I began a wonderful introductory post that I'd intended to be my first entry on my new blog, introducing myself and the members of the Lair, but yesterday brought me some unexpected gifts and I just had to share. I figured since this blog was about family, and what happened yesterday was very much about family, that the introduction could wait one more day.
I awoke yesterday morning when Draco's alarm went off at 5:30 am. Technically, I don't have to get up that early, but as anyone who knows me well can tell you, I'm not actually much of a morning person and if I don't get up earlier than necessary, and take a moment to get woke up before I get up, well, let's just say I've been known to walk into walls.
I live my life with my phone in my hand. Between texting, blogging, social media and occasional phone calls, I stay pretty busy. Like most of the world these days, my phone is practically an extension of my arm. So, in those idle moments as I'm waking up, I generally check my Facebook.
This morning, I woke to find a private message on the Fanpage for the blog I'm in the process of closing. It was odd on its own because it was the first such message I've ever received on a Fanpage. Curiosity took over. Many things flashed through my mind, including Trolls, since my blog and Fanpage were both Pagan in nature. I've yet to be Trolled, but figured there was a first time for everything.
I switched to my Page Manager App and pulled up the message. What I found was more surprising than Trolls.
What I found was a message from Tiger.
Let me explain.
Around the age of 2 or 3, The Puppet Master (my mom) married my first step-father, Teddy (he reminded me of a live Teddy Bear when I was a child, so I can think of nothing better, or more fitting, to call him for the sake of my family's privacy). He had no children of his own at the time, but he did have a niece that lived with his mother that he was extremely attached to.
As the story goes, PM and Teddy originally intended to get custody of us both and raise us as sisters. For the brief time they were married, weekends generally included us both (they didn't have custody of either of us at the time) and we were encouraged to see one another, not as cousins, but as sisters.
Divorce, of course, does horrible things to people, and as a result, we were torn apart.
When I agreed to marry The Ass, my 1st husband, and began planning my wedding, I was adamant that even though my current step-father would walk me down the isle, I wanted Teddy to be there.
PM quietly began searching. The person she found first was my long-lost would-have-been sister, Tiger (she has the spirit of a Tiger).
The reunion between us was pure joy and we were very close again immediately. She was there through my entire pregnancy with Witchlet and is one of her 2 god-mothers (the other being @TimberLeaves who also loves her dearly but lives so very far away).
Unfortunately, we were both very young and the stress from my divorce from The Ass tore us apart again.
Over the years, we've drifted in and out of each others lives but we were so focused on trying to recapture the past, and experienced so much interference from PM combined with the general stress people who are so much alike, yet vastly different, can go through that we couldn't seem to hold it together in spite of the fact that we love each other so much.
Honestly, I think we both had lessons to learn. We are both prone to loving with a fierceness that borders on obsession, over-protective-ness and posessive-ness. But, loving hard, and loving unconditionally, are two very different things. It's hard to love as hard as we do without conditions or expectations of the people we love (and we have high expectations of ourselves as well). I've personally learned over the years that even though I love hard, I had to let go of expecting people to fit in the little boxes I tried to cram them in and I was guilty of this with Tiger.
To truly love is to love people for who they are, not who we'd like for them to be.
Even though the "official" reasons for our separation were much different, I feel that unrealistic expectations of each other, and ourselves, played a big part in things. While we were busy expecting so much from each other and our relationship, we failed to accept, understand and respect each other for the beautiful, strong women we truly are.
For the sake of honesty and the fullest disclosure I'm willing to share here, I was also a very needy young woman. My need of the love Tiger offered me caused me to spend more time trying to please and win her approval, not seeing at the time that she could never accept me the way I needed if I wasn't willing to stand before her, heart and soul laid bare, and say "this is me. This is my life. Accept me for who I really am, not who I try to be for you, or walk away".
There is a fear in us all, I think, to let people we truly love, see us in our entirety. All of us wear masks from time to time, especially when we are young. It is the fear of laying ourselves bare for close inspection and being found lacking or undeserving of the love we need so badly that keeps us hiding behind those masks.
For me, it was also about the way PM raised me. I learned at an early age that I had been closely inspected by her and had been found undeserving of her love and affection. I spent nearly 40 years contorting myself into whatever I thought she wanted trying to gain an approval she denied me, even on her death-bed.
With her passing, I swore to myself as I stood by her hospital bed for the last time, that I would never again hide behind a mask for anyone's love or approval.
As Tiger and I talked yesterday, she began to see me, I think, for the first time. I spoke openly of my life, offering no excuses or apologies for who or what I am or for the life I've chosen. In truth, I am happy with my life, and because of that fact, there should be no shame, no hiding.
We talked most of the day. Sometimes our topics were serious, often they were not, and the entire experience, for me at least, was punctuated with many smiles and the endless laughter and bantering that has been so common in our relationship.
I realize, with much regret, that I did Tiger a disservice for years by assuming that she didn't love me enough to love the real me. In truth, where I live, how I live, etc, should not matter. What should matter is that I love her endlessly and completely and that she loves me the same way.
Tiger, I know you will eventually read this, so I offer this to you in closing. I love you, my sister. I'm sorry for the years I hid the real me from you and I promise that I will never do that again.
I love you in your perfection, as well as your imperfection. I love you for all that you are, all you have ever been, all you ever will be. I love you without judgment, without hesitation, without reservation and without conditions. I love you for all the things you aren't and never will be but most of all, I love you for everything you are, and always have been, to me. Love...Me
Never forget that family is the most important thing in the world, gentle readers. Love those that love you back like there is no tomorrow because tomorrow is never promised.
Blessings from The Lair,