Sunday, February 17, 2013

Hard lessons

I learned a hard lesson today.  Never tell your hypochondriac paranoid schizophrenic sister about a child you love needing a shunt replacement and everything that is involved with that.  OMG.

Today my sister and I went to a little cafe for lunch.  Since it was Sunday afternoon, we waited what seemed like forever, but was probably only 45 minutes or so to get a table, and I had to drive across town, pick her up, and drive her back across town because she insisted she take me out to this specific place.  She is almost incapable of making a decision like what she wants to eat, so we had to ask the waitress to come back later a few times.  Suddenly she asks if she can taste my water.  I say sure and slide my glass over to her.  She tastes it.  "Does my water taste different to you?"  She asked me and slid both waters back my direction.  I tasted both waters, unsure now which one was mine in the first place.  They tasted exactly the same.  I reminded her that we watched the waitress pour the water from the stainless steel pitcher when we sat down.  She insisted that they brought the water to us, as she watched the waitress pour water at another table.  She grows very quiet before she asks if we can leave because she knows they put something in her water and that she knows they are going to poison or spit in her food because some nonspecific famous people are stalking her and followed her to this city to poison and spy on her.  "I can see you are feeling really anxious right now.  How about you order my food and I will order yours and then we will switch?  Will that make you feel better?"  She seemed to settle down at this idea, so that's what we did.  She ordered a big delicious salad for me and I ordered a sandwich for her.  The waitress brought our food and we let her set them down and walk away before we exchanged meals.  She ate in near silence, pretty much only eating the bread and meat in her sandwich and leaving most of it's contents on the plate.  I tried to interrupt the tension with jokes, like I always do, but she just wasn't going for it.  Once the check came and was paid for, I told her that I was proud of her for sticking it out even though I knew how anxious and upset she was and that I was really sorry she felt like that so often.  She seemed to be doing a little better but then suddenly became very angry and said I shouldn't be okay with her being treated differently than everyone else, that she deserves the same level of customer service and health safety as everyone else.  That she knows that people put something in her food and that they knew that she would never order a salad, so they put the poison in her food too.  She started to get really agitated and people began to stare, so I told her we had to leave. 

I had told her earlier about the boy who needs to have his shunt replaced, explaining what a shunt does and what it's for.  Suddenly she says her head hurts and she thinks maybe she needs a shunt too because someone poisoned her cigarettes with ketamine a few months ago and it damaged her brain.  She insisted that the shunt was needed because of a genetic condition and that she has it too.  I reminded her repeatedly that it wasn't genetic, the baby needs a shunt because of complications from being a micro-preemie but that he's totally healthy and extremely intelligent otherwise.  I reminded her that we are only half sisters, so even if it was genetic, it probably wouldn't have anything to do with her.  To make a very long, exhausting, sad story shorter, I ended up taking her to the ER because she was extremely agitated and demanding I take her.  I hoped we could find her some help.  This is not what happened.  They decided to humor her and x-ray her scull.  That probably would have worked except my sister is pretty intelligent despite her inability to reason and rationalize.  I hate when people treat her like a child and assume she will believe things a child would.  She wanted an MRI and a team of doctors to check her for poison.  Despite not getting the medical attention she wanted, or the psychiatric care she needed, she seemed okay by the time we left the hospital. I took her to get a hot tea and then took her home before I drove back to my friend's house.     

It's sad to see my sister like this.  She used to be a relatively normal child, but the older she gets, the worse she gets.  She is planning on going back to the middle east to be with her father for six months or so because I guess he's getting old and she's afraid he is going to die.  My memories of this man are not good ones, but apparently he has never hurt her, sexually or physically.  We don't talk about it, except when I asked her a few years ago if anything ever happened to her over there and let her know that I'm here for her if she ever needs to talk about that kind of stuff.  She said that she knows about the things I said happened to me in the middle east, but thinks that our mother made that stuff up and made me believe it.

It's so funny how many people have said that about all of my memories.  My mother went to prison for felony child abuse, but tells me that my memories are things that people made me believe, just stories other people planted in my head.  Foster care said that I was "regressing" and putting things from my past onto my current foster parents when they found out about my foster father raping me, my sister thinks my mother planted my memories of her father into my head.  Apparently none of my memories are real.  They are all made up by other people, according to everyone in my life.  Anyway, I am not sure why I am going down this road.  I think I was just very triggered by some of the stuff she said to me when she was upset and freaking out, and I'm triggered by everything else that's happening in my life right now.  My sister is the only relationship I have in my life, or have ever had, where I don't feel like an imposition, but my sister doesn't really exist anymore.  Not really.  I mean, physically she's here, some form of her anyway, but schizophrenia has eaten up her spirit.  I want so badly to have a family, any kind of family.  I want to be part of something, belong to something.  Even my sister has her own kind of family.  She refers to her full brother, my half brother, as "my brother," when talking about him and she says, "my father," when talking about her father who is also my stepfather.  She even refers to our mother as, "my mother" when she talks about her, so even my sister sees me as separate from "her family."

Even my sister has someone she calls when she's in trouble.  She has me, our brother, and she has her father who basically just sends her money.  But me, I have no one to call.  I don't have many people in my life.  Not people that I can totally let in.  I admire my sister in a way.  I think she's more authentic than me.  She's not afraid to let people see the heavy stuff.  I try to have relationships with people, but I can't ever let them see the heavy stuff.  Because when I let people see what is really happening inside my head, it never works out.  I try to keep people at a distance because once I start letting them close and I start to feel safe, it backfires and the relationships end.

The little boy's father sent me an email yesterday.  I am curious now if he is reading my blog.  Possibly.  If he is, I'm probably about to ruin any chance of him reaching out in the future.  I don't know.  Maybe he just knows that I read his very public, somewhat popular blog so I would definitely know what's going on right now.  I appreciate him reaching out to me.  It's really hard for me to know how to react or even what to feel.  I haven't responded because I am too afraid of saying the wrong thing and making things worse.  Would a short reply, "Thank you for the note, " be too short?  Would he think it was passive aggressive.  I am nervous that they read anger in everything.  I just have no idea how to respond.  I am extremely grateful for the contact.  But it's also heavy for me.  I still don't understand exactly what happened or why it took so little to be cut off and basically disowned from these people I created a family with.  Was what I did really worth complete abandonment and making me miss years of the little boy's life?  It has almost been two years since I've seen him.  Maybe it was, but I really wish I understood exactly what it is that I did.  I don't understand why it's so easy for so many to cut me off.  I'm afraid I am coming off as ungrateful with this paragraph, but I don't mean to.  I am very grateful that he threw me a bone, but I'm sad, and angry, and hurt, and a million other things all rolled into one.  Was what happened, and the awkwardness, hurt, confusion, and all that stuff we never talked about, really worth dumping me for?  Giving someone your eggs, and taking someone's eggs, complicates a relationship and we never once sat down and talked about those little and not so little things.  Why didn't I deserve at least one therapy session with them or even a phone call or face to face meeting before they ended things?  I was dumped over email.  Not one in person interaction.  I truly don't understand.  I never understand.  I guess that's the problem.

I don't understand why so many people tell me they love me and will never leave and then suddenly they're totally done with me so quickly.  I truly do not understand.  So I feel like having me in their lives must be a major imposition to people and I don't know how to change it.  I don't want people to change me, fix my life, or offer me too much.  I just want people to love me for who I am and not freak out when there is a problem.  Why don't people talk to me and tell me when things are wrong?  Sure, I might cry.  I might get angry, but I will always try to work things out with people that I love.  This is why I keep my distance in relationships.  Those that I let in, that I feel safe enough to act dysfunctional around, always end up leaving me.  I felt so connected to this family, and the mother of my egg baby.  I felt like I could share things with her, and so I did, but maybe that's where I went wrong.  I don't really connect with men very much, but I felt very connected to the boy's father too. 

People don't really want to know the deep, dark stuff.  Not really.  And I'm dying for someone to know the real me.  To really *GET* me, but it always drives people away.  Even those that think they get it.  Even my friends I've made who have PTSD or who have been in the hospital before just don't get it as much as I think they do.  Even my egg baby's mother has been in the hospital, so I thought she'd understand more than she does/did.  I thought she'd understand this pain I carry around all the time and it would be okay to let her in on some of it.  I just want someone who gets it.  Just one person who gets it.  Just one person who understands that I struggle with certain things and that I need a little extra understanding at times.  Someone who understands that I am not meaning to be difficult or offensive or hurtful when I become quiet and withdrawn.  I need someone in my life who talks to me when things become difficult or if I do something to hurt them and ask me about it.  I need someone who doesn't close the door when things aren't perfect.  Why is this too much for me to ask? 

I will always be here for my sister, even when she treats me like crap because I love her and I understand that she can't help it sometimes.  I don't let her get away with bad behavior, but she will never be able to drive me away.  I want someone that I can't drive away.  Someone who loves me no matter what.  Someone who understands I have challenges and tells me when my behavior isn't okay.  But someone who also understands that I am a pretty sensitive person, who is terrified of being hurt and abandoned all the time, because it's happened to me so often in my life.  God.  I just want ONE person to be my family, even if we don't call it that.  Life has taught me some really hard lessons and I've adapted to survive, but those adaptations are hurting me today.  Or maybe I haven't adapted enough because the only thing I have ever wanted in life are solid relationships, but I have never been able to hang on to one.

Having said all of that, I am very grateful I have a place to sleep tonight.  I don't know what I would do without my awesome vegan friends with the six lovable kitties.  Thank you for being so welcoming.  <3