I’ve been playing a game with myself for months. My sister goes to school only 40 minutes away from my house, but yet, I’ve been pretending that she lives in another state. I did this to give her space. I thought it would help our relationship, or at least help my emotions. As the holiday season comes to a close, I’m not sure this is how it is.
Stacy and I are six years apart. This gap was huge growing up. In fact, I’ve realized recently that she really doesn’t know much about my life or me for that matter. My sister is a bit….um….unique. She is scatterbrained a lot, but extremely smart and thoughtful, but she is a klutz. I have always protected her, as I suppose most older sisters do. I desperately wanted a brother or a sister when I was a kid….my parents weren’t suppose to have more children and Stacy was a complete accident. Later, when Stacy was two, social services took her away from my family for no reason….well, they thought they had a reason, but I know there was no reason and in the end they were unable to prove their suspicions. This situation, just caused me to shelter her more, protect her from anything that might hurt her or be hard.
Over the last few years, I’ve really worked on letting her make her own decisions, not offering my opinion when it’s not asked for, not critiquing everything and trying to help her improve. I’m really trying to let her be her own person. It’s painfully hard for me. And it’s even harder when Stacy won’t forgive me for past mistakes and pushes herself away from me.
Stacy’s boyfriend and I got off on the wrong foot several years ago. We’ve since worked on things and I think we – Joe and I – are okay. Yes, it concerns me that Stacy is going to marry the first guy she’s ever had any interest in and him as well. Yes, it concerns me that their entire relationship has always been long distance. Yes, it concerns me that she wants to get married immediately after college, even though he will still be in the Navy and stationed somewhere else for several more years. Yes, I have concerns, but it is her life. He adores her and I know she love him. They can make the decision and live with it….and it might be the best thing ever in their lives or not…..I don’t know. I just feel like they are rushing it. Seems to me that when you don’t see each other but maybe twice a year, it might take you a little longer to get to know each other…..I had a long distance relationship I was sure was going to last….yep, lasted two weeks once he moved down here. I’m getting sidetracked now….as you can see, I have some concerns, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that they will get married and I really don’t have a say and shouldn’t. It’s not my life.
Whenever Joe comes to town, we lose Stacy. She lives at his parent’s house and does not talk to us hardly at all. This is what my whole family has come to expect. The day before he came out, I invited my sister over to make peanut brittle with Zach and I. She decided to come over, but the night went downhill in less than two minutes. Basic jist of the story….I was making cake. I had the cake batter all mixed up and was putting it in a pan that had wax paper in it. This was the first time I’ve used wax paper while cooking and I was being careful not to get the batter under the wax paper. I was not struggling. I did not ask for help. Zach was upstairs doing laundry. In the middle of her sentence, she stops and in a condsending tone asks why I’m not using a spatula. I told her not to tell me what to do. She told me not to yell at her, so I put down my batter and screamed, “I didn’t your help. I do not need your help.” She yelled back that is that was the way I was going to treat her then she was leaving. I said, “Fine, leave, I don’t care.”
Next time I saw her was on Sunday, two days later, at dinner at my house with my mom’s side of the family. Somehow presents on Christmas Day got mentioned and I reminded (or what I thought was a reminder) that we weren’t doing gifts on Christmas Day. She got all upset and wanted to know why and it wasn’t fair and not all of us have a bunch of time to take care of Christmas and so on. I finally explained to her that we were having Mom and Dad (who did not have money for any Christmas gifts this year), Zach’s Dad, and Zach’s Mom and Step-dad over. Not everyone was going to have gifts from everyone and I didn’t want it to be awkward, plus, I HATE how Christmas becomes about the presents and not about Jesus or having family time. IF we are to do gifts, it shouldn’t be “when do we get to do gifts?” “Is is time to do gifts?” It should be the last thing on everyones mind, but if presents are in the house, that doesn’t seem to be the way it goes. She argued with me some more and finally I told her it wasn’t something we should continue to discuss at this point (as my grandparents, aunt and uncle and cousins were all there).
Christmas Day – Mom and Dad arrive around 12:30. They make mention that Stacy and Joe said they would probably be by around 2. There was a horrible blizzard and my sister doesn’t have a great snow car, so around 3:15 or so, they still aren’t at the house (and we live 5 minutes from Joe in good weather) and we haven’t heard from them, so Dad calls. Turns out they are a block away from the house. When they get here, I mention that we were worried that’s why we called, because mom said they’d be there around 2. She immediately yells at me and says, “Well, Mom wasn’t suppose to tell you when we were going to be here, so you wouldn’t get mad.” Now, mind you, I wasn’t mad. I was concerned and I was just stating such to Stacy. I offered her Baked Ziti….my third round of the day and we moved on. Or so I thought….but how could we move on when we have so many issues that never get talked about. Next time I come down stairs, Stacy says, “I hear Jack and Sue (Zach’s Mom and Step-dad) aren’t coming, so we can do gifts, right?” I was about to blow my cork! I mean, that wasn’t THE reason, it was part of the reason, in fact the main reason was my parents, and the fact that I HATE having to give gifts. I believe I said I was done with gifts, because I didn’t know what else to say or how else to explain it to her. She stomps downstairs and complains to Dad, who goes out to the car and gets all her gifts and they all do Christmas downstairs, while my mom, Zach and I sit upstairs eating and talking. I was in tears. I just wanted her to understand where I was coming from, but she didn’t. I just wanted to be respected, but I wasn’t. The rest of the night passed relatively uneventful, but it left me thinking and hurting.
* I’m always the one to call or invite to do something. Stacy never does.
* Stacy is rude, negative about anything I find interesting or do.
* I support Stacy and am excited for her in things that she wants.
* I’m careful to not say the wrong thing or be rude or give my advice or anything that might make her mad and yet I’m still yelled at for everything.
I don’t know what to do, but my best bet, is to remove myself from situations with her. Not invite her out to do things, not talk to her about things that excite me, not talk to her about pretty much anything. But this doesn’t seem to work either, because fact of the matter is, I love her, I want her in my life, and I care about her, I just don’t know how to make it work. Even now, as I write this, I have tears streaming down my face, but will she ever know? Does she know how much she hurts me and how much I love her? I doubt that we will ever talk about it and I know she will never read this, its one of the things she disapproves of. I just want to make things better.
Stacy called today. She invited us to Joe’s house for New Years Eve. I was hesitant to go because other people would be there and chances of Stacy and I getting in a fight are high, as that seems to be what happens lately, but I was going to go. We have nothing to do on New Years and I thought, hey she’s inviting me, I should be so kinds as to accept. Then we found out more details. It wasn’t going to be just Stacy and Joe and their friends. His parent’s are going to be there, his little 10 year old brother and my parents are even going to make an appearance. All fine and dandy, but I really wanted to drink….I can’t drink around my parents….they still can’t believe I’ve had alcohol, that I gave into the world. And I really don’t feel comfortable around Joe’s parents. Last time we went to a BBQ over there it was very awkward and they know a different Stacy than I know. She is pissed off at me for saying no, but I’m tired, too tired or pretending and not being able to be myself. I can’t keep walking on eggshells. And maybe Stacy is better off over there in Joe’s world, maybe she’s always wanted to be that other person that they know and not the one I know, or maybe, just maybe, I don’t know my sister, just like she doesn’t know me. We lived in the same house for 17 years, but I guess that doesn’t mean you know some one, does it?
Sorry to be negative again, but I’m pretty depressed about this tonight and had to get it out. Zach listens and understand and talks to me, but he is about the only one and sometimes it’s just not enough. If you’ve hung on this long, thanks…..have a great New Year Eve…..bring on 2008!