Saturday, October 30, 2010

Where is my sister?

It's Friday morning and I've been awake for entirely too long.  I'm sitting in bed, underneath my down blanket because it's freezing in my apartment.  I noticed that I am wearing one gray sock and a black sock.  It reminds me of an inside joke my sister and I used to have.  I don't remember why it was funny, but thinking about it still makes me giggle.  I laugh out loud and then suddenly I'm angry.  Thinking about this joke and the other inside jokes we used to have makes me angry.  It makes me angry at my sister for being schizophrenic.  I'm angry because part of me feels like she's faking it.  She's just pretending.  This isn't real!  Stop it!  Just freaking stop it and be my sister again!  Please!  I need you to be normal!  I need you to be healthy!  I need to hear you laugh.  I need to see your smile.  I need YOU in my life.  Where are you?  Why did you leave me?

My black lab has somehow managed to position himself so that his entire body is leaning against me with his head pushed under my shoulder.  His breathe is hot and tickles my neck, giving me goosebumps every time he exhales, but I don't have the heart to wake him and make him move.  He looks so cozy, peaceful and happy to be near me.  I am happy to feel this loved.  There is nothing quite like the love of an overly needy 80lb dog.  I wish my sister had a dog.  

I really want to sleep but I can't because I have therapy in a couple of hours and I know I'll wake up angry.  Naps are always a disaster for me.  I can go to sleep in the best mood of my life and wake up unable to tolerate anyone.  Everything is annoying.  Everything is stupid.  I hate everyone.  The rain is stupid. The sunshine is stupid.  Socks are stupid!  I hate everything!  I try not to take naps, for the sake of my relationships.

I got about two hours of sleep and woke up at six to take my sister to the airport.  I woke up to find my sister still awake, all packed and ready.  Was she anxious to leave?  She made a quick run to the coffee shop across the street and got her beloved breve iced coffee and a coffee with steamed soy just for me.  I was dying for coffee, but I didn't ask.  She just got it for me anyway.  That was sweet.  My sister is such a sweet, sensitive person.  It breaks my heart to think that.  I'd much prefer she was a horrible person at her core.  At least then her disease would be easier to accept.  I could make more sense of it.  But it's not ever going to be easy to accept that my baby sister is terrified people are stalking her, stealing her intellectual property, and poisoning her to keep her quiet.  I'll never accept that sometimes inanimate objects shout insults at her or that she will always question and fear my motives for everything I have ever done for her--or will ever do for her.  Underneath it all, she's a really good person, with a huge heart.  She's also incredibly gullible.  Her "friends" always take advantage of that.  She will buy them anything, do anything for them if they ask or if she thinks it will make them happy.  She doesn't really have friends--just people who like handouts.  She doesn't deserve this kind of life.  I hate her schizophrenia.  

I want to say this has been a good visit despite the level of anxiety her presence induces, but I'm not really sure it was.  My sister has a really hard time socializing.  She's much more comfortable sitting in a room by herself obsessing over music videos of songs she believes she's written.  When you talk to her, you shouldn't expect a response or acknowledgment that she's heard you.  I usually have to repeat a question three or four times before I get any kind of answer from her.  It's impossible to have a conversation with her unless it's something she is really passionate about, like her stolen music or something she finds annoying.  Most of our time was spent in silence except for my constant attempts at conversation.  I have to fill the silence.  Silence allows for thinking and thinking makes me anxious.  I have to get her to talk to me.  After a while I usually resort to, "What'cha thinking about?"  To which I get a groan, an eye roll, and a "Nothing, just spacing out."  My gf finds her antisocial behavior and poor hygiene rude and annoying, and I used to too.  Now I know this is beyond my sister's control.  She didn't choose to be this way.  She's not trying to be rude or difficult.  Her brain keeps her too preoccupied for conversation and self care.  

She was originally scheduled to visit for Halloween, but she decided to come for my birthday instead.  I was very touched that she bought me a gift--a grayish-blue beaded necklace that is supposed to bring good energy.  She's really into mystical energy new age stuff right now.  The necklace is not my style, but I love it.  I love it because it came from her.  My baby sister, who used to hate me, put thought and effort into a gift for me.  I wanted to cry when she handed me that square brown box.

She really is so sweet.  She's always been a little moody but also incredibly goofy and funny.  We would joke around, put on short one act comedy scenes then fall to the floor laughing at ourselves.  Our lives may have been difficult and we may have been struggling but we had each other.  Even when she hated me, we could still laugh together.  We always had this special bond that was there since she was an infant.  I miss my sister.  I miss that connection we used to have.  I miss connecting with her.  I miss her and I don't think I will ever get her back.  Is it better for her to live her life paranoid and delusional or is it better for her to just to exist in her body without really living?  Where is my sister?  I want her to have feelings and passion even if that means she hates me.  I want her to live!  I want her to thrive not just survive.  I want her back dammit.

When I dropped her off at the airport I hugged her.  I squeezed her hard.  Maybe I could squeeze away some of her torment.  Maybe if I hugged her hard enough she will get better.  Maybe she would believe me when I tell her I love her and that I'm not trying to hurt her.  I hugged her and my voice cracked when I told her how much I love her and that I will always be here for her.  She said nothing.  I know she doesn't believe me but she hugged me back.  It was like hugging a stranger--a stranger in my sister's body.  Her eyes are empty when I pull away.  Those brown eyes make me sad.  No spark.  No twinkle.  Nothing.  I stood by my car for a moment and watched her walk through the sliding glass doors, dressed in her new skirt she bought from Banana Republic.  I had to laugh at the sheer volume of cat hair stuck to her sweater.  No one leaves my house without an extra coating of feline stuck to their clothes.  She carried a plaid vintage suitcase in one hand, her iced coffee in the other and a computer bag slung over shoulder as she disappeared into the agitated swarm of busy travelers.  As she walked away I felt relieved.  Then I felt disgusting.  Relieved?  I'm not supposed to feel relieved that my sister is going away, to a different state than me... to people who take advantage of her and make her feel bad about herself.  I'm a horrible person.