Sunday, 23 April 2006


Monday 23 April 2007

I still don’t know what came over me.

I tried to extricate myself from my thoughts by doing something else, then I tool the bull by the horns and tried to analyse my feelings, that way thinking to calm the storm. But nothing would work, I had a dreadful Sunday. Mulling it over endlessly.

Because, there it is, yesterday morning I made the ENORMOUS mistake of saying to my sister on the telephone that I was going to have the operation.

It was frankly surreal this conversation. In fact I don’t believe I can get over it.

We were talking about other things, health, shopping, future holidays, and suddenly, I decided to tell her (with a little nervousness, all the same, but still ...) that I was soon going to have an operation. Surprised at the other end of the line (“but what operation?”). So, quite happily I told her I was having my clitoris reconstructed. She asked me if I wasn’t frightened. All excited by the conversation that was taking shape, I explained to her that no, now I was well informed and I had met Dr Foldès at the consultation, I wasn’t afraid.

And that’s when I stopped understanding any more.

She said to me “I am sure on the Machin site, on the internet, they’re not bad the trousers they make.”


Hesitantly I told her that it was my cousin who had awakened this wish for me to have the operation. And she answered “Me too, I’m going to make some enquiries I think.” Before changing the subject completely. Just like that. Suddenly.


I was hallucinating. Frankly, that had me dazed.

I was talking to her about something important, totally new even and she offered me unbelievable indifference.

I felt mort-i-fied. Humiliated even. I cut short the conversation but it was too late, the worm was in the fruit and my day was ruined. But why did I tell her? Why? If I killed myself I wouldn’t feel this profound humiliation which has been clinging to me since yesterday.

So, all right, we aren’t very close in the first place. All right, on Sunday she was a bit miserable. All right, she was maybe taken by surprise. All right, she may have had her reasons for reacting like that. All right she has always refused to talk about circumcision. All right, all right, all right. I can understand intellectually the thousand reasons which my man put forward to try to console me.

But all the same! The only explanation that I can see, myself, is that my sister doesn’t care in the least what happens to me. That doesn’t interest her. Full stop. [period].

I wish to death to believe I could open up to her, to believe that the phone calls over the last few days (we don’t speak to each other a lot, my sister and I, that way we avoid rows) were the sign of an increasing intimacy between us. I thought things were changing., that the war was behind us, and I’ve taken a slap in the face. That’ll teach me!

And I was so worried by the idea that by not talking to her, she would kearn about it from my cousin! Pffff… I was completely wide of the mark in fact.

I feel wounded. And terribly angry. I’m still boiling today. And she didn’t even ask me when the operation would be ....

[original in French]

Next post


  1. Hello

    We don’t know each other, I know even less about your relationships … but perhaps (and at least it’s what came to me when reading your post) that your sister is quite simply feeling uneasy about this news which she probably wasn’t expecting.

    You are have spent some time on your wonderful project but suddenly you mix with someone who is a complete stranger to it …. For me her attitude demonstrates an escape rather any indifference….Don’t forget that, as you so admirably explain on your blog, you have had a LONG journey before today,,, but perhaps not her :(((

    I understand how that has wounded you and I hope that once the news has been digested your sister will renew the conversation that you are waiting for …

  2. Good evening and welcome!
    You know, I believe what has me upset, in the end, is realising that I was in fact expecting somehting from her. A comeback, some questions, some curiosity, I don't know to be fair. And I was a thousand miles from imagining that it was avoidance! It's true that I have travelled as far as circumcision is concerned, and perhaps she hasn't, but well, it's hard for me to take ...

  3. Or perhaps it a little bit of envy, of jealousy? Perhaps she regrets not having done anything herself?

  4. It could well be A. We aren't far apart in age and I am the younger one. So it's very possible. You know, that comforts me that it could be jealousy rather than total indifference to my life. At the same time, it saddens me a bit for her (because she could do it herself too, she could have the operation).

  5. I don’t believe that it’s indifference, I don’t know you at all, either of you, but I’m of the same opinion as Plastie & cie. Leave her a little while. She hasn’t had time to get used to it, poor thing ;)

    You, you’ve been going on well for months and you have taken the decision, your appointments, you have thought about loads of things, she probably hasn’t. She is flabbergasted!

    But it’s understandable that you are furious and resent her for avoiding the subject which has been close to your heart for weeks or months. And it’s true, she could at least have asked you the date.

    Myself, I think you should speak together again when she has digested the news ;)

    What occurs to me also is that you wait a lot for your mother and sister, that you look for their approval, while they are rather in an avoidance strategy. Not easy to endure!

    Re-reading your post, I notice also that the first thing she said to you was about fear. So, there, she told you her feelings, that made her frightened. Not easy for her to endure either. And easy for me to say, sitting peacefully at home, and never having experienced anything like that :)

  6. During our childhood, my sisters and I were raped by our own father.
    I’ve always lived a bit like you and your circumcision, a pain inside me, a bad thing which I hid behind a joie de vivre …. but I didn’t forget!

    Several years later I spoke about it to my older sister (1 year older than me) and she looked at me surprised: “I had forgotten!”

    You can imagine my surprise!
    Well I believe she preferred to erase all that from her memory, even though I doubt anyone could forget!
    Your sister perhaps reacted like mine! You put a handkerchief over your head and do this …

    Myself, I no longer see my parents who don’t understand why, my sister has a completely normal relationship with them! I believe everyone reacts in their own way, even if you have difficulty in understanding other people’s.

  7. Hello Papillon

    I am a silent reader of your blog, but today I’m coming out of the shadow because I am sad to feel you are in this state. I too have difficult a relationship with my sister. Faced with a difficulty you have two choices, whether to pull back and bury yourself under three layers of earth as you have lived, or you dig, you search to try to find the cause and free yourself. Obviously you two don’t have the same strategy … It’s your attitude which is the most courageous! It’s not surprising that it unsettles your sister who doesn’t seem to have the same strength that you have to escape. From what you have told us of your sister and her denial, I already find it extraordinary that she said she was going to make enquiries!

    Papillon, I have myself had therapy, and I believe that at times you have to accept that you progress faster than your near ones, even if they are older than you. Who knows, sometimes you have surprises and perhaps little by little she will take the road behind you? But for the moment it is you who leads the way….

    Courage Papillon, and as the title of a film I loved very rightly says “those who love me will catch the train”.

  8. Hello, I don’t know you either and it’s the first time I’ve posted here, but from reading your conversation with your sister, the first thing that came to my mind, is that the trauma had been as great for your sister and that for her the only way of escape was to forget or to make believe that “it’s not even bad”. For some it is easier to escape by forgetting than to face up to reality. You mustn’t be hard on her, nor with your mother because it’s sometimes a question all their lives, what they have been taught up till now, all their culture. It’s hard but progress is different for everyone. I am sure that your sister isn’t indifferent and she will come back to talk to you.

  9. You have done well to talk to your sister. You feel enough in charge of the subject to speak to her about it, so good for you.

    It’s positive.

    On her side, you can say that she hasn’t opposed you. She has expressed her fear as claudecf said, that is an private feeling. Then, uneasy, she diverted on to something lighter but she did come back to the circumcision, always without disagreeing, note that well. Then your sister even spoke about making enquiries.

    All that is positive, you will realise that in a moment.


  10. Hello and welcome to you Claudecf, Rosalie, and Caroline! Hi Lalita and Lili!

    Since yesterday evening, as a matter of fact, I’ve been saying to myself that she can’t have been indifferent. The subject is too serious and also it comes too close for her not to feel at all concerned by the question, even if I was talking about myself.

    I am trying now to go beyond the wound that I felt, to pass my resentment and consider what’s happening for her.

    You see Lalita, the difference of reaction between you and your sister in the face of the tragedy you lived through when little seems to me very meaningful. It’s true that we all react in our own way, even if it seems staggering to others.

    So like you almost all have said to me, she has perhaps chosen a different path from mine. And I shouldn’t judge her for it. Even if it’s difficult.

    This gap between us I would like to overcome, accept as you suggest Rosalie. Because I believe that as long as I don’t do that I will always be waiting for something from my sister and of course from my mother. I don’t really know what. Claudesf, I’m not sure that it’s approval. I hope it’s just feedback, a reaction. Proof that I’ve been heard.

    Lili, you are right in all that, I’ve lost sight of the fact that there are positive points in this story.:))

    My man is certain, like Claudecf and Caroline, that she is going to come back to me and talk to me again.

    So much the better because myself I won’t be doing it (once bitten twice shy)

    PS I’d like to give you a big kiss Lalita, an enormous kiss even…


Forethoughts, afterthoughts, any thoughts. Tell me.


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