Saturday, October 13, 2012

Blueberry Pie & Twizzlers aren't much of a housewarming present, but it's all I"ve got

My sister and brother-in-law are moving out today, and I am not ok with that.  We've lived apart before and would have to again eventually, at some point anyways, so it's not that so much as how and when it's happening that is so heartbreaking.  It is, in all actuality, going to turn out to be a positive thing for her, for them: it's a thousand percent in their favor that they would move out of some place that is unhealthy & stressful for them, especially at time where they need things to be as stress free as possible.  I'm three thousand percent behind them, and will continue to try to find ways to make things as stress-free as I can, even if it means hounding my B-I-L for updates bc I know my sister doesn't like to be pestered (He doesn't mind). 

The problem is that I just can't seem to get past the fact that it's so stressful and unhealthy for them (and me) for No. Damn. Reason. Except that people feel like being assholes.  Well, one person in particular, really.  Who is so busy playing the victim in his own mind that he can't seem to grasp the fact that hurting other people is the reason no one wants to talk to him.  Because he's "being nice now."  Like any of us trust that.


I have avoided talking to the two sisters who grew up with our parents but don't live here, mostly because, since they don't live here, I usually have to hear about a thousand excuses from them about how his behavior isn't really that bad and I should have some compassion for him.  And it's not even that I don't have compassion for him: it's that he's trampled it all, as well as pretty much every other feeling I have for him, consistently over a long period of time. 

The sisters who don't live here seem to forget a) how much they both hated living here when they did - so much so that one left for 'vacation' full well knowing she wasn't coming back but kept it a secret till she was there so she wouldn't have to tell him in person, and the other moved out as soon as she could manage it.  Three times;  and b) exactly how he behaves when you are in his life on a regular basis.  I suppose if you only have to see him at birthdays, barbecues and/or holidays, or listen to him complain that you never call him anymore once every 5 months or so, then he'd be a lot easier to take.  I don't doubt that that is true; I hope it proves true - for his sake as much as mine and SisterJ's.

 It's my opinion that he just can't give up feeling like he's supposed to be the boss, even though we're grown adults (not to mention that he wasn't really the boss in our family, he just thought he was because he was stricter).  And since he can't be the boss in the way that he thinks he should be - i.e. being able to dictate your 'attitude' or demand the respect he thinks he is 'owed' - he tries to bully people instead. 

And, for a long time, we've let him. 

That isn't to say one or the other of us - or a group of us - haven't stood up for ourselves at different points, or demanded changes in our relationships... it's just that when you stop being vigilant about your boundaries, certain people (maybe all people? I don't really know) will notice that you're no longer guarding things that 'do not cross' lines as closely as you once were and will begin to inch their way back over again. 

And I can't keep letting that happen.

So we've got to figure out a different way to interact with each other, and two things will need to happen (from my perspective) before I could even attempt that.  First, he'd have to take real responsibility for his actions - meaning he has to stop thinking it's ok, just because he's stressed out at work, or with other people, to take that out on somebody and start to make changes in his own behavior.  And second, I'd have to figure out how to let go of some of my own anger and figure out how change my behavior so that he can't cross those boundaries anymore: to just accept the fact that he doesn't have to be happy about it, I'm going to do what I need to do regardless. (This is more difficult than you'd imagine when you live in his house.  And are financially dependent upon him.)  

And since I can't make him do the things I think he needs to do, I'm focusing on that second part there.  I'm definitely not on-board with forgiving, just yet.  Don't know when I could possibly get on-board with that.  But trying to figure out how I can live away from here, how I can turn myself into one of the sisters who just sees him every couple of months and deals with that in a more healthy manner?  That's what I'm trying to work on right now.

And I know, eventually, it'll be what SisterJ works herself around to, too.  She's too big-hearted (even though she'd like to say she's heartless) to not want to figure it out: that's why she's so hurt right now, because she didn't do anything to screw it up in the first place, but it still blew up in her face.  So, yeah, I know her leaving is a good thing. 

A necessary thing. 

And, like I said, in the long run, I have no doubt they'll be much happier there... it's just I don't want to be so far away from her when I know she needs me, and it's not as easy for me as it is for other people to just 'pop' in on her at her new place.  (Obstacles, oh how I hate your ever living guts.  Chronic Illness-related Obstacles: goes double for you.) 

But it sucks donkey balls, and I can't help being pissed off at him for it.  He's just going to have to get over that.

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