Sunday, September 26, 2010

This Divorce is not my story to tell, but I DO have a story: Part I

[Warning: Anyone who chooses to believe I am sweet and innocent should NOT read the following post. Dearest In-laws, don't say I didn't warn you. And please don't scold me for my language at the next family holiday...]

I'm back from visiting my sister and nieces. She's getting divorced. That's not my story to tell.

What is my story is how appallingly people can behave in this traumatic situation. People who profess to be friends, people who profess to "love" us turn into the most judgmental assholes. They listen to one side of a story (without even requesting the other side); they pretend to even be able to know what went on behind closed doors; they believe themselves to be some kind of psychic who can know without question what someone feels/has felt in their heart; they give unsolicited advice; and they judge. Oh, how they judge.

Raise your hand if you have walked a mile in my sister's shoes. Oh? What? None of you?! Well, you're so busy judging her and telling her that she must not be in her right mind; that she must be "happy" and refuse to see it; that she just needs to choose to be happy because all that really matters is that her situation looks so perfect; that she is not doing what God wants her to do (by the way, this "holier than thou" attitude is my personal favorite) that I would have thought one of you knew every. single. detail of her situation - not just what you've been told of her situation; not just the "picture perfect" family that you saw spit-shined and smiling out in public. Hmmm. Weird. You would think to have come this far in life, you would have figured out that there are two sides to every story. But, no. You're probably right. Keep preachin' it, you judgmental pricks.

You know what, people. Fuck you. If you aren't here to be helpful, supportive, or, in the very least, loving, then leave. We do not want your opinion. We do not need your criticisms. The only person we will allow to judge our hearts is Almighty God Himself.

And, here's what I believe in my deepest heart: Would you ever, ever, ever, ever want your child to live in unhappiness? Don't we all want our children to live the lives of joy that we envisioned for them? Wouldn't we all be more angry with our children if they were too embarrassed to admit they made a mistake; too proud to break a promise than to live a life one iota less joyful than we have dreamed for them? Can you not imagine how much greater God's love is for us than our human love is for our own children?!

Nobody knows how to slog through this hell perfectly. Pretty much, everyone's just trying to survive.

So, get off your freakin' high horses, people. Know that there are two sides to every story, there is very private and personal pain for everyone involved. And, be loving even if you can't be supportive.

And, to those of you who have been loving - whether by a word, a hug, an email or even just smiling and keeping your mouth shut - please know that, for what it's worth, you have this sister's undying gratitude.

16 comments:

Tales from the Crib said...

I love your fierce loyalty. That's what sisters are for...

Ali said...

thanks, amy.

Mandi said...

Someone has said that mama bear should not be reckoned with. Sister bear is *much* worse! The two of you are fierce. Separately I wouldn't want to cross you, in unity you scare the piss out of me. Fear should run cold through whoever is messing with either of you right now.
Brandy, you make me smile. You make me laugh. You make me feel accepted. I love that you do it, so freely, to someone you hardly know. It's just who you are.
Peaceful thoughts and prayers are being sent to you. You deserve nothing less.
Ali, anyone would be lucky to have you as a sister. Amen to all of it.

Ali said...

thanks, mandi. "sister bear" HAS been awakened - love it! love to you. and thanks for your support.

Anonymous said...

Good for you, Ali! Side story about sisters... I once had a group of kids picking on me in high school. My sister happened to be home from college at the time and someone offered to call her to come to the school to pick me up and I literally begged them to call my parents instead (who does that?) for fear of her tearing someone's head off and both of us ending up in jail. There is pretty much nothing in this world I wouldn't do for my sister and I admire your honesty and pure heart. Sisters are a special breed!
Much love - Prim

Entertaining Women said...

Oh, Ali, my heart is breaking. I'm available. I love you both so much.

Ali said...

i love it, Prim! sisters ARE a special breed.

thanks, ck.

Springer said...

Is everyone clear now on why I've said for years that if I'm going into battle, I want Ali beside me?

cmjj said...

My sister said last year when she was dealing with her (young) husband's chemotherapy...."Be kinder than necessary because everyone is fighting some kind of battle". I am sorry, Ali. I am sorry for your sister and for you. I will be praying for her and her kids and for you too, because you are affected by this too in that you love them and don't want to see them hurt.

Anonymous said...

I love you, Ali.

:) LE

Ali said...

love you, springer.

marcy - it's so true. everyone has a battle. if only we would all stop and try to be a little kinder to each other.

love you, too, lenna.

Matt said...

Well said, Ali. It's tragic that divorces and funerals seem to really bring out the worst in family and family friends, and that's the time when people are in greatest need for compassion and understanding. I applaud you for speaking out for good decent behavior. And even though I don't know your sister well, my thoughts are with her getting through this tough time.

Ali said...

thank you, matt. more than you know - thank you.

Kary Allyn said...

Amen!

Anice Joy said...

Ali, I've lived that way for 2 years. I think you are the first one who has noticed. They certainly have not noticed themselves.

I love you girl, all are in my prayers.

Namaste - Anice

Ali said...

kary - :)

anice - namaste, my friend.

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