|Should I or Shouldn't I ? (II)
Do you think I should write a letter like that? I do not want to apologize for what happened because I feel they should say they are sorry but I know I won't get that either. Maybe I just want to get rid of this guilt. What do you think? Thank you for listening. Take Care Selena
There’s a lot of tragedy in your story. Your family was quick to judge you, harsh words were exchanged, and communication cut off. You sound sad about it, not just guilty. The old ways of being the “good girl” and letting their opinions guide your actions are over, and there’s genuine loss that goes with that.
You might never come out of this with loving, approving parents and/or brother, and that’s got to hurt. The odds are that it’s true, though. So, as much as you reach out with letters or calls, your central process about your family may need to be one of grieving rather than attempts at reconciliation.
Surely, after three years of being with your current husband, your family could revise their judgement of you as a “slut”. Hopefully, they can rise to an apology. I believe those words were spoken to you out of their own sense of hurt by your then newly independent actions. Your brother was hurt and angry at you for making a bold life-move like selling your house without informing him of your intent. I bet he took that to mean you didn’t care about him enough to tell him or seek his counsel. Of course you were under no obligation to do that, but I bet in his mind he took personal offense at your independent move. Same with your parents.
But if you’re feeling guilty for growing up to become your own person, then you are guilty, because that’s what you’re doing! OK, you didn’t help your family wean away from you more gradually, and maybe some sort of apology from you about that is in order just to get some communcation going, but hey, you can still feel good that you are growing up to be your own person. If they don’t feel good about that or support you in that, then they remove themselves from your life, and are not your friends. I think it’s reasonable to expect your family to celebrate your independence, especially after you’ve proved your actions were not some irresponsible lust, but rather, a move into a relationship that’s lasting.
If you do reach out to them with some of these things in mind, be thinking about what sort of a goal you want with them. If you’re holding out for approval, acceptance, or apology, then be prepared for disappointment. But if some small steps toward civility are acceptable to you, then go for it. If those steps lead to a deeper healing, great.
Your innocent childhood is over. With all the compassion you expressed for the people who hurt you, I believe you can be proud of the adult person you’re becoming.