Lately I’ve been a bit frustrated with not being able to do the things I used to do – running, lifting, drinking anything on the menu, eating lunch meat with reckless abandon…you get the idea.
The other day I received an email that gave me the opportunity to really do something. A dear friend of mine asked for a favor, and today, I am happily serving that favor up here at The Wink.
The post you are about to read is from this friend who was looking for a safe place to talk. Please read her post and leave comments as the spirit moves you.
Thanks to Amanda for loaning me her space. I needed to write this, and I needed to do so in a place where I know my family won’t see it. Normally I write here, but it just wasn’t safe to post this.
It’s been less than 18 months since I moved away from my hometown, and in that short time my relationship with my mom and my sister has completely changed.
I used to think we were close, that our bonds were unshakable. We came through a very rocky time after my dad died three and a half years ago, when my mother acted so outrageously that, after nearly a year of suicide threats and outlandish behavior, both my sister and I took a stand and told her we would no longer put ourselves in the line of fire for her.
My mom and I didn’t speak for nearly a month. That may sound like a short time, but we were so close that just after my dad’s death my husband suggested that if we needed to, we would live with her.
The break healed, but not cleanly. However, our relationship improved over time.
My sister has always been my best friend, but our relationship also suffered from the death and my mom’s behavior. It was almost as if she needed to distance herself from me in order to distance herself from our mother, and her own grief.
Now my sister and my mom live in the same city. The see each other every Sunday, and sometimes more often. My sister’s kids get the benefit of living near their grandmother.
What do I get, now that I am out of sight and out of mind?
They never call me. If I want to talk to them, the onus is on me to pick up the phone. If I want to spend time with them, I have to get on a plane, alone with my kid, and fly 700 miles. When I’m there, if I fit in their schedules, great. If not, oh well. Then I’m left to hang out by myself while my mom gets a facial or sees a movie with her (stupid and annoying) boyfriend and my sister does whatever the hell it is she does.
Both of them manage to find the time to go to Disneyworld together, go on cruises together, go visit friends, whatever. They have the spare cash to re-do their houses or build new ones.
But somehow they can never find the time or funds to visit me and my child.
My daughter is my sister’s only niece. She is her godchild. My mother is a widow who claims her life revolves around her grandchildren. And yet, my daughter weeps at the kitchen table on Sunday afternoons when she is told that she can’t go see her aunt, cousins and grandmother. But do either one of them make any effort to come and see her?
I see now that we aren’t close – I was close to them. I worked hard to be part of their lives. I cared for my mother at the expense of my own mental health and set aside my own grief to try and help alleviate hers. I offered up my daughter as a balm for her spirit and I was rejected out of hand over and over and over.
I called my sister nearly every single day when she lived 1,000 miles away when my dad was dying. I bore the burdens of his illness and death in her stead, all by myself.
But they don’t feel the same about me. This past summer I complained during a vacation meant to be time spent together that I was being ignored, and my sister told me I was weird and that I have a persecution complex.
This, because I wanted to spend time with the family I now only see once or twice a year, on a trip I made specifically to do so, at my mother’s request.
All of this came to a head last week, when I learned that my sister is making time to go visit a friend in another state, bringing her whole family with her. And my mother was supposed to be away this week, and so I decided not to go back East for a visit. But my mom changed her plans and stayed home, only she didn’t tell me. So instead of being back east and visiting her and my friends, I am home alone in Illinois while my husband attends a conference all week in another state.
And you know what? I’ve had it. I’m not reaching out anymore. I’m not exhausting myself by traveling to see them. I’m not calling them anymore.
You know how when astronauts are in orbit and there comes a point where they are unreachable, in a communications black-out?
That’s me. From now on I am on the dark side of the moon.