Still Not Ready To Make Nice

this is me, then.


back then, i was dealing with the massive trauma of skipping a grade – moving from elementary school, a land of playing tag at recess and being comfortable in my own smart skin, to junior high, a land where i was surrounded by strangers who cared more about the exterior than the interior, and the severe unpopularity that goes with the combination of being years ahead of your peers in academics and wicked shyness after being shunned by the popular girls.  i was unprepared for years of bullying and a complete loss of the confidence i’d gained as a young girl.  i don’t remember much about those years beyond that – the cloudiness has always perplexed me.  i can’t tell you what my 10th, or 11th, or 12th birthdays even vaguely resembled.


around that same time, i was molested by my brother-in-law.


he was in his twenties when he came into the room i was sleeping in one night at their home, and took advantage of me.  it turns out i pushed it so far down that it was not anything i could ever remember, until she told me.


yes, she told me.


the night it happened, he told her all about it in great detail, in his vile perversity, thinking she’d like it.  and she did nothing.  well, she said later that she made sure i never stayed the night when he was around. whoop dee doo.  they were married for six or seven more years after he violated me.


i still remember none of what was done to me. but i remember the year after they divorced, i was at a pizza place with a girlfriend and he walked in and tried flirting with me.  my reaction was visceral nausea.


when i was in my late 20’s, she, drunk as ever, called me late one night and brought up what he had done. it stopped me in my tracks.  i lost my breath.  she asked me to “not be mad” at her, and offered zero apologies. and when i told my mother? she actually felt sorry for my sister.  and never a word about being sorry about what he did to me, or any expression of regret for not keeping me safe.

it sat on my mind, and heavy in my heart, for years. thinking the same thoughts, over and over.


why was i not worth protecting?  where were MY great defenders?


and many years passed.  lives evolved.  i married and divorced.  i bought a home.  i changed career paths. i fell in love again. i opened my own business. i learned to leave the toxic personalities behind who left me feeling worse about myself.  i left behind the functioning addicts who had wanted me to take care of them but offered nothing in return.  i left behind family members who i’d tried for years to please, who continued to, at the end of the day, leave me feeling empty.


so when my sister returned to the bottle, it was a dealbreaker for our relationship. i refused to be a caretaker for anyone going down the rabbithole of addiction.


and then, last year, i found out she was (still not clean) back together, 20 years later, with the aforementioned ex-husband who did this to me!  and even more insulting, that they were off to my mother’s to spend the holidays.  and that i was invited to share it with them.


she even included his name on the christmas card.


yes, i was invited to spend the holidays with the man who they all knew molested me. invited to spend time in a room with a child molester.  with a group of people who were obviously okay with the fact that he is a child molester.


so that’s why i’m not ready to make nice.  nor will i ever be. because i can say what i never could say out loud in years past: that i’m a damn good person and i’m worthy of damn good things. that what he did to me was WRONG.  her accepting it is WRONG.  their welcoming him back into their lives is WRONG.  their choosing him over me is WRONG.


so while i don’t lose sleep over this matter anymore, occasionally people ask why i don’t let it go, why i don’t reach out when i get sentimental about the past, about the things that didn’t hurt…?  some even use the phrase “you can’t choose your family”. no shit, sherlock.  but i can choose who i spend my time with.


and the fact is, i think about reality.  i think about what loyalty really means.  i think about the people who, through thick and thin, i know i can trust.  and with those i’ve talked about, well, i don’t trust them. i trust my friends.  i trust my sweetheart.  i trust myself.


so i heard this song after having been without the words, and wrote what you just read…special thanks to the dixie chicks for saying what so many of us need to say when people tell us – especially women – to not make a fuss, to not speak up, to ‘settle down’.


i leave you with the lyrics and the music, and i leave you with the push to be loud, be out there, be all about honoring your truth and your heart and what YOU need to be happy.  in the end, it’s about you.

Forgive, sounds good Forget, I’m not sure I could They say time heals everything But I’m still waiting

I’m through with doubt There’s nothing left for me to figure out I’ve paid a price And I’ll keep paying

I’m not ready to make nice I’m not ready to back down I’m still mad as hell and I don’t have time to go round and round and round It’s too late to make it right I probably wouldn’t if I could ‘Cause I’m mad as hell Can’t bring myself to do what it is you think I should

I know you said Can’t you just get over it It turned my whole world around And I kind of like it

I made my bed and I sleep like a baby With no regrets and I don’t mind sayin’ It’s a sad sad story when a mother will teach her Daughter that she ought to hate a perfect stranger And how in the world can the words that I said Send somebody so over the edge That they’d write me a letter Sayin’ that I better shut up and sing Or my life will be over

I’m not ready to make nice I’m not ready to back down I’m still mad as hell and I don’t have time to go round and round and round It’s too late to make it right I probably wouldn’t if I could ‘Cause I’m mad as hell Can’t bring myself to do what it is you think I should

I’m not ready to make nice I’m not ready to back down I’m still mad as hell and I don’t have time to go round and round and round It’s too late to make it right I probably wouldn’t if I could ‘Cause I’m mad as hell Can’t bring myself to do what it is you think I should

What it is you think I should

Forgive, sounds good Forget, I’m not sure I could They say time heals everything But I’m still waiting



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