An open birthday letter to my sister

Kjære Tone,

Today you reached the age of 40! Happy birthday! I wish we could have celebrated your day together. Unfortunately, that is not possible. A long time ago, you cut all contact. One day you told your family on the phone from Graz, Austria that you needed somewhere between 3 months and 3 years to find your true self. That’s now over 15 years ago. Time does fly. And sadly, it does not come back. The last time I saw you, you were only 24. I never got to meet you in your thirties. I will never have that pleasure.

A story has two sides, and we only know our side to it. We don’t know what happened to you. We wish we had some answers, but we don’t. Our letters have been returned unopened. There is no phone number for us to call. We have no email. We can only hope you are happy. It seems so crazy that in a time of all this great communication technology, we can not reach you. But then I thought maybe an open letter will reach you some day.

So I hope you will read this. We think about you. We miss you. And we worry about you. Because you are our sister, daughter, cousin, best friend, and also, aunt. Almost two years ago, a niece of yours was born. She is so beautiful, Tone. Her love, warmth, laughter and playfulness gets to us all. Had she met you, I know she would have loved you too. And the Tone I remember, would have been a great aunt. Can you remember how nice it was to have an uncle and aunt, or grandparents to visit? It breaks my heart that you are missing out on all of this, and I don’t think this is what you signed up for.

You see, I don’t think cutting contact was your decision in the first place. It probably felt like it was your decision, but I think you were manipulated in to believing so. Can I know this for sure? Of course not. But your boyfriend did do some peculiar things. Here are some of the things we know happened over time:
- He completely removed you from your own environment, placing you in a new home, in a new country far away.
- He changed your diet.
- He changed your clothing style.
- He removed access to your friends and family, and took away their access to you. Total isolation.
- He changed your way of expressing yourself.
- He changed your language.
- He made you go through a step-based system he had you go through so you could get to know “the true you”.

We know of more, but this selection will get the point across anyway. On their own, most of these things are not a big deal. But if you put all of them together a pattern starts appearing. And that looks a lot like mind control techniques. There is a lot of information about this on the internet, often provided by people that have broken out of a cult. However, you don’t need a big cult for this to work though. One person can also do this. This person needs to get your trust. Then he or she have to abuse that trust to hijack your faculties. And if this is person does it right, you will be convinced no one ever did this to you.

The person that could shine a light on a lot of this, would be your partner. But he will not talk to us directly. He will not even grant your family a way of contacting you if a tragedy where to occur. And If something should happen to you, we have no reason to believe he plans on telling us. I think most people will agree that’s not nice.

I wonder why he is so shy of contact. No one wanted him anything but well. He was a guest in your parents home. He celebrated Christmas with us. It is hard to see any reason he would have to trash your family. If I could guess, it would be for controlling a narrative he is carefully directing. Anyone objecting to it would be very dangerous to the house of cards he has built. This house of cards controls your freedom.

But you are free, and not forgotten. Your friends and family would really like to one day hear from you again. We are out here, and we are easy to find. My birthday gift from me to you is this letter. I hope it will remind you of all the love and friendships you have.

Happy birthday, my dearest sister. We love you so much.