It’s a very, very, very bad night.
I don’t feel safe around my sister. She has failed to do what she promised many times in the past, and has hurt me a great deal in the process. She wants me to know that she has always done the best she can do, but that hasn’t stopped me taking the blow for her failures.
Long ago in my family, I was diagnosed as bad. I am smart and can be intense, with strong emotions. For a family based around Aspergers, that’s a big problem. I knocked my father in the breadbasket when I was eight, knocking the wind out of him, and he was scared of me thereafter. My sister supported my mother in believing I was broken, for example, buying her a book titled “When Your Grown Children Dissapoint You.” Not “When You Are Dissapointed In Your Grown Children,” no, the children take the blame.
I’m smart, with a great memory, sure. I remember when and how people hurt me, like threatening to lie to the police about me threatening the parents I took care of unless I complied with their demands. I remember broken promises, remember the problems, especially the failures that still slap me everyday, like the car I asked for help on, the breaks in the floor or dishwasher still not properly installed, all that stuff. I have learned, over long time, not to believe that she will keep her promises to me, and that also makes her feel unsafe.
How do I cope with this? I take care of my family, including my sister. But they don’t take care of me, don’t enter my world. I’m just too scary, too smart, too intense, too queer, you see.
My sister failed my mother and I as the executor of the estate. She didn’t get to the lawyer to get my mother’s wishes properly recorded, wishes that I get a larger part of the estate after taking care of my parents full time for a decade. I had to sit in the lawyers office while he explained how that failure meant nothing could be changed, and it was an immense betrayal.
Now, I discover that she hasn’t even started probate because she didn’t get the proper forms signed by the other family, especially me. She really wanted me to go back and take care of the problem on my own. Amazing. I live on tiny cash while she vacations, I have nothing to expect, and she wants me to take responsibility. I was promised a vacation in August 2008, when I had to roll my mother to the toilet at all hours as they cancelled their trip, but I never got it.
She took responsibility for the estate. She has responsibility, but wants to devolve it onto me again, even after breaking my heart and my future. Hell.
And she regularly wants me to take care of her. After a lot of crap about an iron she put away here and couldn’t help me find, I went to her basement to find my iron in boxes put up a decade ago. And there, piled in front of my shit were goods from this house, my parents house, that I could not find. That was painful and difficult. Now she tells me I need to help her sort out that basement, to do the work to clean up her mess. Shit.
I also need to help sort out her business, putting together her stall, website and so on. Shit
What does she do for me? Doesn’t even bring back the pork pie I asked for from her vacation.
But you know who is the sick and broken one, the one causing all the problems?
Yeah, you know. It’s me. The whole family knows that, has always known that. I’m the scapegoat, the problem. Even if I am the one who almost killed themselves with fulltime care of two invalid parents for the last 18 months of their life.
I always did what the experts told me, being specific in asking for help, in saying what I needed. And I never really got it.
My fault, you know. Too demanding.
And this whole thing of saying I was blamed, the scapegoat? Well, that’s my problem, not theirs. They did the best they could. What could they do if I am so damn difficult to help?
Somehow, I never was able to use the excuse that enough was enough to not make sure my parents were taken care of everyday, all day.
I am stuck with the mess my parents left behind, but the only promise I have is that I will be treated equally with my sister and my brother, whose help was less than negligible. He had a family to take care of, you know. Is my sister manning up? Well, she has probably spent less than six hours with me since the new year, not a patch on how I have had to take care of her and her balloon clown.
She brought me corn and hearts of romaine tonight, an easy grab at the supermarket. Not the full heads of value romaine I get at the local, or nothing. She gave me what was easy for her to give and expected me to be thrilled by it. I give her what she needs, which is a different approach altogether.
One reason I wrote this blog is so no one could say “Why didn’t they say how they felt so someone could hear it?” The answer is simple: I said it very clearly, and no one in my family chose to hear it. They wrote me off as other, too extreme, too intense, too queer, too everything. They demanded that I do all the work, and when I didn’t, it was always my failure, my fault. And when I said that out loud, they called me a whiner who wouldn’t accept what they offered. Too dramatic, I am.
Right now, I just want to be left in a sticky pool in the carpet for someone else to clean up. My struggle to be out and proud is so defined by the boundaries of my struggle inside my family, and when I try to make a breakthrough, I get hauled back by their limits, by their canned way of seeing me.
Breakthrough? Breakout? Go back and read this blog about the times I felt hurt, and know it always had to do with frustration at having to bend to my family, and them not bending to me.
I know that this mindset is virtually impossible to change, which is why my sister never feels safe to me, never feels like she supports my dreams and my growth. I strongly believe that there is no way to win with her, no way to be compliant enough and no way to be new enough, that all I can be is more caretaker, solving family problems and cleaning family messes, and that is beyond my capacity now.
They will write me off as just too whatever, just the one with the problem, just unable to accept their generous work, which was, after all, absolutely the best they could possibly offer. Anything else would have required change and sacrifice on their part, and they weren’t the ones who needed to change and sacrifice, because, after all, they weren’t the ones with the problem. Ah, the joys of being the target patient in the system.
I will probably make it through the night, because I do have enough rum to knock myself out.
But will I ever get past the history of being in my family?
That seems much more doubtful.
And if I don’t, well, of course, that will be my fault.