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johnathon shih

suppressed memories the wrong way

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uh*I knew that I could never live up to or achieve the level of success and perfection as my older sister. still it gave me a direction that I  could follow without feeling so alone with anxiety and trepidation. the fear of being a target in the spotlight for ridicule and laughter should have gotten easier to bear throughout the years in a foreign country. as long as my sister was around to bridge the chasm between my cold parents and public school, things were tolerable. in an instant that fragile layer of comfort and reassurance was torn and shattered just like the acura she was driving on that stormy night that she should not have been driving. she just wanted to stay and celebrate her birthday weekend with her friends at the dorm freshmen year. it was the first time she had made such a request knowing my parents want us to work at the restaurant not caring it was a 2-3 hour drive back to the college never mind the mountain of homework that comes with having a scholarship to Florida institute of technology. but of course the perfect daughter will obey without question. therein lies the tragedy of the situation. they know that I know about their level of responsibility or rather irresponsibly in the actions that claimed  my sisters brief 19 years of hard work, study, and no play. how do I not blame or resent them for not being there as good parents for us. I died with her in their eyes and they never existed to me. my repressed childhood bubbles up sometimes. its hurts but men don't  discuss this type of pain. we shove it down or drown it out which brings another whole set of problems and issues. I'm lost at how to deal with this the right way. I think I need a little help or advice.

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Oh Johnathon, you are crying out in this post, and deserve to be answered.  I strongly encourage you to see a grief counselor, this involves not only grief but also issues long suppressed and not dealt with.  We can't change other people, we can't always even get them to listen to us, but a counselor might be able to help you learn to stand up for yourself and do for yourself what YOU need, not "what's expected."  

Your parents may not be accountable for your sister's death, it could have happened anytime, anywhere, under any different circumstances, we can't know what would/wouldn't happen had things been different that night, but they are accountable for how they treated both of you.  It's amazing to me that so many people are clueless about their impact on others, esp. parents with their children.

You can't change the past or rewrite your upbringing, but you can learn from it and let it shape and mold you and your decisions in the future.  Learning to be our own fulfillment helps tremendously.  You see, my mom was mentally ill, extremely abusive, my dad an alcoholic and weakling that never protected or stood up for me...I learned to love them for their good qualities and set boundaries and not allow my mom full reign, sometimes her response meant she didn't speak to me for a year...that's okay, it was a peaceful year.  I want to recommend these books to you: 
https://www.amazon.com/Emotional-Blackmail-People-Obligation-Manipulate/dp/0060928972

https://www.amazon.com/Toxic-Parents-Overcoming-Hurtful-Reclaiming/dp/0553381407/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=Toxic+Parents&qid=1574782114&s=books&sr=1-3
I also got a lot out of:
https://www.amazon.com/Boundaries-Control-Walker-Large-Print/dp/1594150079/ref=sr_1_3?crid=19YLW02FV4O9T&keywords=boundaries+by+cloud+and+townsend&qid=1574782200&s=books&sprefix=Boundaries%2Cstripbooks%2C1485&sr=1-3

https://www.amazon.com/Adult-Children-Alcoholics-Janet-Woititz/dp/1558741127/ref=sr_1_2?crid=2J20EK37KHTGG&keywords=adult+children+of+alcoholics&qid=1574782243&s=books&sprefix=Adult+Children+of+A%2Cstripbooks%2C1018&sr=1-2

These books changed my life and the interaction with my mom (my dad was dead by then).  I didn't hear about and read them until my early 40s, but oh what a difference it made!  I bought copies for my sibliings

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11 minutes ago, johnathon shih said:

I'm lost at how to deal with this the right way. I think I need a little help or advice.

Good for you for recognizing your own need for information, comfort and support! That is the first step! Now I urge you to take the next one: Find a qualified therapist or counselor who can help you sort through all of this pain. Think of it as a gift you can give yourself ~ and know that you're worth it and you deserve it! This article can get you started ~ including all the resources listed at the base:

Finding Grief Support That Is Right For You  

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