Life · Mental Health

Woe is family…

First of all a big thank you to the ladies over at Kindara for your encouraging words.  I really want to reply to you but things have been absolutely awful here, and I’ve not had the chance.  I thought it best to just type everything out because it’s causing me a lot of anxiety.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving.  On the same day I got my shitty diagnosis, my niece had eye surgery.  Nothing serious.  Outpatient.  She was home that day.  After Thanksgiving dinner lunch, I played with my niece, and everyone seemed happy.  An old family tradition of our was to go to a movie on Thanksgiving as there’s nothing else to do that day besides eat.  My sister said she wanted to see Bad Santa 2 and I reluctantly agreed because it was what she wanted to do (even though I would have rather not paid money to see that steaming pile of garbage).  When she got to my Mom’s to pick me up for the movie, she walked in the door yelling about my niece screaming about her eyes and that my mom wasn’t to take her out in the sun.  Rewind.  My sister is of the school of thought that my two-year-old niece should decide what she wants.  That’s all well and good, but I personally don’t think she’s capable of making her own health care decisions yet.  My sister could have put a hat or sunglasses on her for the short walk into my mom’s house from the car, but she decided not to because she says my niece doesn’t like to wear them.  After that she yelled at my mom about the mac & cheese being Annie’s not Kraft.  I guess I missed that earlier conversation.  When we got in the car, she angrily asked which theater (even though we discussed it already).  At this point, since I am a decent human being who believes in communicating rather than screaming (and occasionally sometimes communication screaming), I asked her if she was okay.

Her reply: “NO I’M NOT FUCKING OKAY!  YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW BAD MY LIFE IS!”  (All caps because that was the volume at which she screamed at me.)

Now before I talk about what I did next (hint: it’s not getting out of the car like a sane person), let me refresh your memory for those in the cheap seats.

My sister is a single mother.  She is a single mother by choice.  She hates her baby daddy and refuses to involve him in my niece’s life.  Ok, this is her decision.  It was also her decision to get pregnant by a man (she knew was a deadbeat) to leave him, and to not work to raise a baby (my mother supports her).  She had told me that before she got pregnant that she was so lonely and wanted to have a baby for that reason, and she had been trying with practically anyone.  Her baby daddy was essentially a sperm donor.  When I first got here, she told me about this guy who’s a single father who she was sort of in a relationship with.  Apparently, they had a plan to get married, and he broke it off suddenly and she was so sad about this, but she also told me that it was a marriage of convenience more than anything else.  She didn’t want to be lonely, so she was going to move to another state and marry this man she barely knew.  I thought this was a dumb idea but, of course, you can’t tell people that.  People just got to figure their shit out.  My sister is often sad, angry and says she has no friends.  When I’ve asked her about her efforts to make friends, she says she’s introverted and doesn’t like to be around people.  When I suggest Meetups or single mom groups, these all fall on deaf ears.  Now I am not claiming being an introvert isn’t a real thing.  I am saying she is a product of her choices.  Her life is shaped based on what she has done (or not done).  Also, this being an introvert is a relatively new thing.  Perhaps she even created it to explain away her loneliness.  Who knows?

So after she deafened me by screaming about how she’s not okay, she proceeds to drive like maniac in a 45 zone while not wearing her seatbelt.  I say that we don’t have to go to the movie.  Her brain goes immediately to being home alone and I say no, we could talk.

“You can talk to me,” I say.
“What, one time a year?!?!””No, you can talk to me anytime in Japan.  I may not be able to message you right away because of the time difference, but I will always message you back.

All my efforts to be a kind and caring human being are ignored, and we sit awkwardly next to each other during the movie.  Her mood softens, and she tries to be more friendly with me as the movie wears on, but there is the last place I want to be.

Meanwhile, I’ve been staying with my mom this whole time and I’ve also been sick for the past two and a half weeks (almost the whole time I’ve been here).  I’ve felt pretty crappy.  My mom treats me like another guest at a B&B.  In that, she’ll exchange pleasantries with me (sometimes) but she won’t communicate with me (on a superficial or deeper level).  For example, she works from home and occasionally she’ll go into the office, but most days she’s at the apartment.  If I come home before she does, as soon as she walks in the door, she asks if I’ve taken the dog out.  My responses are of two kinds.  First, “I just got home.”  Second, “No, I didn’t know how long you had been gone.”  She reiterates that when I first got here, she told me the dog goes out 4-5 times a day.  Okay, you want to take your dog out that often, that’s fine.  I’m also happy to take the dog out which I’ve done, but if she’s gone and doesn’t leave a note or sent a text, then how do I know what the hell is going on?  She could have left 5 minutes before I got there.  (I have a US cell phone she can text at any time).  So my mom gets frustrated with me for not taking the dog out because I don’t know when she left the house.  Does this seem wacky to anyone else?  I’m happy to do things around here.  She just has to tell me what she needs done because whe she first got here she told me not to throw away any of her piles of crap.  (I did anyway cleaning out disgusting expired food from the fridge and towels older than Jesus.)   Also, every time we ride in the car, it’s awkward silence.  However, as soon as my aunt gets into the car, they are 100% engaged in conversation almost instantly.  So I don’t believe that my mom doesn’t know how to communicate.  I believe she doesn’t know how to communicate with her children which can be explained by her absence from the better part of our lives as we grew up.  She never learned to talk to two people that she worked her ass off to support.  Never did ask about my gyno appointment, and I didn’t bother to offer the information as I’m sure it would make for an awkward conversation.  Finally, when I say things to her, there’s no indication of her listening.  It’s like she won’t contribute to the conversation unless I directly ask her a question.  There is also no saying “good night” or “good morning” or any other talks about the day like “I’m going here” or anything like that.  It’s fucking weird, you guys.

When I told my mom about my sister’s screaming fit yesterday she completely contradicted herself with her response saying that my sister doesn’t and does have a hard life.  I tried to be the bigger (better) person and ask my sister to do something tomorrow, and she never agreed to anything only said: “Why would I have plans? I have no friends.”  When I asked my mom for some help here, I started by saying (in not so many words) my sister is being an ass again (I swear this happens every time I come to the US now).  My mom’s stock response is always: “I don’t want to get in the middle of it.”  Fine.  But try to get her to do something tomorrow.  She mumbled about having work to do.  Look I get it.  You don’t want to take sides when it’s your daughters, but fucking help me out.  I only visit once a year.  I didn’t do anything to provoke my sister’s nasty outburst.  No doubt she sees how busy I am and she’s maybe envious?  Who knows?  Many times I do things on my own which she is also capable of doing and she can either take my niece or leave her with my mom.  I think many times she just wants to stay home.

TL:DR: My sister hates the world.  My mom is in her own bubble.  I’m in hell.

I’m trying to enjoy my time here but more often than not I find myself wanting to be anywhere but in the vicinity of them.  And I’m not sorry I have so many people who demand my time.  Sometimes I ask them and sometimes they ask me.  That’s kind of how friendship works.  Also, I refuse to take the brunt of any of my sister’s anger for HER life choices.  No one forced her down this path.  She chose it for herself.  Gah.  I want to get out of here.  I want to go back to my peaceful life in Japan with my wonderful prince and my Small Lady dog.  Fuck home for the holidays.

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