It's hard living without my family. Without roots. Especially when holidays roll around.
It's so hard to come to terms with the truth of what my family wants. It is unspoken, yet the deadly message is communicated so clearly. They don't allow me into their lives. My reality is not real to them. My history is not shared by them. I do not exist to them, as I know myself to exist. My pain is not real to them. Neither are my memories.
If I were dead, they would have the last word in this world. Obviously, I was disturbed. Unstable. An anomaly. Not like the rest of the family.
They ask me questions that they don't want to know the answers to. Why are you the only one who remembers this? Why didn't we see anything? Why didn't you tell anyone? Why did your story change? It is unlikely that they ever will be able to consider all of the possible answers to their rhetorical questions. What I must do in order to survive and live my life, is precisely what they must avoid in order survive and live theirs.
I believed that I had to kill myself to protect my family. A part of me believed that If I was a good loyal daughter, granddaughter, and sister, I would sacrifice my life for the family. For the kavod of my grandfather. For Hashem and the Torah. I prefer to live, but there was, and still is, no way for me to live without letting light shine on this dark dank moldy secret. The more that they try to keep the incest in the dark unremembered parts of our collective past, the more light I need to shine in order to see the truth of what is really there.
I realize that I had no choice but to choose between myself and my family. Every day that I live, I choose again. Every day that I choose to live and to exist without my family is painful. At times the grief can feel as raw as twenty years ago. Every day that I choose life I lose them again and I cry. I always want them back. I miss my older sisters the most. At the same time, I understand so well their need to deny. I am one of them. I grew up thinking just as they do. Like we were all taught to think. At times, I join them in the familiar comfort of denial to calm the painful empty longing, and feel a part of them again. "Nothing happened to me. Incest could not have possibly happened in our family. In other families, yes, of course, but not ours. I am bad, insane, or at best mistaken. My family is right to excommunicate me. I am the family shame. If they get rid of me the family will be fine. They must love me from a distance lest I destroy them."
I hope that someday they will be able to accept my need for truth. I hope some day they will accept my choice to live and to heal. As painful as it is to them. As hurtful as it is to our family history and kavod. I live. I speak. I shine a brilliant light. It glitters and hurts the eyes and the heart. It cries for what I needed to be and never was. I needed a family that could hear my pain.