Things in The Park have been going well. Mom was almost happy last weekend when we talked – excited to have finally been taken to the library, where she can get ‘books on tape’. Renovations to Mom’s house are well underway, and on schedule.
Due to the absence of naturally occurring drama my sister, S, apparently needed to create some. And she has…
i was two time zones away on Monday night, settling into my hotel on the front end of a business trip, when i got the call from my bipolar lesbian sister, T. This is the sister who has deliberately removed herself from the family as it causes disruption to her brain chemistry. She asked my assistance in dislodging herself from the rafters due to the latest round of “Let’s Make A Drama”.
It started a couple months ago, with the “Child With Nail Gun” facebook squabble. Seems my sister, S, is angry with T for “being mean” to S’s daughter, DQ. Deciding to “get some answers”, S sent T several e-mails. T ignored them, except to write back telling S to stop using her work e-mail address for personal messages.
Oh, for context: S is 57 years old and the senior IT professional at a large law firm. T, with her PhD in business, is turning 49 this year. It’s entirely possible that they could have been mistaken for two schoolgirls, with no manners and extreme self-absorption issues.
Two hours on the phone with T. Some highlights – italicized words represent the voices in my head.
T: These people make me crazy! My professional colleagues are on facebook! I can’t let them see this stupid redneck shit. Did I do the wrong thing? They’re firing people down here – I don’t know if I’ll have a job after June! I don’t need this bullshit!
daisyfae: No, i completely understand. You have to do what is best for you. i’d do the same thing in your situation.
In fact, i am quite jealous that i am unable to do the same thing… fucking deathbed promises…
T: Do they realize I’m never coming to visit? Does Mom know that her choice to live with DQ means she’ll never see me again?
daisyfae: Probably not. But what would be the point in telling them? Just call Mom every few weeks and stay in touch. No point in feeding the drama and causing Mom pain…
Please don’t tell them. Makes it far more fun to watch this way…
T: I won’t come home for Mom’s funeral. If I saw DQ’s fucking alligator tears, while she sits on her fat ass in the house she stole from Mom, I’d go nuts! Unless you need me. I’d come home for the funeral if you need me there. Do you want me there?
daisyfae: i’ll be fine. Stay away if you need to.
No. Please. Seriously, i’ll have plenty of other people gnawing on my brain once Mom checks out. i’ll bag up any leftover brain nuggets and ship them to you so you won’t feel left out… Oh, and by the way? She’s not quite dead yet.
And it went on and on… i reminded T that Mom made this choice, and that i have no issue with DQ getting the house – so long as the money doesn’t run out before Mom dies. I finally told her that i was certain to hear from S soon, and assured her that i’d pinch off this small, brown and smelly loaf in the punchbowl before it blossoms into a full-blown turd…
As predicted, sister S called me first thing Tuesday morning, leaving her trademarked melodramatic “I need to talk to you” voicemail. With a full day of meetings, i didn’t have a chance to call her back until i nestled into a comfy booth at the airport bar late in the afternoon. Ninety minutes on the phone with S… fortunately accompanied by several treatments from the good Dr. Daniels to ease the pain.
S: I’m really pissed off! T has ignored my calls and e-mails. She’s pissed off at DQ and I just want some answers…
daisyfae: There are no answers. T has bipolar disorder. None of us will ever be able to fully understand what that’s like… Nor will we ever be able to really understand the issues. It is a medical condition, and she has overcome tremendous obstacles – there are people with less severe cases who are on disability.
And you, dear sister, have a raging case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. But you cope pretty well, too…
S: T doesn’t do anything to help Mom, and she doesn’t understand that it’s no picnic for DQ taking care of her every day. I want to know what her problem is with DQ!
daisyfae: What is it you want to happen here? Do you really want T to come home and visit? Have you forgotten how much fun it was the last time T came home to “help”? Why are you poking her with the Pit Bull Teasing stick? She’s under pressure about her job, and this is a really bad time to be trying to get answers. Best to leave her alone. It will change nothing.
That’s right. You get her all riled up and make her come home to “help”? This time YOU can deal with the mess. i had to be physically restrained to keep from pounding her into PhD-dust on one of her prior “helpful” visits… Where’s my fucking waiter? This drink is not refilling itself…
S: But what did DQ do to T? Why is she mad? Somebody needs to tell me what’s going on… I can’t believe she de-friended her on “facebook” – i can’t believe how childish she is!
daisyfae: Well, hmmm… The level of childish behavior seems a bit high… but you can’t let this bother you. T has had issues with DQ for a long time – she thinks DQ is taking advantage of Mom, and there is nothing anyone can say or do to change that. She doesn’t understand how hard it is to take care of Mom, and won’t listen when i try to explain. Why try to fix it? Will any of this make Mom’s life better?
OMFG?!?! Really? REALLY?!?! De-friended? FML! Why can’t they all de-friend ME? My glass is empty again. Where’s that waiter…
S: We need to talk more – this really helps me. You’re a good therapist! I should just concentrate on what I can do for Mom and not worry about anyone else.
daisyfae: Gotta get going – think my flight is being called.
But more importantly, my glass is empty again…
Managed to make it to my gate at the airport with about an hour to spare – unable to sleep on an uncomfortable Airbus 320 with seats designed to torment 5’6″ tall humans. Message traffic today from both camps which basically say the same thing – “Thanks for being there! We need to get together soon!”
Given the option? Puppeteer is a much easier job than Referee….
I knew the post was coming. I understand you have wine in the house. . .
imeantno – yes. overdue. they’ve been quiet. like velociraptors, i must never get complacent when things are quiet. clever, clever girls… the wine? less today than there was saturday.
If T shows up at the funeral, you had better bring a video camera and get that shit up on YouTube toot-sweet, got it? Stuck in the middle, are you?
Airport bar service sucks. With what the ridiculous price per drink they charge you’d think they’d be right in your face ready to serve you another.
good lord daisyfae, this sounds like MY family! narcissistic personality disorder, i looked this up and suspect my mother has this! i havent spoken to her in three years due to her incessant bragging and refusal to acknowledge anyone on this earth besides herself. my sister’s even worse, she called me selfish and told me to go to hell before she accused me of only thinking of myself the day before my son died. geeez… fuck ’em!
Families are hell. We played nice at Dad’s funeral, but apparently it was a one-time thing. You can have my family. Most of them won’t friend me on Facebook.
Well I’ll just sidestep the family stuff and wish you a jolly old business trip with lots of fun.
Don’t give them our contact details in Greece daisyfae 😉
That sounds bad. Almost as bad as living with a B
Oops – let me do that again
That sounds bad. Almost as bad as living with a Born Again brother. Actually, sisters would probably be worse. They have this female ability to find buttons to push. Us males tend to avoid buttons – mostly – except accidentally and then all Hell can break loose because it is unexpected.
Sympathies and please do keep us up to date with the trailer park – it is a reminder of where I came from as well 🙂
Ahh, family. The joy, the bliss, it all makes me so very glad I reproduced!
unbearable banishment – if we’d videotaped the last major blow out? it’d be viral on youtube. imagine a scene at a Bill Knapp’s restaurant (old folks meals) with a woman screaming the foulest obscenities into a mobile phone (i was the one taking the call 60 miles away) while STANDING by the front counter? the blue haired ladies were dropping their teeth in their chicken soup that day…
renalfailure – yep. hate being captive. this guy was pretty good, but i slammed 4 in 90 minutes. i was pissed that the drinks were so weak though. hate that worse than the service or the cost!
lynn – i’ve spent some time considering the concept of ‘family’, and am rapidly concluding that my friends are more important to me than the extended folks who haven’t bothered to take the time over the years to get to know me… your sister sounds like a proper cow, she does. and if your mom is that whacked out? wonder if she’s noticed you’ve disappeared yet! she may still be talking!
silverstar – what i’ve been barking at my family about is “acceptance” – we are who we are, we are not changing, and no amount of bickering and wishing and screaming is going to change that. but alas, neither is my ‘barking’ apparently. stick with your knitters… they’re probably better for you!
syncopated eyeball – not a ‘party’ trip. short notice, had to go as management “meat in a seat” (show lots of interest, engage enthusiastically, and pretend that our organization gives a shit about something it does not give a shit about). got home at 1am tuesday night, and had to be at work by 8am the next morning. ugh.
nursemyra – i told my lesbian sister that i’m meeting a friend on Lesbos. you would think that would get her attention? maybe stop her stream-of-consciousness rant about how hard her job is? nope. bounced right off. even if i told them? they never listen…
archie – you’ve reminded me of one of the few blessings in my trailer park mess. there are no bible-thumpers! not counting my brother’s second ex-wife, who recently found me in facebook world. but she’s an alcoholic who recently left her family for a married boyfriend, so she doesn’t throw too many rocks these days…
ruby – sometimes i wish i’d made more than two children, so mine could know the true joys of sibling nightmares. but they occasionally thank me for showing restraint. there are a million ways i’m going to torture my children, but none of them will involve having them take care of me when i’m old!
these are the stories that make me glad i’m an only child, sugar! of course, the MITM has siblings and i get to watch that lunancy…xoxoxox
How’s your schedule look, I can drop off the Drama-rama-llama next Tuesday…
(loved the “not quite dead yet”…)
I love these snippets … Bravo family drama has been quite low despite Daddy Bravo’s torrid global affairs and resultant stalkers …
savannah – there are many times i wish i was an only child. but then? i’d have never started blogging…
stephanie – they’re still poking at each other, so i might need that drama-rama-llama…
tNb – this is why i blog… everything else? just keeps me warmed up! Daddy B need a non-stalker girlfriend in the midwestern US? i can always add to the bench 🙂
My oldest sproing acts like that sometimes..(being raised by his unemployed, poor me, the world owes me something, father) He is a total ass..spouting off shit that makes him seem like the poor me, everybody hates me..blah blah blah..I slap him back in place and ignore him for a few months…god I hope he outgrows this crap because once he turns 18 I can’t take that shit every few months. no patience for self centered people.
You have such an abundance of patience to keep your cool while listening to them ( i know, the abundance of booze helps, i’m sure) but still..till booze kicks in you keep your cool.
The part I don’t understand is how you are still sane.
Told with such great honesty and wit that it makes me slaver with the enormity of your superbly dry talent.
hisqueen – sounds like your elder-sprog could use some ‘reality’ therapy (a day working in a homeless shelter, etc.). i used to make mine work charity events just as a reminder that we’re spoiled. hope the lesson took! and i’m not sure if it’s patience – more that i just stopped giving a rats arse a few years back… it helps me keep from going nuts on ’em…
kyknoord – oh, but you’ve obviously missed an important point. i’m not. functional? empathetic? you bet! sane? not.even.close. but my type of crazy is geared toward the minimalization of collateral damage.
jimmy – Hey everybody! Did you see that? i made Jimmy B slaver! SLAVER! Yeeeee-HAW! (oh, and a note to dear nursemyra: speaking of “jimmy” and “enormity” we need to get tracking down those photos from Ms. Leah…)
Found your blog through Unbearable. The child with a nailgun thing was soooo funny. Anyway, hope you don’t mind me saying this but T sounds a little high strung. It was a toy nailgun …
sid – welcome to The Park, and thanks for stopping by! any friend of tub’s is a friend of mine. well, except that one guy, but he won’t come here anymore after what happened last time… agree that the ‘nailgun’ incident triggered quite an over-reaction from T (although it wouldn’t have surprised me if it had been a real nailgun, unloaded). she has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and manages it well. but her ‘high strung’ nature goes back to our childhood – she never played. everything was a competition (which she won). good heart on the inside, but there’s a lot of crunchy on the outside…
daisy, I swear you must be related to one of the families whose has a member that comes and gets massage from me. Only no one in that family is actually educated and goes on business trips, so I suspect not. However, I just wanted to say that because sometimes when we are embroiled in this sort of nonsense we start to think that it just isn’t fair that we are the only people on earth that have such bs goingon in our family lives. I wanted to tell you that you are not alone! And you seem to be dealing with it fairly well. So, bless you girl, and take no prisoners.
On an unrelated subject, if I was not in a monogamous relationship I would be acting EXACTLY like you in the sexual activity department. You go girl. Goddess gave us the toys so we could play with them and enjoy them.
I agree with the voices in your head.
Next time you call her, make sure you have two drinks ready.
We’ve talked about the professional benefits that come from the family peacemaker training. And if they stopped calling you would miss it. Come on, admit it. Not that this makes it any less frustrating to take those phone calls. I got a “you need to call your sister” from my mother last weekend. I guess I need to call my sister.
There are times when I wish my brother was nearby to share the load in taking care of our mother, but then I slap myself and come back to my senses. My mother may push my hot buttons, but she plays his like a virtuoso. Then I’d have two difficult people on my hands instead of just one. Family, God love ’em. You can’t live with them and you can’t bury them in the back yard.
A well-told tale of familial dysfunction and wry humor, enjoyed reading it Daisyfae. I had to laugh because my sister V recently un-friended me on Facebook over my mother’s declining mental state. Thanks Dr. D.
healingmagichands – family dynamics knows no educational/social distinction… tis the thing that unites us. i am forever amazed at how rapidly my family can reduce me to being a tantrum-throwing spoiled 4 year old… what i have learned from my ‘medicating in the ether’ is that this sort of family muck is almost universal! and thank you for your support of my anti-familial counter-socital personal choices. who knows what i’ll need tomorrow, but for now this seems right…
writerdood – i bring jello shots to the family christmas party. we all function with less stress with teeny-tiny jolts of alcohol…
chris – yes, i’d miss it. BUT, i’d prefer the calls to last about 15-20 minutes. this 2 hour bullshit, hashing and rehashing the same thought nugget over and over and over? ugh… oh, and call your damn sister… she’s expecting to hear from you!
fundamental jelly – i like to think of myself as a rational, logical and reasonable human. yet within seconds, my family can reduce me to fighting over legos on the floor during a holiday gift exchange. there is NOTHING like family to really jack up your jacuzzi jets, is there?
I’m not on facebook, I guess I’m afraid my family would unfriend me. Or I would have to unfriend them.
As far as the sex thing goes, I’m old enough to have participated in the sexual revolution, to have reveled in my participation as a matter of fact. There was a lot of shaking of the legislative branches, marching, action to change attitudes going on. I HATE the fact that all that work seems to have been trumped by AIDS and other incurable diseases. And that the attitude of puritanicalism and the fact that women are “supposed” to be owned by men and “save” themselves for one in particular is still so damned prevalent. So I am glad to know that there are people out there who have a “take no prisoners” attitude towards their own pleasure.
healingmagichands – HIV, as well as herpes, and those other pesky bugs, certainly affect the playing field, but there are intelligent risk mitigation strategies that can be deployed. i suppose it’s a case of ‘to each his/her own’, but it would be nice if we could drop the guilt, increase education, and leave women more free to pursue the alternate paths! i’m sure enjoying myself…
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