Friday, October 28, 2005

The question that turned into a brain dump.

I have been tagged by the Sultry Painter Woman. She's like me to state 20-random things about myself. Somehow this started a flood for me. I've been wanting to write about some things that have been happening in my family. But, it's been hard for me to get started. Apparently this free form flow thing worked for me. I will share it with you here with the understanding that comments are not necessary. I love good loving and support but I am not a chicken little type person, I do this for myself...

1. I am sometimes sad and VERY ANXIOUS
2. It took me a long time to realize that I couldn't fix the sad or the anxious all by myself
3. My family has a history of depression, mental illness, and substance abuse.
4. My brother tried to commit suicide four months ago. It was his first attempt but not his last.
5. This is hard for me to talk about in such a public place.
6. I am a very open person and feel that honesty is the best policy. As I get older I tend to hide things from myself and others more often.
7. I hate that.
8. This is a tricky forum because I don't want to hurt anyone in my family but I think it hurts me more to hide it away.
9. One of my best friends came up to me a few weeks ago and said, "I'm so sorry I haven't said anything about your brother. I haven't only because I don't know what to say. I now feel awful about that."
10. She couldn't have said it to a more understanding person. I never know what to say and so I usually remain quiet and seep in guilt.
11. That is what is happening with my brother and I right now.
12. I can't change it right now.
13. He has a history of hurtful practices. To himself and to his family members.
14. I'm not ready to forget or forgive.
15. This is incredibly sad and hard to feel.
16. I once read that the sign of an intelligent person is the ability to feel two contradictory feelings at the same time.
17. I must be REALLY intelligent.
18. I hope to write more about this. For me. But also for who ever is reading and feeling the same.
19. I feel like this whole experience with my brother is straight out of a BAD tv movie
20. My parents are amazing amazing people.

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Anonymous Carole said...

Hey Wendy,
I'm here if you need to talk. Or a shoulder. Or just a knitting buddy.

10/28/2005 6:34 PM  
Anonymous Cara-ISH said...

I love you honey. :-)

10/28/2005 6:44 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Wow, I could have written most of that. My little brother hasn't tried suicide but that's about all he's left out and dealing with him through the years has been wrenching for everyone. Could have written all of the rest of it, too.

Thanks for sharing all of that. Wishing you much peace.

10/28/2005 6:45 PM  
Blogger Stitchy McYarnpants said...

It helps to write it out, doesn't it? When you keep things all bottled up, they take up way too much room.

I'm glad you're at a point where you're ready to stare it in the face. And having the internets behind you is strange but comforting. We've got your back, sistergirl.

10/28/2005 6:58 PM  
Anonymous andrea said...

shoot, i'm like an utter *genious* then. ha.

sometimes this whole blog-internets-open-forum thing is hard, especially when the crap hits the fan, as it does for all us from time to time. thanks for sharing ~ i think it does all of us good to hear about real life and not always happyhappyjoyjoy stuff.

take care, wendy.

10/28/2005 7:01 PM  
Anonymous LORi said...

You are doing wonderfully - just being able to write anything is a sort of "processing" (as our family counselor calls sorting throught the $h!t in your head) - there is an incredible amount of "bad tv movie" crap happening in my life in the past year (and in most other peoples' lives, I've sadly come to discover.) I found your blog just the other day in a knitting link, and feel mildly awkward (but very understanding!) reading such a personal post so soon after I've met you! At the same time, I feel lifted up somehow, inspired by and proud of your courage and honesty, and I've gained a lot of admiration for you. I know it feels confusing to you, but from an outside perspective you seem to have a very good handle on it all - it IS hard, it IS sad, you don't have to forgive or forget now... well, anyway, I thing your brother is lucky to have you, as are we all in bloggerland.
Thank you, very sincerely.

10/28/2005 7:10 PM  
Blogger Sandysknitting said...

Hey genius! :)
My needles and heart are sending wishes for inner peace over in your direction.
The hardest, but perhaps the best part of being an adult is making decisions that are good for you. FOR you. And sometimes a bit of distance between someone who continually hurts us is a good thing.
But somehow it still hurts, huh.

10/28/2005 8:56 PM  
Blogger Norma said...

Me too, what Sandy said. And Stitchy and everyone. We've got your back, sistah.

10/28/2005 9:27 PM  
Anonymous Norah said...

What everyone else said...take care of yourself.

10/28/2005 9:36 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

It could be worse: instead of being silent in those times, you could say moronic things like me. Take a trip down to New Haven whenever you need a break.

10/28/2005 9:58 PM  
Anonymous Monica said...

I admire your honesty. Knit and blog on.

10/29/2005 4:01 AM  
Blogger maryse said...

i hope writing about this helps.

10/29/2005 6:02 AM  
Anonymous Colleen said...

Do what you need to do to support yourself. I'm glad that this forum is an outlet for you.

I'm in the 'hood if you're ever need some escapist knitting time.

10/29/2005 9:01 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

It must have been incredibly hard to write this, and I think you are very brave (besides being the genius you are). Take care of yourself.

10/29/2005 10:06 AM  
Blogger amandamonkey said...

It's very hard to think about how many people go through some derivative of this - my family included. It seems overwhelming until you realize that you can rely on those same people to help you through. Best thoughts from the mid-Atlantic...

10/29/2005 10:48 AM  
Blogger Gypsymoth4 said...

Having contradictory feelings is a sign of a mentally healthy person too. I know this on authority. :)

I think you are very brave, and I'm so glad you shared this info with me when I saw you last. I'm here if you ever need to talk. Believe me when I say that I know how hard family stuff can be, and you just have to remind yourself of your own good choices and happiness. Empowerment!

10/29/2005 11:55 AM  
Blogger ann said...

♥ to you, brave one!

10/29/2005 12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aww..sweetie. I bet that was hard to post. But I am glad you did. It is definately good to get a bit of it off your chest, out of your head and on paper--even if it is blog paper. I always think a good start to the healing is to be open about it...whether that is with yourself or others. It has certainly helped me to deal with Owen's autism. Sometimes I just need to say the shit out loud. Hugs to you my dear.


10/29/2005 4:32 PM  
Anonymous juno said...

That's really hard to say out loud. I'm so sorry to hear that this is going on. Keep being as true to your self as you can - it is the least and most any of us can do to get through life.

10/29/2005 7:29 PM  
Blogger LazyDaisy said...

Hey Wendy. Listen to Sandy. She's right. Sometimes you have to separate yourself out from the family members who will take you down with them (sometimes knowingly but not always). When I was younger, I'd have conversations with family that would leave me with a very strong urge to bang my head against the wall repeatedly.

You cannot make decisions for someone or change who they are or what they do. This will come more easily with age. When it does, you will feel more lightness of being and clarity of thought regarding your position within the family.

Remember, you can still send love and understanding from a distance. Caring for someone doesn't mean you have to get sucked down into their descent with them. Hugs, lady.

10/30/2005 6:44 AM  
Blogger margene said...

This place can give the best hugs when they find out who you truly are and what your life it like. We are all lucky to be here with such caring people. The best to you, Wendy.

10/30/2005 8:36 AM  
Anonymous Jackie said...


10/30/2005 11:07 AM  
Anonymous Laura A. said...

I think everyone goes through a period that is like a bad made for TV movie. (I think it might be one of those necessary ingredients for having lived). But, here's hoping that it's not more than a couple episodes!

10/30/2005 1:39 PM  
Blogger wenders said...

Wowsers. Power to you, Wendy, for putting yourself out there...

What I tell myself when I post something to my blog is that I can always take it down if I want, or never mention it again.

I also feel like bad tv movies exist for a reason.

And I agree with everyone - you've got a bigger support network than I think you know. :)

10/30/2005 2:56 PM  
Blogger Knitting Painter Woman said...

We got your back, alright. And we have NEEDLES. But for you, hugs and lots of love and soft cashmere wishes and prayers from the ones who pray. You being you is awesome. (It's plenty! It's ENOUGH!!!!) Love you, dear one.

10/30/2005 3:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard once that 1 in 5 families has this kind of thing to deal with, and I think that's only in the U.S. So, right there you have a ton of people that know how you feel. When we were having trouble, my mind kept going over things til I almost felt sick. I had to pace my worrying, alternating with distractions, because there is a burn-out problem otherwise. Anyway, all this is to say I care and hope things get better.

10/31/2005 1:25 AM  
Anonymous Jackie said...

I hope writing all of this helped you in some way, Wendy. You are very brave to have shared it - the knitblog community can be (IS) VERY supportive. We are all here to lend a hand, shoulder, yarn, needles...

10/31/2005 9:02 AM  
Anonymous Kathy said...

Just read these entries. I totally admire your honesty and candor. Big hugs to you.

10/31/2005 9:32 AM  
Blogger Kellee said...


10/31/2005 11:32 AM  
Blogger Cathi said...

I didn't see this post until now- thank you for being so open and honest with us. Many big hugs to you.

10/31/2005 2:34 PM  
Blogger Wanda said...

I feel like your friend that doesn't know what to say in this case. What I do know is that has to be such a horrible thing to go through and if your brother is continuing to try, he really needs a lot of help and that this will continue to hurt you. If you can't deal with him right now, maybe it's best to keep your distance, or not allow yourself to get dragged down with his stuff. You can't save anyone, they have to do it themselves. Hopefully he will reach for the lifeline.

10/31/2005 6:33 PM  
Anonymous Samantha said...

For someone who said she's not good at sharing, you did a bangup job. AS I emerge from lurking, I just wanted to tell you to hang in there (oooh, helpful), and that many many folks are sending good vibes your way. My best buds little brother was just involuntarily committed to the hospital, so I'm seing up close how very very hard this can be.

11/03/2005 4:08 PM  
Blogger Jennifa said...

That's how I feel reading entries like this. I want to help, and say something brilliant...but I guess I'm more of the feeling, silent types. And I do feel for you. It sounds like a myriad of emotions, but I can say no matter what...I think we all work through them in our own time.

11/04/2005 1:55 AM  
Blogger Kristen said...

some of what you wrote is true for me as well and I've been trying to remember what's been said to me in the past that meant the most... please know that I admire that you put it all out there, and I hope that things are calmer and settled soon. I hope you have a simple project on the needles - I've found that it's great for helping my brain settle down.

11/04/2005 11:50 PM  
Blogger CynCyn said...

bravo to you for putting it out there. the push-pull of guilt, anger, love, more guilt, and disappointment is very difficult... some therapists actually specialize in issues of suicide (surviving family members, attempters, etc). email me if you need/want some info? hang in there...

11/07/2005 1:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm reading your blog for the first time, following links to knitting blogs, and i wanted to chime in here.
7 1/2 years ago, my mother attempted suicide, and it is painful to admit that i am still not ready to forgive and forget. i think that's the hardest part. know that you're not alone, and i know it doesn't help, but know that your brother didn't do it 'to you'. yes, it still hurts you, of course. and it's something you will never forget. but at least it's out there, and it seems to me like you have some great supports. its okay to laugh and have fun, even to put it behind you some times. take this experience and run with it, let it make you strong.

good luck

11/10/2005 9:05 PM  
Anonymous Kay said...

Wendy! I can't believe I am just reading this. Sorry!

Eldest of 4 sibs here, and much older than you. It's okay for you to hang back. A much older friend calls it 'detaching with love'. That can sound like psycho babble/self-serving claptrap, but I think it can actually be healthy for both parties, if the love is as real as the detachment. Guilt is natural but not logical because feeling guilty implies that one can do something about the problem. When one oftentimes can't. Anyway that's what I've evolved to thinking.

Knitting some denim cannot hurt your mood. Despite its inky blueness. xoxo Kay

11/10/2005 9:38 PM  
Blogger bethieee said...

You are brave and wonderful. Thank you for being brave enough to share.
I have some inkling of what you're going through, and immense respect for how you've presented it.
Good luck and don't be afraid to lean on your friends.

12/01/2005 5:25 PM  

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