I have a number of siblings and when we were younger we were all great friends. We regularly holidayed together and visited with each other. If one of us was in trouble we all did our best to help out, sometimes travelling thousands of miles to do so.
Over the past decade there have been many big changes in our collective lives, some of us moving continents a couple of divorces, new relationships, caring for a aged parent with terminal cancer through to the end and most recently looking after our remaining parent who has Alzheimer’s disease.
I have been struggling over the last year to understand how people or relationships can change so much over a few years that people are no longer recognisable.
Of course it is natural that people will change and grow in different ways. It may be that one person’s changes are hard for another to acknolwedge.
I know that for some years now my siblings have refused to see some of the changes in my life and try really hard to have me fit into the old family pattern and I don’t fit anymore. This is uncomfortable for me and probably uncomfortable for them also.
Unfortunately when we try to talk about these things all I hear is the refrain – you have changed – as though it was a terrible thing to have done, an accusation of betrayal.
I can see that others have changed too, it is not my place to make judgement on how they have changed, just to acknowledge it and not force or expect them to behave as though they haven’t.