I stopped writing here at On a Limb in late 2016 when I received a missive from my eldest sister thanking me for writing this blog.
She said that she and my schizophrenic mother loved to read the blog to get updates on my life. They could then share then with their friends and, in turn, pretend in some way that we were still a "family."
I was flabbergasted by her words.
Our relationship fell apart... Who am I kidding? Our relationship ended when I asked her to sit down with me and talk. 1 hour. Anywhere. Any time.
I wanted to spend an hour -- face to face -- with my sister to sort out some of the issues between us. I offered to go to where she lived or pay to have her come here. I offered to sit down in front of a therapist. We could do it via Skype or even just by telephone. I asked for 1 hour -- to work through some of the stuff that stands between us.
At the time, I was a sought after psychotherapist. People flew from all over the country to sit down to talk to me. I was also running the Open Grove. I was working over 100 hours a week. My time was valuable, and people paid a lot of money for it.
She said, "No."
She's said "No" every year for the last 13 years.
I've asked. I've begged. I've bargained. I've grumbled about it. Nothing has worked.
Then I learned that she was getting her information about me through this blog? Now, she didn't have to speak to me, ever. She could just read the blog.
So I stopped writing here.
Every single time I tried to come back, I was struck by the fact that she and my bat-shit-crazy mother would read it.
I couldn't bear the thought. So I let things go silent here.
It's taken me more than a year to realize one simple fact -- the problem wasn't that they were getting their information about me from the blog. The problem was that I wasn't writing anything honest.
I wasn't writing about them.
In my desire for dignity, I don't talk about what my life was like growing up. I haven't talked about the things that have happened since I was forced out of the house at 17 years old. I don't talk about the intervening years where my psycho mother turned the extended family against me. I've never written about what it was like to live with schizophrenia in the air of my life.
I've never talked about my "sisters" who were actually accomplices and instigators to my destruction. I've never talked about my father or grandfather. I've never talked about standing in front of my mother when she lost her mind only to have her walk out an pretend everything was all right. I've never really been that honest.
Why bother holding their secrets anymore?
I'm restarting the blog.
My hope is to return to the things I'm passionate about -- my family, my life, the writing profession, honeybees, dogs. But this time, I won't exclude honest stories about the miserable people and situations in my life.
I've always said that I was unable to write about real people. Maybe it's time to learn. The blog offers me a chance to practice.
It's quite possible that I won't be able to do it. It's quite possible that I will freeze and fail to write. I honestly don't know.
What do you think? Are you interested?