Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Ask Susan

How can I get my family to stop punishing me?

By Susan C. Price

[Questions are followed by answers and then, inevitably by ADVICE...you DID expect that...didn’t you?]

My sister and my fiancé had an affair that blew my family and my life into pieces. The two have both moved on with different partners now and life is great for them, but I’m still dealing with what happened. What I’m struggling with most is that it was my own sister who betrayed me, and we were always so close.
    Everyone seems to expect me just to be able to forget about it, so the family can be together again. But just lately, if there’s a family get-together, I find out about it by seeing pictures on Facebook. I did nothing wrong, but it feels as though I’m the one being punished. I’ve lived with this for four years and the pain doesn’t go away. I don’t feel I have anyone to talk to. What should I do? –Peneah

Dear Peneah,
    So, you lost a love dream. That’s real hard. Now, swallow hard (yes, again) and walk forward.
    Find someone to talk to or with, a professional counselor – someone. You do need to vent, and to find perspective (doesn’t mean finding perspective will be easy, this is a hard one). In most communities low-cost or sliding-scale counselors can be found through your local municipality’s health department. Your family seems to not want to go back through this story, so give them a rest.
    You say you are young, so it’s likely your sister is too, and was young four years ago. Maybe she is doing some growing, and eventually, you might both be mature enough to open this story again, talk about it, apologize, and then move on. But maybe...not just yet.
    I don’t know your family, or why you seem to be excluded from family events, and you don’t really know why either. Let them all breathe. Be your best self: open and sharing good stuff, not always wanting to re-discuss the bad thing. Give it more time.
    Let’s hope that perspective and calm arrive shortly.

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Copyright © 2016 by Susan C. Price

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