Today’s Monster Monday is something you don’t hear much about until it affects you or a loved one. This brave follower shared her story of her sister running away and how it still affects her and her family to this day.
“Have you ever had anyone choose to walk out of your life? Has that person been a family member? Have you felt the heartache and longing to be with them? I have.
10 years ago, my sister ran away from home for the first time when she was a Junior in High School. Yes, you read that right. The FIRST time. As a family everyone felt NERVISH when she came back: walking on eggshells, not knowing what to say or how to interact. We were on quite an emotional rollercoaster with my sister and the decisions she was making in her life.
The second time she ran away, she was a Senior in High school, and she NEVER CAME BACK. I felt BLUE. My heart literally felt ripped out of my chest and crushed to pieces. When she ran away, she went so far as breaking her phone chip. She knew the police could track her down if we had filed a missing person’s report, but we never did. She ran away once, she ran away again, who’s to say she wouldn’t do it a third time. We felt if she didn’t want to be a part of our family, then we weren’t going to push it. That was a hard pill to swallow.
As a result there was completely no contact for a couple of years. My husband and I moved to another state to attend college, but my family continued to reside in the area for a few years. One day, a family friend of ours sent me a message that they saw her. They explained to me that she was working at a local grocery store bagging groceries. Then about a month later another friend messaged me. This friend said they also saw her at that same grocery store and tried to say hello and be friendly, and she was polite back.
My heart began to feel some relief knowing she was ok, but I also began to hope that I would be able to see her again. We were home visiting family around Christmas time when I attempted to go into that grocery store to see if she was working, I felt soooo NERVISH!!! I didn’t know what to say, but she wasn’t working that day. I attempted a second time, and I saw her. My heart felt like it was beating out of my chest as I watched her passing out samples to customers. She appeared to love her job as she was smiling and cheerful. She even went so far as to know customers by name.
There was a moment where no one was approaching her for a sample, and it was as if I felt a little push to keep walking forward. She was looking down, cutting the samples when I said, “hello ____”. She looked up, stunned. We both didn’t really know what to say. We kept the conversation very brief and formal. Before I left, I asked her if I could come again and bring my husband and son with me. I told her it would be a very long time before I would be back to visit as we were still in college. She said that would be fine, and so I did. Again another brief conversation, and I left her with my phone number to call me if she ever needed anything.
From that point forward, the effort for contact and connection has usually always come from me and me alone. It’s exhausting and grueling. I have to prepare myself for a visit because it makes me feel so FRENZY and NERVISH. The range of emotions from happiness, hope, rejection, anger, frustration, and sadness are not uncommon after a visit. We have good visits and not good visits. It literally is a rollercoaster. I have to prepare myself mentally to handle whatever type of visit it ends up being, along with the many buckets of tears that seem to flow afterwards.
I have seen her probably ten times in the last 10 years. When my parents moved a couple of years ago, I went to visit around Christmas time again, except I never came on a day she was working. I felt so frustrated, but I left a handwritten note with her boss to give to her. I let her know the new contact information for my parents if she ever needed it. Honestly, I left wondering if she would ever receive the letter.
Thankfully she did! The following January, she called my Mom. She was in desperate need of help. Her boyfriend had just beaten her up really bad. She wanted my family to come and get her. My Dad and brother hopped in the car and started to make the 12 hour drive, but had to stop for the night. Some dear family friends of ours picked her up, took her to the hospital, got her some much needed medical attention, and invited her to stay in their home that night. As my Dad was continuing to drive the next day, our friends called him, and said she was being picked up by friends.
She went BACK! I felt like I was going to SCREAM and I felt so BLUE!!! I honestly didn’t know if I would ever see her again because of the experience she went through. To this day I don’t know if she ever went back to that boyfriend. I don’t know the details of her life. I haven’t seen her in 3 years. My mom can send her a text now and then, and receive a simple response… but there is really no contact. No connection. No relationship. It breaks my heart.
There is a constant silent unfulfilled prayer that someday she will want to come back to us, to be with our family again, to know my children. The hard thing for me to accept is… even though I want all of those things, it has to be her choice. I can’t make that for her… no one can.
If you have ever had someone choose to leave your life I can relate and understand the rollercoaster of emotions that you will and do go through and experience. It is so hard!!! So many times have I wanted to throw my hands up in the air and literally GIVE. UP. TRYING. Sometimes you just feel STOMP’D! Your efforts are defeated.
Sometimes you feel PATCHY, and you don’t know how to move forward, but you do. You just keep plugging along picking up the pieces and try to work through the emotions. I keep plugging along, hoping and praying that someday we can be reunited no matter how many times I am accepted or rejected by my sister because deep down I still want to have a relationship with her. She is my sister and that will never change. My family doesn’t feel complete, we do have a literal missing piece… her.
Remember, don’t give up. Keep trying to connect, and invite them to join you when possible. They may reject you, but keep letting them know that you do care and want them a part of your life. With that being said, set boundaries for yourself and your family. If a line is crossed, you have every right to tell them. Don’t let someone else’s choices rob you from happiness. Even though it has been hard to move forward without my sister in the picture, I still try to live a happy and fulfilling life with my husband, children, and family. I can still be happy and feel like a piece is missing, and that’s ok. It’s ok because I can always have hope, hope that one day she will return.
If and when she does ever choose to return, we will stand waiting with open arms ready to welcome her back into the family because even though she left… we never truly let her leave our hearts.
Please come back.”