/> What Would Ripley Do: The Letter I Will Never Send

Thursday, 10 August 2023

The Letter I Will Never Send

Sometimes, relationships are irrepairable.  Sometimes, you never get closure, never get to say what you wanted to.  In my case, I also find that I can work through my feelings better when I write.  It has always been that way.  

Sometimes, all you can do is write a letter you will never send.

Dear ..........

You will never see this, so I will speak freely.  That said, on the tiny off chance you ever do, I do not take back my words.

I cannot remember or exactly pinpoint the moment, not even the month or year really, that I realised that you changed the way you treated me and the way you felt about me.  You loved me once.  Now, you seem to despise and resent me.  Even hate me.  I do not understand why.  But I have given up on trying to understand and I have given up on you.

We always had our differences, right from the beginning.  Some that could never be changed, such as the age gap between us.   I was a surprise baby, born when you were twelve.  Our parents were thrilled, but I suspect you were not.  I can understand that.


I can well imagine what an upheaval to your life that I brought.   The unplanned for baby that took up residence in your room.  Surviving a crying baby, the terrible twos and the ever ending questions of a young child could not have been easy.  Not to mention babysitting.  Not much fun for a teenager, I can imagine.

The fact that I became, probably being the surprise baby as the reason, the apple of dad’s eye was nothing something that I could help.   He became more present, more involved after I was born.  With you and he so similar in nature and so different from mum; he had been "yours" and I can see how you might think I stole him from you.  I'm sorry.  I understand.  As a child I could not control this.

As I got older, it became apparent that I looked just like mum and I was more similar to mum in personality, just like you were with dad.  Again, this probably made you feel isolated.  I'm sorry.   I understand that that must have been hard.  But our parents always loved us both.


We should be close as sisters, not least because we both lost our father.  I was 8 years old, you were coming up to 20.  The world changed for you not only with the loss of our father, but also with the promises that had been made to you financially by him, that would now not happen.  I only found this out years later.  I'm sorry that you both lost dad and also your life plan had to change.

My life changed forever too.  My world turned upside down with the loss of dad, mum dealing with her grief, her marriage a year later to our (thankfully absolutely wonderful) step dad.  I don’t remember a lot from those first couple of years after dad died.  All I remember is grief and pain.  No doubt you were going through your own too.  But I was too young to help you and in any case, you had your own life and were married.

But from there on, I do not understand.  I am not sorry.


I don’t remember when you started to feel different towards me, when the love was no longer there; but I do remember the first time that I thought “Why would my sister do that to me?”  I think I was around 14.  Mum had gone away for the weekend and I had my friend around.  I wasn’t supposed to have anyone else there.  But we snuck a couple of male school friends into the house, nothing sinister or sexual, I was only young.  It was wrong, yes, but it also wasn’t a party of 30.  Just me and 3 friends.  You apparently drove past the house and saw the two bicycles on the driveway and immediately telephoned mum to fill her in.  Why?


I remember thinking at the time that any normal sister would have called in.  Made sure things were ok, that I was ok, that we hadn't destroyed the house and booted out the friends that weren’t supposed to be there.  Or told me to be careful and simply left.  Not run straight to mum to tell on me.  That was the first time I started to wonder.


Despite you saying that I could, I could never rely on you as someone to talk to after that.  Because instead of being there for me, you instead frequently told mum what I said, and made matters worse.

I am not going to turn over old ground.  You know how my teenage years were.  My early twenties.  You know because you were told, you saw and then you read my own words that I freely shared with you in my attempt to heal from the past and also from a crippling depression that took over my early twenties.  A depression that almost took me with it.

“I understand” you said.  “I know” you said.  “I will always be there” you said.  "You can talk to me" you said.  "Your words make me cry, I love you sis" you said when I would show you things that I had written.  I didn’t know then that what you were actually doing was storing up my words for your own agenda to use against me in an attempt to forever damage me in the eyes of mum.


But why?  That question has revolved round and around in my head and even now I do not have an answer.  Because of the settlement mum had more money after dad died so holidays and treats were more frequent. Did you begrudge me that?  How was that my fault?

The money was left to me as part of the Court settlement as I was under eighteen was not arranged by mum or I.  That is just how those cases work.  No money was taken from her settlement and given to me.  It was separate.  

I shared some with you and mum gave you money too and.  Also for years you had always had a helping hand from mum in terms of money for a work van, for double glazing; she bought the children nappies and clothes, bought you bags of food; not to mention doing hundreds of hours of babysitting.   When you had children, you would never have been able to work had it not been for her looking after them.   


Do you hate me because I am not a child person?  I never have been and have always disliked them/been indifferent towards them.  Perhaps you thought that your own children would be different.  They weren’t.  I was never going to be someone who liked children or wanted to hang out with them.  You were and still are the opposite of that.  Your whole life revolves around them.  

That said, I always sent cards and gifts at birthdays and Christmas.  I was there every year in their early years for Christmas morning to watch them open their gifts.  They received cards and gifts far past when I stopped receiving any from them which was as soon as you stopped buying them for them.  I never got so much as a happy birthday from them.  So I stopped too. 

I reached out time and again to try and have some sort of relationship with you.  You were never interested, even confessing later that simply going to the cinema with me was something that you had not wanted to do but did under guilt.  "When you are older" you said to me.  It was when I reached 30 that I realised that it was not the age gap that was obviously the problem.

Mum and I made our peace with the past and as a result, we have a wonderful relationship.  We are so similar and get on so well.  You have never had that kind of relationship with her.  Whatever issues you have are not my fault.  You make the minimal effort with her, all words but no actions.  You have never organised a family meal or outings, even when you did take mum out shopping she would have to trail behind you and my niece.

You call her "Mother" and tell her she needs a stick.  I tell her that she is not 120 and can get along just fine without one.  You always try to turn her into an old woman.  She may be old in years, but not in mind and does not need a stick to get around.  I keep her young and take her to do fun things.

Time after time you have tried to throw me under the bus with mum, making out that I am a horrible person.  Me helping mum sort out her bills was "she is taking over the house and will rule over you".  My writing about my teenage years on an anonymous blog, no names used was used as a weapon that you welded against me.

The reason you gave for sharing my most painful thoughts, edited and picked apart for maximum hurt?  That you had not been invited to a meal, but I had.  I had not arranged the meal, merely been invited to go.  Mother's Day if I recall, organised by mum's cousin.  A day that you have never arranged anything for mum for.

When mum decided, of her own accord by the way, I never wanted it, to put in her will that I should be allowed to stay in the house a further three months after her death if I still lived there, you shouted and raged at her and told that there would be no house left if I remained there and you would have no inheritance.  That I would destroy the house.

Don't you think she told me all the horrible things that you said?

So it comes to now.  Despite the last couple of decades that you have actively shown me that you do not like me, I still held out some semblance of hope of a relationship.  But when my niece, your daughter was getting married and she decided not to invite me to her wedding, not even her evening wedding reception; I had to finally ask: why?  I was not alone at not being asked, no one else in the family was apart your "family of five" and as for mum; albeit you made it clear that she didn't need to go to the evening reception either.   Too old for that sort of thing you said.  

I have read and read again the texts that I sent to you on that day.  My questions about not being asked to the wedding.   Finally asking why it is that you want nothing to do with me and never did.  Then finally admitting defeat, realising that nothing was ever going to change between us and I was done.  Finally done.

I have read and read again the texts you sent to me in response.  I thought that you could never hurt me more than when you have shared my words from my blog and misconstrued them into your own agenda.  But yet you managed it.

You told me that all I cared about was myself.  That I had "settled" for being with my partner, the man who I love and adore, so I "wouldn't have to be a carer for mum".  You told me that I had convinced mum to change her will so I could stay at the house longer.  I didn't.  Why would I want to live with mum for the rest of my life?  She knew that.

What I got from your texts more than the abuse, the lies and the vitriol was that every word you said had been stored up for years.  It was a surge of hatred.  What I got from your texts was what I already know.    You don't know me.  You never did.  You never wanted to or tried.

That was nearly seven months ago.  The same amount of time that you have not spoken to mum either.  Why you are not speaking to her?  I don't know.  Neither does she.  The last thing I said to you was "don't involve mum in this, she loves us both".  But of course, you have made it all about you once again.  She has done nothing wrong in this and has done nothing in this world but love you.

No happy Mother's Day, no happy birthday.  She couldn't go to my niece's wedding.  How could you do that?  Turns out your daughter is just like her mum.  That isn't a good thing.

What you have done to mum, the hurt you have caused her is the final straw for me.  You can do what you want to me, but hurting her is something I will not stand for.

This is the letter that I will not send.  The words I will not speak to you because I don't ever want to speak to you again.  You can keep your jealous, narcissistic thoughts and opinions to yourself.  I want no part in them, or you.

You are dead to me now.  I don't hate you.  You are beneath contempt and beneath the energy levels required for hate.  Goodbye.