My sister is visiting with my nephew. He's great (if loud). That being said, I never thought I would genuinely feel sorry for her. Why? Because she is resentful of how things "always seem to work out for me and how I don't work hard enough for things." Really? I have gone out of my way to learn and understand things. I don't actually count on people to help me out (no matter what her warped perception is...it is quite the opposite actually. I KNOW people are going to leave me high and dry. I KNOW that trusting someone is just asking for them to drop me down a flight of stairs, wind me up and tell me I can't do something so I'll do it or try to drop me on my head. These are lessons she has taught me quite painfully. I do not give trust easily because I know I am promised something and it will be ripped away and the promise will not be kept. These are the lessons that I have learned in my family at the hands of my mother and sister. I have worked for what I wanted because I know I won't be given them. And yet for some reason she carries this core of resentment within her that eats at her...and I feel sorry for her because of it. It is such a waste of time and energy on her part.
Being around people is so hard for me. I know they will reject me and repudiate me. I know they will lie and cheat and deceive me. (In general, this does actually happen.) I don't resent them for it. That's the way they are. It's like being angry at water because it's wet. It just IS that way. Same goes for my family. They are that way. I don't like it but that's the way they are.
I will never understand how she can think that I depend on people to carry me through. I don't. The work is mine to do. She has always had this warped perception that I get everyone else to do my work (which she verbalized this evening in front of my nephew). It's sad. I used to fall asleep in my textbooks from studying, yet I depended upon other people. Really? Shouting at her and telling her to open her eyes is a waste of time, air and effort. She's going to believe what she wants to and she'll stay that way till the end of her days. And she'll be unhappy doing it. To this day she still does not understand that it was this very attitude and nastiness that made getting her PhD impossible. You do not make demands of your advisor. You get him to tell you when he believes you are ready to graduate.
Half of the crap she is mad at me about she either did not give me a chance to do (and assumed I would not do for myself) or she assumed I made a mess of other people's stuff which may or may not have happened. She is so willing to believe the worst of me. I never repeated the shit people told me about her. In fact I never told her I got to hear about it in the first place. I figured if they had a problem with her they could deal with her directly and not be a coward and try to make me deal with her for them. I hated it when she did that to me and given her tendency to manipulate me by telling me such and such said x about me to get me to do it, I never knew what was true and what wasn't. Given this crap happened years ago (like 20 years or more) and she's still upset about it, I feel bad for her. Compared to why I am angry, this is peanuts. She tried to off me on three separate occasions. Removing me from this world kind of trumps this crap and if she was sooooo mortified either grow a thicker skin or get over it. Sorry, but making it so I won't take another step or breath in this world IS a reason to be angry at someone. It is the most awful most personally vicious thing someone can do to another. I've been sexually assaulted. I've been abused in almost every way (neglected,ignored, sexually assaulted, emotionally abused, verbally abused, psychologically tortured by telling me I imagined something that really happened, ripped up emotionally so I would not have confidence or an ego) and I can say with great certainty that ALL of that pales in comparison to someone trying to end my life.
So her resentment over the perception that I had things easy just annoys. And I think it is a terrible waste of time and effort on her part to dwell on it. Believe me, she was an abusive peace of work and frankly still is on occasion. Can't she see that this resentment hurts her even more than it hurts me? It is tearing her apart and she will never be truely happy with herself as long as she does it? I just do not understand how she can miss this one. Of course she's still able to feel fear. I'm not. Not really, not anymore. Having to live in the same house and confront that threat day after day does tend to make one not feel that fear...fear of dying is not what I fear. Fear of rejection or failure is what I fear and the only way to deal with it is to face it. Period.
I'm annoyed that I have to address this with myself again because of her crap. SHE is the one with the problem, yet I have to go and remind myself that she is the one with the problem. It's sad. I don't even know how to tell her that she should really learn to let this go and there are more important things in life to boil over. She has never been seriously ill. She has never nearly died. She can't even begin to conceive of understanding that her family will leave her abandoned and out in the cold and rejected. I doubt she even knows what it's like to realize that her mother did not want her and on some level still doesn't. You can say many things about me but I am brutally honest with myself. I attempt not to make excuses for myself.
It took a herculean effort to learn to let go of resentment, envy and jealousy. I did it because it was killing me. I am quite pissed about having to waste my time reminding myself that these emotions are bad for me. I don't want to be dragged back into that again. It took everything to get over how everyone perceives her as the "perfect" child. That she is the one that achieves everything and I don't do shit. I grew up knowing I was the black sheep of the family and that I could not hold a candle to her.
Tonight I had to explain to her that I was NOT the one lauded for shooting by the newpapers and so forth. (She was the one that got most of the attention on that front.) Had that been the case, I would not have had the issues with the mean little shits in our neighborhood that I grew up with. (I was told off about using that language in front of my nephew but the description is ENTIRELY accurate.) To this day she still does not recognize that she did the same thing to me that they did. In addition she did the same thing to me that was done to her by them. Other people in this world call this hypocrisy and irony.
She resents the fact that I got my doctorate. Well, I put up with hell in that research group and I put in long hours for my experiments. I took a very long time doing the interpretation of my data. I backed up that data and made multiple copies so it could not be demolished. I went out of my way to design my experiments so the chemistry worked. To accomplish that, I had to understand the chemistry behind it. That took work. I was not able to "twinkle" or "flash my dimples" to get it to work. I had to learn, understand and act upon that understanding on every level. I worked for that piece of paper and frankly I don't get the recognition of my expertise. I also don't make an issue of that though. Why? Because I know I did the work. Argh! I would put in 36 hour days for my data. I would troubleshoot a very pissy instrument so it would work. I learned a lot. I am sick of resentful twits that think this just comes to me. It doesn't. I have to work for it and understand it. I honestly do not think she understands that nor does she care to. That's her problem and her mistake.
I dread the day she gets seriously ill. She won't know how to deal with it, nor will she understand that she has to take care of herself to get well. I had the extreme displeasure of getting seriously ill at the age of 20. And this was not the first time that had happened. My experience with mononucleosis was the first time. Her perception of that is warped. (She did not see me when I had that so how would she know? She claimed I had lost a lot of weight and was dangerously thin then. She would be incorrect on that.) When I was 20, I had the sinus infection that *would not go away* followed by a bleeding duodenal ulcer. I literally was sick 12 months straight at least. When I went home our mother told me I did not have an ulcer and I imagined it. (This was not an unusual claim from our mother with respect to me. Sadly I did not imagine any of the things that have happened to me. I am convinced it was her attempt to make me not believe I had gone through what I had and an attempt to make me doubt myself. As I have an nearly photographic memory, this is a very nasty thing to do to someone especially to a child at a very young age. She's mean.) I had gone to a doctor, had an upper GI done and seen the damn video with showed the leak in my duodenum so I know it was real. (Let's not forget the pain and agony every time I ate.) This is the reason I get upset and depressed every time I get sick. It takes me back to these things. But I do know to try to see the bright side and I know that I have to give myself time to recover. My sister does not. When this happens, she is going to go down like I ton of bricks and there won't be a thing I can do to get through her thick stubborn skull.
I will say her knees are bad. She's blown both of them. She is using a cane and a brace. I'm not sure what can be done about it, but I would have asked to see if there was preventive maintenance she could have done. There is one thing she could have done but it's her choice and her decision. I'm not going to tell her what to do. She knows. It's her decision. I can't make it for her.
I guess I just don't understand why someone wants to be jealous, envious or resentful. It took a long time for me to realize that being all of those things of someone else was terrible for me. I was of my sister. Everyone always focused on how great she way and what she accomplished. (I also got to hear things like why can't you do as well as your sister in X, Y or Z.) I would be told that she was so great at whatever it was. Part of this, of course, is that she talked herself up to people and it was backed up because she did do those things. But she absolutely made herself the center of attention and waved her accomplishments in their faces. Fine. I would do what I had to do, get it done and not brag about it. I did not see the point. Yet I'm the one that depended on everyone to get it done from her perspective.
Really? Is it any wonder I was so resentful? The irony here is my resentment was because of her always being the center of attention and always getting attention and love from our mother. My resentment went away when I realized my mother just would never love me and it was unfair to be envious, jealous and resentful of something that was not really my sister's fault. I also doubt she gets the fact that our mother IS manipulative and IS deceptive and IS not truthful with us and IS abusive and always will be. No one wants to believe that of someone that is supposed to love them unconditionally but shit happens. I accepted our mother was that way. (No, I don't like it nor do I approve but that reality. Deal with it.) Would I like her to be a better person? Sure I would but I know she never will be. Ever. I don't HAVE any positive expectations for my mother any longer and I never will. If she does something good, I am usually shocked. I expect the worst from both my mother and sister and I am rarely disappointed. It's sad but it's better that being constantly let down. I have just taken it as a matter of course that they are evil (and they are since all of the things I have described do fall under that label since abuse is evil) and we are what we do. I hope they will change but I know they won't.
I wanted to see, at one point, if my mother actually gave a shit about me. This was an absolute no brainer. I had been in a near fatal car crash. My car was totalled. I ended up in the hospital. I had surgery within 12 hours of the accident in the same hospital. I could not walk. I was told that most people that have an accident like this one DIE in that accident. I could not walk for 10 weeks. I had a plate, 6 pins and 2 screws put into my right hip. Now my parents had gone to see my sister as soon as she had my nephew and they were there for a couple of weeks. They had visited my sister while she was in graduate school twice. Now I had been in a severe car crash. Would you like to know the response from my mother and sister? "You are the healthiest of all of us. You'll be fine. You don't need to see us." Really? I nearly kicked the bucket, again, required at least on transfusion and it was not necessary to see me while I was in the hospital or in the rehab hospital. Not a single member of my family bothered to see me in either of those hospitals. My sister lectured me on how bad that car accident was yet when I expressed upset that neither of my parents visited me during that time I got a strip torn off me for being, you guessed it, SELFISH. Argh. Let's add in that my mother went to see my great uncle's wife in the hospital at the time while she left me to rot, alone in the hospital. She despised that woman. But seeing me was not necessary. Nor did she tell any of my relatives I was in the hospital from this accident. Why? They would have asked if she had seen me and she would have either had to lie or explain why seeing her very injured child in a hospital was not a priority. This was when I finally realized I did not even MAKE her list of priorities.
I was told I was selfish because I actually believed that they should have seen me while I was in the hospital. It was this incident that gave me a clue. Now remember, they had bothered to see my sister. I was not worth the effort. It was not like I was in another country. I was a 3 hour car ride from my parents and a 4 hour car ride from my sister. But I was being selfish. The test was whether they would bother to see me. It took reminding them of this and that they had in fact visited her in grad school while they had never bothered to visit me, ever. I was always expected to visit them. I was told my expectations were too high and I was expecting too much of them.
It was this incident that finally got me to the point where I asked myself why I was resentful, jealous and envious. It was obvious I would never get the same attention and love was absolutely out. So what was the point of wasting all that energy? Why did I need approval from these people? Why waste my time? As you can imagine, I stopped bothering to take the time to visit them. I was extremely angry at them and for very good reason. If I take vacation time, I don't waste it on them. I mean that. It's my time. They don't deserve it. I just don't give them that anymore.
I came home to help get my father back on his feet so he could take care of my mother. He is getting better. I guarantee you, though, that it is his responsibility to take care of her. I thoroughly expect her to leave me out in the cold again. If she does something for me, it is always to benefit herself. ALWAYS.
I believe to this day that they would have done me a great favor if they had just decided to have one child. My mother did not want a second child. The way she behaved towards me, treated me and the mean stories she told always showed and proved my belief. She has always maintained I was a pain in the prosterior and that I was a total inconvenience to her. My sister has said similar things. I can say that what goes around, comes around. I will never believe either of them love or care for me. I still ask myself what I did to deserve that response. I always believe it is my fault no matter what happens. Is it any wonder I have such problems letting anyone get close to me? When this is the norm, would you be able to trust anyone not to hurt you?
I do know that resenting my sister is like hating water because it is wet. Why bother? But I will say that it took realizing that wasting my time, effort and emotions on someone that can't be bothered for me is simply not worth it. The best I can do is feel sorry for her because she has no clue how much she is hurting herself. I doubt she ever will. Trying to explain that to her is also wasting my breath. And besides, I doubt she would believe me anyway.
I just hope that one day I'll stop feeling the pain of loss for the things I really wanted from them: love, approval and acceptance. I know I won't get any of those things and you can't buy those things. It's one of the reasons that I'm not as materially inclined as my sister or mother. I also hope I'll stop making excuses about why no one would want to be involved with me since I know deep down that's what they are....excuses. It's just a way to keep from being rejected and abandoned again. How do you get over that when it constantly happens to you?