My f***ing family

I got back from Germany to the news that my sister in law has breast cancer. That’s the woman who is married to my brother – the man who sexually abused me as a child. I don’t even know what I think or feel about this, other than that it’s a lot of things. I…

Travelling to meet my new niece

I am sitting in the airport in Frankfurt reflecting on the last few days here. There were times when I found it tricky, but for the most part spending time with my sister and my little niece was pretty relaxed. It’s always challenging for me when I’m away from home. Less so when I have…

Family: Old and new

At the moment, I’ve got one tiny new family member, and a very frail old one who are both very much on my mind. Neither of them is closely connected to the emotional difficulties I have with my family (least of all the new little one), so I find it easier to feel caring towards…

Is unconditional love a myth?

It’s amazing how fast I can get used to doing nothing. I thought that not having to work would make time move more slowly this week, but it actually hasn’t been too bad. Perhaps I really did need to take the time off, because I haven’t been bored. Having nothing to do has felt OK….

The truth hit me like a truck

A painful clarity emerged for me recently, and it’s been too hard to write about it. The strange thing is that some part of me has known this truth for a long time, but I’ve been fighting against it. I get so angry about all the denial in my family, but I realise now that…

Another painful birthday

How is it that a date can trigger so much distress? It’s just a day, like any other in the year. But today is a day that brings to mind so many things I would rather forget. I struggle to refer to my brother’s child as my nephew, just as I struggle to refer to…