My sister’s car wasn’t fixed after all, after all my work on Sunday, after her guy friends vetted it.
She called tonight, two miles from home.
I asked what I could do.
She said that her friend was coming over, so there would be two to drive.
This is the friend that I have identified as an abuser and with whom I have severed relations. She diagnosed me with Passive-Aggressive Disorder and then with Borderline Personality disorder, and when I wouldn’t engage her, started trying to convince my family of my disease, to the point of creating lists of my violations. One was that I called threatening to kill her cat, which I was not a serious threat, as I made clear, even though I had not wanted to take the cat, it was against the lease, I had been keeping the cat for longer than promised, and the cat attacked me and drew blood for a second time after I spent a long Christmas day with a bum battery and cooking for the family. All the violations came down to that, her imposing and then feeling pushed, like when she wanted my castoffs for her garage sale, and then would not arrange taking them, when I needed to get the car clear as I was evicted and had a deadline.
Even my sister identified the triangulation, but not the essential problem that any complaint I made against this intrusive & abusive behaviour of hers was identified as a symptom of my sickness.
This whole pattern of people trying to explain why we must be sick, well, it’s a key abuse of transpeople. I spent a life trying to defend myself from diagnoses, and that’s just not on anymore.
I realized the only course was to cut her off, and not speak about her.
Over the years, I avoided her, for example cooking for my sister’s New Years party, and leaving before she arrived. My sister has pushed for me to speak with her and the husband, and I have just said no. This woman even kept me on her mail list, without the courtesy of BCC, and I got mail from her correspondents. I told her to remove me, and yet I got more mail.
Worse, I know that my sister and this person have talked about me. That makes me feel unsafe when talking with my sister.
Tonight, when I identified the problem, exposed the boundary, my sister got snippy. “That’s OK, Honey. I know it’s a dead issue to you.” She never calls me honey.
I mentioned it to my mother, who was sure I was making it up — she never heard the word “honey.” I must be overblowing it, old over sensitive me. My father heard it, though.
My father, though, tried to explain that the victim is the one who has to suck it up.
I explained that today on “Dr. Phil,” he said that the key to abuse is to isolate the victim and make them feel like they are the sick one, and “that all ends today.”
I will do the work. I will do what needs to be done.
But don’t expect me to do it gladly, to engage someone I have identified as an abuser, someone who has not apologized for their behavior, someone my sister has continued relations with, someone she has pushed me to accept after that abuse.
t’s my fault now, to her, that I don’t accept that. I’m so bad, I deserve getting snippy with about this, because after all, shouldn’t I be the bigger person?
It’s my fault now to my mother, who thinks I am hearing things that create problems, even after my father heard the same thing.
I set a boundary, have not made a big deal, even if I felt betrayed, felt that the demands made on me to swallow the abuse were obscene. If my concerns had been met with compassion, no problem, but her dismissal of my stand as just something to mock leaves me only to take on any task as a martyr, self-sacrificing some more. “To help me, you have to admit that you have been wrong,” instead of “I know this is an issue, and I respect it, but I need help. Do it under protest; that’s fine.” My sister’s continued relationship with this person is her choice, certainly, and one I need to accept and respect, but not one I need to affirm and engage.
“I’m only two miles from home. I’ll be fine,” she snipped when I offered to help, choosing not to tell me where she was and making herself the martyr for my unreasonable holding of this boundary.
I know that my sister feels uncomfortable being caught between, uncomfortable that I still hold this boundary. I know she just wants me to get over it, to make it easy for her, to create comfort without having to have this person make any kind of apology that acknowledges their abusive behaviours.
But now, the big mess just all swells back, being caught between taking care of my family and standing up for myself, the kind of demands that have destroyed me.
I am guilty and I am hurting, I am abused and I am strong, I am wrong and I am an asshole. If I can’t even get support from my sister, what the hell is the point?
And it feels like shit.