As I was reading through this, I realized something… most of how my sister abused me was through planting fear, guilt, confusion, or shame. There was never a conversation where I could just speak freely, because everything I said would be twisted to mean something else. I’d say something like “I wanted to protect their privacy,” and she’d call up my other sister to tell her that I “wanted to be the only one to help.” I felt shame for not sharing private information!
Even in the seemingly kind things she would do, she’d twist the truth. One time she wrote a letter for my husband to use as a character reference and suggested that my husband and I weren’t intimate before we got married as a representation of our ideals. While I wish my husband and I *had* waited, we didn’t and she knew that. No matter how I handled it, whether I point out the misinformation or not, I would look a certain way. I either would be okay with the misinformation being shared or I’d be ungrateful if I didn’t want her to say that.
I’m not ashamed that my husband and I were intimate before we got married. It created many issues for us, but I’ve learned a lot from those choices and I am able to use that to help my children. Yet, this seemingly positive thing she shared, actually made me feel guilty!
So, yeah. I realized that each of our interactions had an underlying attack. The only way to respond to her was to relate to her, support her, or apologize. If I didn’t do one of those three, I could expect a dispute.