Thursday, June 18, 2009

To My Sister-in-Law

You found this blog, didn't you? You found RJ's (my little sister) Twitter account and you tracked me down via my year-old-pic of JR that I use as my profile pic (or something like that). Regardless, there is no doubt that you're here.

I must confess. I feel a little naked. Or, at the very least, scantily clad in a see-through nighty (so attractive on a nearly 8-month pregnant woman) and footie socks. Yes, I have told a couple REAL LIFE people about this space, but otherwise, I remain heavily cloaked in the shaky promise of anonymity.

It isn't that I am trying to hide from you, from anyone. Well, maybe it is . . . it is just that sometimes in this space I say things, do things that might prompt questions, concerns, fits of utter hilarity, thoughts that maybe I need therapy. Deep and constant therapy.

Then again. I play it safe. I let thoughts linger on the precipice, teetering between the abstract and the concrete. I am fiercely protective . . . even though very few know who I am.

You should see the posts I have in draft.

I have written about our family history, no doubt stories you've heard from the perspective of my little brother, your husband, the father to my niece (that still seems so weird--my little brother, a father, a husband, about to hit a major milestone b-day--strange, surreal).

Writing has slowly become my therapy. My way to sort out the mix of histories and make sense of them all. Where did I, we, come from? How did we get here? How did we grow from the family that "couldn't afford a Happy Meal" to a family that has defied our trailer park destiny? How did we navigate the choppy parental waters, filled with our mother's predatory past and our father's disconnection--how did we do it and still thrive?

How did my brother find you? You, him? How did I end up with someone who was surely promised to someone else--a cultured, wealthy woman from a good family, no doubt? How did RJ and Cat (little and baby sisters, respectively) end up confident, ambitious, absolutely amazing when they were never supposed to leave the broken down yellow house on the street lined with rusted cars and hints of futures that were never meant to be?

How did we get here?

I sit in your cozy living room and watch as our children play together. The way Little L touches JR's head, looking at him as if he is the most fascinating creature she has ever seen. How JR watches, enraptured, as she spins her little body around to the heavy beat of music that fills the room. I look at you, at my brother and I feel full.

Even when we slam phones, scream expletives, shake our fists, spit out insults (volitility was our sustenance for so long, we can't help but sometimes ache for its comfort, its familiarity), I know that what resides in us is peace. We know we are loved. We know that know matter what we will be there for one another.

I will be there for you. No matter what. And though tender words laced with tearful emotions have never passed between us, I think you'd be there for me . . . no matter what.

This is my space. This is where I share stories about JR, your nephew, our life, both past and present, my thoughts about anything, everything. I release, I purge, I laugh, I share, I ache, I reach out with these posts. Some of them suck. Some of them don't. Some of them are funny. A lot of them are not.

But, they are as me as I can be. And for now, that's enough.

So, that said . . . welcome to my space.

By the way, what does my little brother want for his birthday?

Oh, and one more teeny, tiny thing . . . if my mom ever asks you about me and my blog, your answer should be, "Blog? What blog? Does L have a blog?" K?



Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

If you are good it never remains a secret. And you are good.

flutter said...

EXACTLY what jenn said

painted maypole said...

ah. my inlaws found my blog, too, although they've never directly said so. It definately makes it weird, and has made me consider telling MY family about it... but I haven't, and it's been about year since the other half started reading.

Corey~living and loving said...

what a great post...I wasn't sure where it was going to go...and was pleasantly surprised. :)

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

The weirdest day yet was when my mother in law and her sister responded to my blog posts... I am still not comfortable, and I can tell in my writing style and thoughts. Even though they say "Please! Write what you want! Don't worry about what we think." I KNOW that they're there... And I change how I write.

DysFUNctional Mom said...

You handled this beautifully.
That is the ONE drawback to blogging...people finding your private spot.

Kori said...

It DOES make you feel naked and exposed; I recently found out through Feedjit that two family members-a "sister" and a cousin-visit my blog regularly, and it is very disconcerting-especially given the fact that there are few, if any, tender feelings between us. Still, I just haveto go along and pretend I don't know that, or I would stop blogging entirely-which would be horrible for me.

Cat said...

You forgot to mention how much beauty there is in these pages of yours, but no surprise really - look who it is all coming from.

A Buns Life said...

That is a fear I have....a few family members read. The ones I have told, but most do not know and I prefer it that way, not because I am talking about them or anything, but honestly I just don't want them to know me that well. Weird huh? Well, maybe not. :)

Anonymous said...

alright people, chill out. i didn't "find" this blog. It was made known to me by the blogger via twitter so not at all like these other situations where your family members "found" your blog. I would never have known about this, looked for this or even cared to. And blogspot can be set for invited readers only for those of you who wish your family hadn't found your modern day diary.

Flea said...

Sounds like you have a good relationship with your sis-in-law. :)

I know my in-laws know about my blog. The sad part is, they don't care and don't read. Meaning they don't keep up with the kids and the photos and stories. That's heart breaking.

Stupid people.

Elaine A. said...

Here's a shout out to your SIL - "Hey girl, welcome to FTCS! It's a great blog!" : )

Thanks for sharing L ...

Lori said...

Family reads my blog and some have had opinions that I should not have posted response is "this is MY space and if you don't like it, I didn't make you read it!" ha!
Of course, you have a much better way with words than I do!

Kat said...

Hehehe. You are so clever.

My hubby gave my MIL my blog address and I have felt guarded ever since. It may actually be a good thing, I guess. Not that I ever really want to write negative stuff about her or anything, but I have to be careful of what I complain about. ;)

Jaina said...

I'm not exactly sure why I haven't found myself here before...I know I've heard your name from other fabulous bloggers. This was a great post. There are maybe three people IRL who know I blog, but none of them have the link. I know I would write differently if people I saw all the time were reading.

Tara R. said...

Both my SILs and MIL know of my blog. Only ones actually leaves comments, but I have found myself censoring myself on occasion knowing that they may be reading. One post I password protected. I don't like that. I wish it was still my little secret.

tommie said...

I think I agree with Jenn!

My SIL's read my will comment anon every once in awhile.

Kel said...

I hope you find the anonymity here that you seek until you can find the answers comfortable enought to come out and if that never happens - that too is ok. Secrets rarely remain secrets forever, but we can try...

Lisa (Jonny's Mommy) said...

I'm a blabber mouth. It's hard to keep mine a secret, but still...not everyone reads it. Most of them don't really care enough to or are too busy.

Hey, the SIL is a little touchy, huh? :-)

abby p said...

I think this is a great response to her finding you. It is hard to people we love to see another side of us--be is funny, witty, pissy--we have to face them all the time.

Clearly you two get along. I wish I could say the same for my SIL (three are awesome and one is--let's not get negative, shall we?).

BTW, I've been reading you for awhile and I can't think of anything you've written that you should hide or be ashamed of--not a thing. Well, except maybe for that photo of your Michael Jackson collection.

Karen MEG said...

I'm thinking your SIL is pleasantly surprised by your blog. How could she not be; the writing is beautiful, and the insight into YOU would probably make her love you even more.

Funny this, I just blogged about "coming out" to some friends and them not really caring LOL!

For the record, my SIL was one of my first readers and commenters, and she follows to keep up with the kids. Oh, and to hear me bitch about her little brother, I'm sure. She still gives me awesome hugs whenever we see each other, so all's good :).

Kelly (conversemomma) said...

Isn't it amazing that we have no problems if hundreds of readers we don't initially know read us, but a few family members can send us over the edge with worry. I've so been there, sista.

thordora said...

That terrifies me, the idea of actual relatives reading my site. Old friends-that's bad enough.

Immoral Matriarch said...

I think your blog is beautiful, I don't think anyone could have any problem with it.

I loved this post.

*rubbing the belly, whether you like it or not!*

Two Hands Full said...

I never know how to balance the story telling with the needs of the real people in those stories. It makes me want to go back and tell no one what I'm doing, so I can say all the honest and untidy things.

I like this letter to your SIL, though. Because I sense in it that you like her, and that is a beautiful thing.

meredithwinn said...

there is a beautiful respect in this letter to her. i admire that.

Hyphen Mama said...

Your words are perfect.

I personally worry that my family will find me. My brother has borrowed my computer and accidentally pulled up my site, whether he returned to check it out later is unknown to me.

If the anonymous comment left here really is your SIL and not some troll, then I hope the next time you see each other, there isn't a weird tension!

Kristen said...

And now you know why I went private. Didn't want mine reading anymore. But then, I was the dumb one who told them from the beginning!

There is something free-ing about writing your feelings out for us anonymous blog friends to read.

I love your writing and will continue to read. Glad to hear that you are not leaving us...

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