I'm done! Woo-hoo! I feel such a relief and somehow...lighter at having completed this step.
Last week I bit the bullet and just jumped in to do the work to finish the step. I had done my mom and got sad. Done my dad and got mad. Did my grandmother and her "boyfriend" who had the nerve to molest me at a very young age and got...confused? I don't know but I got through that one too. Did some friends and some outlyers and really didn't feel anything - actually felt more like I was just making shit up to avoid the big hairy gorilla sitting in the middle of the proverbial living room.
She of the addictions and the torment. She of the damaged and broken and unable to heal. She of the taking it out on everyone else, of blaming everyone else, of hurting everyone else because she can't fix her own hurt. See? Just being able to type that and not feel angry is a HUGE accomplishment for me. What do you know - this AA stuff ACTUALLY WORKS. Who knew?
Seriously though while the actual process went rather quickly it really wasn't very easy. I poured everything out on that page and when I was done I felt...well...done. Not really sad. Not even angry. Just...done.
My sponsor said that once I had completed the work on Step Four that I would know. God would fill me with a sense of accomplishment and I would just know. She was right. After I was done with her I knew. It was over.
I never have to spend another minute in anguish over her unless I choose to - it will be my choice and not hers. The days of me letting her "push my buttons" are coming to an end. I can feel her power leaving me and mine beginning to grow. I am not her and she is not me and just because we were born sisters does not mean that I have to love her, like her or even tolerate her. She is no longer a part of my life and even if she got sober tomorrow, unless she did some real, heartfelt and honest step work, I would still choose for her not to be in my life.
I'm not sure about the forgiveness thing - I'll have to get back to you on that one. I can say that I forgive her for what she's done to me and for now, that will have to suffice.
The funny thing is that God and the Universe move every day to place things in your life exactly when you need them. My nephew came home. I was able to plant a new seed of goodness and light in him that will hopefully grow and replace all the dark and ugly she's been cultivating all these years. It will take time. But for now he's returned to the mid-west and decided to enroll in college. COLLEGE. I know I shouldn't say this but...I win.
And that victory has really helped me to understand that God is with me and what I've done all these years to fight her ugliness and hurt has worked. My niece is a mess and has an awful lot of the crazy gene in her but at least she's not addicted to anything and may, with time, actually grow up. But dealing with this Step Four work has also helped me deal with her better. I can take what I love about her and leave the rest. Now that's progress.
So tonight I'll meet with my sponsor and we'll talk about this and I will move forward. (Don't you love that phrase...move forward? It just feels so...right.) And I will go to bed tonight and thank God for AA and my sobriety and the wisdom I've gained by doing this work.
Today is Cathy's 47th birthday. Happy Birthday to my sister. May you one day find peace. Until then, may I hold on to mine.
Holding on to anger, resentment and hurt only give you tense muscles, a headache and a sore jaw from clenching your teeth. Forgiveness gives you back the laughter and the lightness in your life. ~Joan Lunden