forgiving before it’s too late. The following scripture accompanied this:
My mother’s response was “Wish someone we knew would!” My sister always makes a habit of publicly posting her thinly veiled opinions & life philosophies, while keeping everything else private on her wall. My mother & brother almost always feel the need to comment. Funny how the judgment train never goes both ways.
Forgiveness seems to be a religious concept for my sister, laced with scripture. She equates forgiveness with reconciliation. Her purpose – to condemn my unforgiving spirit & sacrilegious conditional love. Her holier than thou smoke screen is an attempt to get me to validate & agree with her terms of reconciliation, thus avoiding accountability & absolving her of any need for change. According to her I’m ruining “what could be an awesome relationship with a family member” not to mention being petty.
Obviously our mother is caught in my siblings’ triangulation. Honestly, she’s been dancing around the real problems between her children for years. My mother is unwilling to dig deeper to acknowledge the damage my siblings are doing. I’m sure that she’s been influence by misinformation & conjecture by them. Though she’s never asked about my side to the story, I have told her that there are no innocent parties. In my opinion she’s giving my siblings a license to toss their psychological garbage my way. It seems like my siblings are deliberately trying to drive a wedge between me & our mother. Keeping me hostage to ‘their’ version of events, my siblings avoid feeling uncomfortable with their actions & elude accountability. Denial is a very powerful device.
Clearly my sister’s version of forgiveness & mine don’t agree. Forgiveness doesn’t minimize, justify, or excuse the wrong. Forgiveness doesn’t erase the memory. It erases the bitterness & turns the memory into a valuable lesson. Forgiveness takes place when you can remember the wrong, but the feelings of resentment & revenge are absent. Forgiveness is not the end of the healing process. It’s part of it. It’s possible to forgive without reestablishing or continuing a relationship. Sometimes forgiveness is simply closure. Most important –
After our father’s death my sister claimed that she wanted to reconcile. When I didn’t agree to her terms, she turned the tables & started claiming that I was responsible for our estrangement. Diverting all attention from her behavior, she began fishing for sympathy & sought support from others, especially on Facebook. Now she claims my reaction is proof of my unforgiving, grudge holding, cold heartedness. I challenge my alleged flaws. Who made her judge & jury? There never was any vengeance towards my sister. Likewise, I’ve already forgiven her. Truthfully, I practice forgiveness frequently towards my sister, especially when she exhibits her passive aggressive behavior.
I don’t trust my sister. Her posts & comments make me realize just how little she respects me. Furthermore her actions make it very clear that she doesn’t care; she didn’t care; & probably will never care about my feelings. Common senses tells me that at least some of the responsibility for our estrangement lies with me. I’m sincerely sorry for this. But I’m not willing to bridge the gap between me & my siblings because I don’t believe our relationship will be healthy or supportive. Constantly being met with intolerance & hostility, rather than respect & acceptance is getting old. I’m not going to cling onto some guilt laden sense of duty towards family. The repeated, unacceptable experiences with my siblings have made a deep imprint on my heart. Their destructive patterns of communication encourages me to keep my distance not decrease it. Besides I’m not willing to sacrifice myself to please my family.
Note: I chose not to respond or engage in any comments regarding my sister’s post, denying her the personal attention she’s seeking. However, I’m surprise my siblings are exposing behavior once only seen behind closed doors on social media. Facebook isn’t a clothesline for airing dirty laundry, but it does give others a vivid glimpse of their true colors.