Thursday, January 8, 2009

one more before i try to let this go

thanks for listening to that hellacious vent about my sister. i don't know why but i always feel compelled to explain a few things because a corner of my mind always, always feels guilty about just about any relationship i have.

my sister and i have never really been close, i think a lot of that comes from the 12 year age difference. when she was a baby/toddler i doted on her. beat my brother up for messing w/ her, pretended she was mine, etc. when i graduated high school and went off to college that was pretty much the last time i lived w/ her for any length of time so i missed a lot of her daily life, and the camaraderie that develops from growing up w/ someone and sharing family memories, after she was a toddler.

though the hubs and i were living here when she was in high school we didn't hang out much. we were newly married, working, had our own lives and she was in high school. at the time i wasn't aware of all the things she was in to (the hubs found out later about this because she's always talked to him more so than me---and lots of times she's talked to him about inappropriate things. like the time, just a few years ago (when any sensible person would have KNOWN better) she told the hubs she had shaved (yes, down there) and what did he think of that and did i do that? the hubs, knowing instantly how i would react, said she should ask me. after i blew up at her i wrestled her to the ground in my parents' front yard. yes, i was a grown, adult, mother at the time.) she was two when the hubs and i started dating so, despite the fact that we have a brother i think she sort of looks to the hubs as a brother, but one that at different points in her life, she's had a crush on.

i think her downward spiral started around the end of high school. she was dating a boy, thought she was pregnant; tried to commit suicide by oding on antibiotics while my mom was out of town and my dad was in the den (she called the hubs and i from the bedroom to come and get her). it was just always something. manipulation, lies, etc.

when the kids starting coming along my frustration and fury came (and apparently remains) NOT because they are bi-racial or even that they all have different fathers, but that she has never, ever put them first. she wanted to abort my niece, which would totally have been w/in her rights, but at the time i was pregnant w/ the boy and i just could not handle that thought.

my frustration comes from the not understanding, as a mother, how you put your wants, your needs before your kids. your happiness means more than their well being. i cannot fathom that. having NO plan, no concept of where you're going, not for you but for your kids, i don't get that.

and, sadly, i don't feel like a good aunt to her children. i am not close to my sister so i am not close to her children. part of this was out of self preservation. before two years ago when she settled down i really didn't want to get too close because i never knew what was coming; if she'd up and leave the country or their father's would come back for them or god forbid she did something to them. i just couldn't attach and i couldn't let my kids be around the chaos that was her life. we don't visit like we do w/ my bro's family. i don't want that relationship w/ her. i love her children. my nephew is incredibly cute and all boy and he tickles me to death. my niece, god love her, but between my mom and my sister....she's an unpleasant child. she's clingy (TOTALLY understandable since she was bounced from place to place as a baby/toddler) and whiny and, much like my sister, has to be the center of attention. and. she is my mother's favorite grandchild. part of me gets that, gets the fact that my niece spent most of her young formative years living w/ my parents and my mom bonded to her and has been her advocate, champion, savior whatever because of that. but a tiny part of me gets pissed at my mom for that because while she never thought twice about removing (or threatening to remove) my niece from harmful situations, she never once did that for her own children.

and the guilt also comes from the fact that i GET it, i GET that my sister is bi-polar. i get that our parents would not win any awards for good parenting, though by the time she was growing up they were different than they were when my brother and i were young. they didn't drink they way they used to (though my dad still drinks, it's nothing like it was when i was young). i understand that there are certain reasons that she has no control over that make her the way she is. but...the kids have to come first.

and i hope that i don't feel the need for another one of these posts for a long time because aside from this? my life rocks the casbah. seriously, i'm in a shiney happy place w/ things.


Hotch Potchery said...

So, I have sat here with the comment box open for a good two minutes and I have no idea what to say to you. My instinct is to make some HORRIBLY inappropriate joke, because that is how I tend to deal.

The bi-polar thing is tough. I don't know much about it other than what they show on Law & Order, but if it is an accurate diagnosis, she probably can't help being, well being who she is. AND that SUCKS.

My sister and I talk all the time about how our mom probably has MANY personality disorders that her behavior can be attributed to, but you know what? She still infuriates me.

creative kerfuffle said...

hotch--i roll like that too and emailed you the inappropriate things that have thus far been said.
as for the bi-polar, when they first thought she had it my mom sent me this online test to take to see if you're bi-polar. uh, according to that test, everyone is. you have highs, you have lows, you're a sex fiend sometimes and don't want it other times, you're happy you're sad. eh. i know it's real and all but it is hard, especially w/ kids being involved. and when you add that to having dysfunctional parents it's not like she had a chance any way.

Astarte said...

I think that it's good to get things out, and let the poison go. Everything you're feeling is perfectly understandable, and I know you're hurting over it as well as being angry. You don't need to explain. We all get angry and frustrated. It's OK.