I’ve always said I’m not a risk taker but I can’t say that anymore. 1 ) I take strong pharmaceuticals and 2) I’m meeting my Aunty S for coffee come Wednesday.

I’d considered it for awhile but wasn’t sure if I should say something. I got an immediate yes. Next week is a good week for this.

At first I thought, okay, she’s only coming to pick me up, she’s not coming in MY HOUSE. It felt as though her walking in would make her a permanent presence in my home. That isn’t true. I may have flashbacks (they’ve already started) and I may have anxiety (that’s already started) but when she physically leaves my home there is nothing she leaves behind.

I was also concerned that she would see something too personal and go back to tell my family, however, the most personal things that took place in that family are not on the walls of my home. Our most personal things are not in candy dishes or displayed as ceramic figurines. Even still, everyone has something they don’t want others to see. We have all decided that Aunty S will not step into our bedroom or see our studio.

She doesn’t look like my mother but she is my mother’s youngest sister with whom I have a difficult history. My Aunty S was not the nicest person I ever met. Funny how things change so that the people we think we can’t count on are the people we can. What I mean is, my Aunty S is the one visiting my grandmother daily. She took care of my mother, she let my sister live with her, she cared for the aunt that died. The very ones considered irresponsible are the ones who have stepped up to the plate. The people thought to be more able, are not. Some have kept their distance from the family, making Facebook their only real contact. Then there’s one that tests my ability to forgive. I have a difficult time with this individual because of what she did to her children for men and finally for the husband she kept. I have a difficult time with her because she traded drugs, alcohol and other things for an addiction to religion. Nothing has changed. This Aunt, the second oldest daughter of four, is the biological grandmother of the boy I call my brother. She is the one who told him he was going to hell. I shake my head every times I think of that!

All of us are survivors of abuse, some worse than others, but all of us from the grandmother’s bloodline are survivors of unspeakable abuse.

Two years ago when I realized my mother’s health was in jeopardy, I actively sought after my sister but was met with a stone wall. Though living with the very aunt I’m meeting for coffee, she still refuses to speak to me. We are all survivors. Some of us chose different paths and others of us went down paths made by the feet of a someone with a heavy heart running from what they dare not face. We’re all survivors.

So, what am I looking for? Dr. D will ask these questions tomorrow. What am I looking for by taking this risk to get to know my aunt a little better?

  • Redemption.
  • Connection to a family member who has had the sobering truth of her mortality.
  • A foot in the door with my sister.

Even though Mary Jane will be in the room, having a cat brings up the possibility that my aunt will not come in my house.


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