My sister has to have an operation today – I only heard about it yesterday (from her) as my parents and I haven’t spoken since July. It would seem that standing up to the people who “raised you with love” and telling them that the way they have treated you for 31 years was wrong is quite unacceptable. So instead of addressing the issue of why they have been so hard on me my entire life (and yet love and praise and endlessly support every other person they know) – well we still haven’t crossed that bridge.
When I crawl back after every fallout – apologising for having opinions and a backbone, we never address the root of what caused the upset.
Stupidly, last night I tried to be the bigger person. Today is about my sister. Not my parents and our issues. I sent a text message asking if I could phone. Phoning unannounced in that household is akin to a criminal offence. My father believes it is the end of the world if you interrupt a program he is watching, PVR being something they refuse to look into.
My mother replied to my message with ‘sure’ because typing a proper text message is just beneath her. I phoned and could instantly hear the displeasure and disinterest in her voice. Instead of explaining the operation properly she gave me some complicated name and said I could google it. She must have heard I was a bit taken aback because then she told me a bit more about it. Hopefully after the procedure, my sister can go home the same day. There was an awkward silence while I tried to think of what to say to someone who is supposed to love me unconditionally but treats me like something stuck under her shoe.
“It is a pity that things are the way they are”. I managed to choke out. I felt like phoning was my way of extending an olive branch (as if that went well) and now I had to follow through. I could hear more disinterest. “Do you even know why I’m angry?” I asked. I tried to keep my voice calm and unemotional but how does one do that when dealing with family? “I spelt it out in that e-mail. I explained how you have one set of rules for hubby and I and one for everyone else”. I gave a particularly painful example – one which was never addressed. “You keep going on about that?” my mother said accusingly. “I don’t have time for this, I’m more worried about your sister. I’m not interested in this right now” And on she went. I put the phone down. I’ve finally had enough. She will never be interested “in this” which is having a relationship with her eldest daughter. Having a relationship with me will force the world’s biggest hypocrite to see what she has done to me over the years. She wants the world to think she’s a saint and I’m a flaw to that plan.
I give up and realised this last night as I saw crying on the couch and poor hubby had to hear the whole sad story for the what must have felt like the millionth time. I don’t know what they thought they will achieve by treating me like they have. Did they hope I would extricate myself from their lives because there was only so much I could take? And if so, I guess I’ve let them win haven’t I?
As I sit here on this Friday morning with puffy eyes I just wish I knew how one stops caring that the people in life who are obligated to love and care about you – just don’t. I guess that comes with time?
It is incredibly awkward now as they will have to contact me with an update about my sister. My sister is a tough one – she takes operations in her stride and bounces back quickly. I am hoping that today goes smoothly and she recovers well. I’m going to have to drop off her get-well-soon gift at an aunt who will see them tomorrow. I just cannot face seeing my parents. After 31 years I feel I’ve earned the right to finally walk away.