The other day was a crazy day for me. Between F and Sister, I just wasn’t dealing with what life was handing me. My mom called me in the evening and asked me if I thought my sister had lost it. Why yes mom, yes I do. Having talked to my friends, I’m not sure this is abnormal behaviour of if it’s just an extreme version of her normal though, in retrospect.
There were a few things that happened because of my crazy sister and sharing with my people that stuck out for me. In the best way possible. I felt incredibly loved and supported. A, D, G, and several other of my besties all were amazing.
I was having a really hard time and trying to do my job and really struggling and I reached out to G in the midst of all my sister’s awfulness. Here’s how our conversation went:
I have a group of friends where I used to live who are among my best friends in the world. I’ve been leaning on them for so much support and when I shared what my sister with them, this is what happened:
And then today, in a conversation about my mom asking if I think she’s losing it:
Later in the day, I invited A out and he said ‘no’, which is a central theme lately because he’s so fucking busy, and somewhere in our exchange I realized that I was emotionally done. As I was crying in my car, I told him I just couldn’t do the conversation we were having. It wasn’t even an emotional conversation, but I was having some pretty emotional responses to it. The day was kicking my ass and I wasn’t coping. I pointed him in the direction of my last blog post to get the details. I just couldn’t go through explaining it again. While I was doing some retail therapy (OK, I actually hate shopping, but this girl absolutely needed some new work clothes and was in the mood to buy something that made me feel pretty after all the badness), I got his response:
I had told D early in the day that I went to bed with horrificness from my sister in a family thread and woke up to even more, but he tends to get a little upset about the stress in my life and I didn’t want to bother him at work, so in the evening I sent it all to him. Here’s how that conversation went:
I spent a bit of time thinking during the day about what if my sister’s perception of me was accurate. What if people think I’m a manipulative, mean-spirited, judgmental person? What if I really lack the self-awareness and the problem isn’t with her, but with me? Having heard some awful assumptions about my motivations and behaviours from F, hearing sister say similar things was really hard for me. How is it that two people who I’ve been so close to can say such similar awful things about me. Some of it must be true, right?
Well ya. Because I’m not perfect. I make mistakes. I have said things in anger that were meant to hurt. I haven’t always taken the high road. I haven’t always supported them in the way I should. I own my mistakes. I apologized for them. I’ve worked on bettering myself and my communication skills and my patience and I’ve forgiven over and over what they’ve done to me. That’s the central theme. I’ve forgiven them. I’ve forgiven myself. But they haven’t forgiven me. I am held to these unattainable standards that aren’t communicated, and then blamed when I fail to achieve them. They both seem to think that I should be doing all the work to change, with no awareness of their own failings.
While I was thinking this last part through, I realized how much sister and F have in common. Then I thought about my dad. My dad is the prototype for my sister’s dysfunctional passive aggressive and often outright aggressive style. The lack of self-awareness, avoiding taking responsibility, blaming others for problems, and horrible communication all comes from my dad. My sister comes by it naturally. It is both nature and nurture. Apparently my daddy issues came out in my choice of husband too. Seems I married a version of him.
Polyamory broke that mold for me. I entered into relationships with men who know how to communicate. Who take responsibility for their actions. Who know how to prioritize the things that are important to them. Men who can adult. Somewhere in there, with all the functional, productive and generally easy communication, mutual respect, and connection, I no longer had the capacity to wade through F’s passive aggressive bullshit. Polyamory broke me out of my daddy issues and years of dysfunction. F and sister just aren’t handling the fact that I’m happy and can take care of myself.
I can take care of myself. But even better, I have a veritable army of people who have my back. I have six amazing girlfriends who all sent me wonderful messages of support and love. Who saw what was happening and offered intelligent perspective and genuinely kind and supportive comments. I have two boyfriends who responded with support, love, compassion, kindness, and anger. I have people so firmly in my court that they are actually angry at my sister for verbally assaulting me. Those same people are also very aware of who I am and what type of support and encouragement I need. Those same people are people I’m eternally grateful for and hope I can one day be even a small measure of support to them in the same way. I am so very fortunate.