I’ve just finished my phone session with T in the park again. I’m sat on a bench right now overlooking the big pond and watching squirrels climb up the trees and jump between them. There are birds flying around and ducks being fed by children. It’s very autumnal here today, red and orange leaves are scattered all over the floor and it’s chilly enough that I’m wearing a proper coat. My favourite season for sure. I love it.
However inside my mood is sad. I’ve felt very sad this week about my lack of contact with my sister. In the last few days she’s blocked me completely on social media and most recently, Sunday I think, she removed my stepson’s access to her family music account.
On Monday I was so angry about that. I was furious. It took everything I had not to message her and tell her she’s a stupid little girl (despite being 24), but I was told by my husband and later by T, not to rise to her as she was acting out.
By Tuesday night however when I spoke to T, I cried a fair bit. It all feels so bloody sad that we’ve just stopped speaking – why?? I cried to T and she kept telling me to hold steady because it’s important that I am not always the one to fix things between us when she’s caused an argument. She explained to me how my sister “splits” and sometimes I’m seen to be “all good” and other times, “all bad”. T said she has clearly made up a narrative that I’m horrible and that I should leave her to it because there’s no point in wasting my energy trying to convince her that I’m not “all bad”. Just human.
But then last night I was laying in bed and I decided to re-read all our old messages. I read about a year’s worth and some of the messages made me smile and laugh – there were countless “ugly” selfies and voice clips of us doing stupid voices or singing parts of songs. There were messages between us where I gave her advice and there were more general every-day messages. Soon I found myself sobbing again. I really realised how much I miss her. I didn’t really realise but having her around feels like having a really good friend. It’s like I’ve lost a good friend.
I do realise that that sounds like a rather Rose-tinted view and that obviously we wound each other up and had rows and stuff – it wasn’t ever perfect BUT still, I miss her.
I told T this in our call this afternoon and I also told her that the last two sets of messages were actually okay. They weren’t arguments. We had “the”argument and then there was a message she sent about something random and then a message she sent wishing me happy birthday.
I said to T that I had genuinely forgotten these extra messages and that I had thought all this time that we were still not speaking because of the argument. I said I was worried she thought she had made the effort and had text me several times, and I had not bothered. I kinda understood her point of view.
T said that just because she had initiated two text conversations didn’t mean that she should give up and never speak to me anymore and it didn’t mean she should then block me on socials and remove my stepson’s access to the music thing…. I agreed. I told her that my husband said the same thing and also said that he hasn’t messaged his sister for weeks and that she’s often the one to initiate the messages between them but that didn’t mean she would suddenly stop speaking to him or block him on social media. He said I was trying to make excuses for her.
T ended up saying that it was up to me and that if I really wanted to contact her, that I should do but that she was worried my sister was clearly acting out very passively and that she was concerned I would receive an ear-bashing. I agreed and said I could almost guarantee I would. My sister loves an argument and has almost certainly painted herself as a victim in this. I wasn’t sure there was a way to try and talk without having some huge argument and I really don’t want that.
T suggested contacting her now may send the wrong message because she has just done all the acting out this week. It may look like her acting out and bad behaviour has worked – by getting my attention. I agreed and said I didn’t want to do that, but I’m worried more and more time is passing and more and more damage is being done to our relationship.
T told me to hold tight. She said I had a lot going on with the house move right now and that she thinks I should wait a while and wait until I’ve moved and got settled before making any contact. She suggested I just sent something like “we haven’t spoken for ages, it’s a shame and I miss you” or said even maybe just send a funny gif or something.
She’s probably right. There’s a huge part of me who is feeling the discomfort of the sadness and true missing and the fear of the damage this is doing that makes me want to fix it right now – literally right now… but I know she’s probably right and I know she doesn’t want me to end up hurt which I think I very easily could.
So I suppose I have to hang tight.
My sister has never been the one to try and fix an argument with me after a period of silence like this. It’s always, always me and I don’t want that pattern to continue but I do really miss her. Me and T have spoken a lot about my sister and T thinks she had borderline PD. I think so too, and that makes it harder for me in many ways because I understand that the things she does like the splitting and the irritability and inability to ever be wrong or take ownership all stems from a really hurt part of her created by my bloody mother. It all comes from the insecure attachment and insecurity and that just makes me want to look after her more – not less! It makes me want to show her she is loved, really loved – by me!! But that’s very hard to do when she acts out like this and when she’s living with my mother and has convinced herself my mother is “all good” and has changed etc….
It infuriates me that my mother’s treatment of us both has ruined our ability to have a healthy relationship too. It’s yet another causality to come from her. The fact I’ve always been like a surrogate mother to my sister makes this even harder because I automatically want to be “the adult” who says “come on now, let’s play nicely” but she’s an adult too and for her sake as much as my own, I can’t do that. Can I?
I only stopped contacting her because I was angry with her aggression over me not attending that flipping family event and her shitty comment about my therapy – oh and her passive aggressive Twitter and Instagram comments. All that got to me and I realised I didn’t like it and didn’t want to be making contact with someone and ignoring all of that. Perhaps I should have handled that better and told her that outright. Maybe in effect I’ve given her the silent treatment without meaning to? That’s a passive aggressive action too, so doesn’t make me any better.
It’s a thin line between setting boundaries and reacting passively isn’t it??