Thursday, April 27, 2006

family feud

A few years ago my sister decide she was done with us all and cut off all contact. Our parents had moved to town a year or so earlier and she felt like her space was being invaded. She was going through a tough breakup and decided that our family dynamics weren’t helping her. I am the first to admit that our childhoods were less than perfect but our parents tried and still try. Their biggest fault may have been that they tried too hard to be cool, be our friends, instead of sucking it up and realizing that we really needed something else. She and I actually spent a lot of time together in our young adult lives and generally had a good time. In retrospect, yes, I was sometimes overbearing and protective but we seriously got along really well talked all the time. Then, she decided it was over. She returned all of the stuff she had been borrowing from me and said she would get back to us in a year or so. Actually told my parents that she couldn’t deal with me and me that she couldn’t deal with my parents. She wasn’t even very straight forward about it. She changed her phone number (in part due to the ex-boyfriend) and wouldn’t return emails. We later learned that it wasn’t just us. She cut herself off from our college and all of her college and even high school friends. This was a girl who had very close friendships so at this point we started to worry. Was she mentally stable? Was there a cult involved? But no.

It has now been over 3 years since I have talked to her. One of the craziest parts of the whole deal is that she still lives in the same town as my parents and I. We knew when she left her (stable, professional) job and started law school. My parents drove by he apartment on occasion so they knew when she moved. A friend of mine is in the same program she is and so I know she’s ok. She’s holding a professional life together just fine and I actually saw her driving a few months ago and she looked happy. Some days I feel like I should do something and a year ago I did send a short note (to her old address) and received it back a few days later with “return to sender” written on it in her handwriting. So, I have pretty much given up. I was pissed for quite a while and now I’m closer to neutral. She is well and that’s all that matters I guess. I have a good life and maybe some day our lives will intersect again. Or, maybe not. I guess it’s up to her, and while that’s not easy, I can live with it just fine. So, when I received an email this morning from my dad containing links to articles about a public award and scholarship she is receiving, I though “good for her.” I was glad to know that she’s still doing well and thriving in her new life. I read through the articles and was about to move on to my own work without a second thought until I read the following line. “The scholarship acknowledges the recipient’s ability to balance a dedication to legal studies with family and community.” Well, she must be doing pretty well for the community because there is no balance with this family. Or perhaps, it’s simply easier to balance one’s legal studies without a family. I wonder if she gets the irony. I hope so.



Blogger Sara said...

I am an only child. There is a part of me who always yearned for a sister. I can't imagine giving up a sister relationship and yet I know there's no guarantee a sister would have been my automatic friend-for-life (or mentally balanced). So, wow. You expressed this loss, of sorts, in such a balanced way. I'm not sure if I would be able to to the same.

4/27/2006 12:23 PM  
Anonymous becky said...

Oh my. I went to that awards ceremony, mainly for the tour of the new courthouse.

I introduced myself to your sister, and asked if she was your sister. (The name was a give away.) She did seem happy and doing quite well.

At least she didn't say "I have no sister, my sister is dead." (Sorry if that is not funny, but last week I was dead to my son over some teenagey angst.)

5/01/2006 11:00 AM  

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