Dear Sister Natalie
I have a few things that I have been thinking over the years and I'd like to lay them out to clear the air.
Firstly, I do not want to impinge on your life in any way whatsoever by coming back home to live. All I want is a home for my family, close to my wider family. I want to do my best for them; and for our mother. I know that we haven't always got on; but I would really like us to be able to work towards being friends and supporting each other.
Secondly, for twenty years I have stayed away from home except when I really, really had no place to go, because I know how strongly you feel about the place and how much you have needed to be there. Therefore you have only ever seen me when I have been in extremis. You don't know me any more. Your image of me is stuck in our teenage years when I was ill from a frustrating and debilitating illness and reinforced by seeing my need for shelter at the end of an abusive relationship.
You have no idea how I am on a day to day level - my needs and desires, the things I find satisfying or unpleasant, what I find funny or what makes me sad.
You don't know what makes me tick any more. Just as I don't know what makes YOU tick.
I value my independence. Above everything, I don't want to be reliant on anyone else, ever. And that seems to be your main fear - that I will turn up and expect everyone to do things for me.
That is not the case. It has NEVER been the case. I have never asked for help gratuitously, financial, emotional or practical, when I have been able to manage without it. And I am not about to start now. I am looking to make a relationship with you that will benefit all of us - you, Ma, B, me, the children. In ways that obvious to us now and perhaps in ways that are not yet obvious.
I don't want anyone to do anything they don't want to do, or don't feel able to do.
All I want is a home for us. Somewhere to put down roots, be settled and to grow. You have no idea how it feels to be rootless and as badly bruised as this - how could you? I don't think many people have experienced what we have been through. The last twelve months have been hell for B and me. It's a miracle that we are still standing and still together, let alone that our relationship is still as strong as it is. I know that we have both lost our father; and that was a really painful process. But on top of that, B and I have lost our home. Our business. His family. And nearly, our daughter.
It has taught us a lot of things. But the main thing it has taught us is that it is people who are important. We just want to be with our family, right or wrong. And unfortunately for you, you and Ma are all there is.
I really hope that we can make it work. There are so many benefits for all of us. I know that being friends might not be possible. But beings sisters might be a starting place to see if it is.
Friday, 14 August 2009
from the heart
Dear Sister Natalie