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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Angry (08/02/07)

TITLE: I'm Supposed to be Sad?
By Allison Egley


Jun 27, 2006

Dear James,

I'm writing to explain why I didn't see you off when you headed to Iraq. I know Mom and Dad are mad I wasn't there, and you probably are too, but I couldn't be there. And I think you know why. I could never get up the nerve to say this to your face, but I'm hoping I can explain myself in writing. I've always been able to articulate better through the written word. Maybe it's because I can think things over, delete them, and rewrite them.

James, I've tried to gloss over the things you've done to me, but I just can't forget them. You're my older brother. You're supposed to protect me. Not take advantage of me, abuse me, and humiliate me. I've played your game for too long. I'm glad you won't be back for awhile. It will give me time to heal physically and emotionally. James, I need to admit that the reason I wasn't there is because I am angry with you. I'm angry at the way you've treated me, despite the kindness I've tried to show to you. I'm angry because you told me to lie to Mom and Dad about why I always had bruises on my arms and legs. I'm angry because while everyone was weeping over you leaving for Iraq and talking about how wonderful you were, I was left in the dust feeling like a second class citizen. Yes, I'm angry. Angry to the point were it would be fine with me if I never saw you again. But I don't want you to die. I'm not that vindictive. I hope you make it back to the States safely, but please don't expect me to be on the welcoming committee. The wounds you've given me are going to take a lifetime to heal.

I wish that our recent years together had been like our childhood. Remember the fun we used to have? Sledding down the hill in the backyard and nearly killing ourselves, with me being the test dummy for all of your snow ramps, all while trying to avoid the seizure-prone dog and the large tree at the bottom of the hill. I remember when you and your friends toilet papered the house for my birthday. Do you have any idea how special that made me feel? I remember when you and Ben would take me on "blankie transport" rides. And may we never forget what I now refer to simply as "The Incident." You know, the one that provided me with my first visit to the ER. I wish I knew what changed. What made you snap? Did it begin when you started hanging out with Greg and Jason? Was it stress? Jealousy? Do you even know?

I hope you can understand why I wasn't at your going away party. I knew if I was there I'd ruin the atmosphere. I also hope you understand why I may not be there for your homecoming and why this may be the last time I contact you. I will read letters you send me, if you choose to respond, but don't expect me to respond; at least not right away. I hope this time away will do both of us some good, and that we can start to rebuild the relationship we once had. I wish I could sign this letter "love," but to be honest, I don't feel that for you after what you've done to me. But I hope one day I can once again use that word when I'm talking about you.

Your sister,

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This article has been read 1034 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/09/07
You have written a clear picture of the anger that results from abuse. This is such an emotional letter that it causes the reader to hope the sister finds peace with God and release from anger, and the brother realizes the harm he's done and seeks forgiveness from God and his sister.
Kristen Hester08/10/07
This is a well written letter. I can understand her anger. Good job.
Betty Castleberry08/11/07
This is powerful. Having the brother be the abuser instead of a dad, is a different twist. I can feel her sadness and anger in the letter. Very well done.
Jan Ackerson 08/13/07
Heart-breaking, and a really good example of how anger can be cold as ice, not always red-hot. Superb writing.
Joanne Sher 08/14/07
Excellent writing - the emotions seem so authentic. Amazing story.
Leigh MacKelvey08/14/07
Intense ... as the writing on abuse should be. Really, really good writing and a bit of anger most people don't have the courage to write about. I loved it and felt emotion and understanding for the MC.
Dee Yoder 08/23/07
Here's an example of abuse that rarely gets mentioned. The MC's voice is restrained, yet the powerful message is conveyed clearly. The anger that's expressed is justified, in light of the betrayal of someone who's supposed to be a loving family member.