Wednesday, September 21, 2005

"Oh therapy, can you please fill the void?"

I got an e-mail from Sister yesterday. And it was an actual e-mail - not a joke-mail. See I've sent out a letter to family and friends telling them about what my experience had been like in the past 3 years of training, and thanking them for their support of me. I'm guessing that the e-mail is in response to the letter. This is what it said:

"HOW ARE YOU DOING? CAN YOU BELIEVE CHRISTMAS IS ONLY 3 MONTHS AWAY AGAIN?
THE CAR BUSINESS IS VERY SLOW RIGHT NOW, WHICH MAKES ME BELIEVE THAT YOU MAY
HAVE A GREAT SOURCE FOR YOUR PRIVATE PRACTICE.

MOM SAID YOU WERE ON VACATION NOT TOO LONG AGO. ANYWHERE ESPECIALLY FUN?

DROP ME AN EMAIL WHEN YOU GET A CHANCE.

LOVE YOU,
SISTER"

This is the first time we have "spoken" in about 9 months (and yes she does always write her e-mails in caps)...except for the e-mail right before my birthday asking where she should send my present. I always try to call to thank her, but she never picks up the phone and never returns the calls. So now I don't try very hard either. I did respond with an e-mail to this, but I have a feeling that there will be no more from her until I try to reach her on her birthday...then see her at Christmas.

My therapist has been asking a lot of questions about Sister, and I've been surprised at how painful my memories are of wanting her approval and attention. I mean, really, isn't it supposed to be all about your parents! And I'm left worrying about what she really thinks of the letter I sent out...I sent a card after she had a car accident several years ago. I heard about it from my mother and called her. It was one of the few times I've actually gotten her "live" on the phone, but she avoided talking about the accident, then quickly said she had to get off the phone and call work and would call me back. She didn't, and I wrote her a card telling her I was worried about her, but understood that she may not want to talk about it, and that I hoped to see her when I was home over Labor Day that year. I had tried hard to keep any hurt out of it, but she told me mother that I'd sent her a bitchy card.

I don't have an adult relationship with this woman, and it pains me. And I don't know what to do to reach out to her because I'm afraid that she will mistake any attempts I make. All this is made harder by the fact that we are almost completely opposite, in terms of life goals, interests, political views, and personalities. I worry about what our communication will be like after my parents are gone...I can't imagine, at this point, wanting to spend holidays with her or vice versa.

And all of this feels like a failure on my part (yes, yes, rationally I know this is not true...but I have a hard time with any sort of rationality when it comes to this relationship). I have been educated to be able to communicate with people and help facilitate the way that they communicate with others, and I can't be comfortable spending an hour at lunch once a year with a woman whom I've known for my whole life.

And, why do I always write about sh*t at work that makes me cry?! Very bright, spins!

10 comments:

Flash said...

I really don't know what to say so may I offer a hug & a tissue?

Lord Bargain said...

I very rarely speak to my sister either, and when you put us together in a room, we'll be bickering or fighting within minutes. That doesn't mean I don't love her loads, just that we're like chalk and cheese and rub each other up the wrong way.

I suspect it'll get easier as you get older, bizarrely, and I am not sure why.

hey, chin up. repeat one of those mantras you send me!...

Hyde said...

Why are you guys so estranged?
Sending you hugs too!

spinsterwitch said...

Thanks you guys. I don't know the cause of it...she is actually not very good about communicating with my parents either.

Fred said...

You write about it because it makes you feel better. And, maybe there's a morsel of advice that might help you.

I haven't spoken to my brother in five years. Keep in touch in small ways; it'll help bring you closer.

P'tit-Loup said...

I must say that for the life of me, I cannot comprehend why anyone who knows you, even only slightly, would not want to spend more time with you enjoying all of the greatness I know you posess.

Hang in there, she may always come around; and if not, you will have other support in the world, all your life. I'm just sure of that.

spinsterwitch said...

Ah, P'tit Loup, you are a good friend!

the urban fox said...

See, that's the thing with siblings. Families are an accident of birth and you can't always be sure you'll be placed with a personality you'll get on well with. And yet the expectation is there, and the love is no less real.

Have another hug from me, for when Flash's finishes.

Anonymous said...

This post brings up a lot for me as you might imagine, especially given my last week. I hear you, I support you and I can both empathize and sympathize!

Anonymous said...

K- I can totally relate! My relationship with my older sister is very strained, at best. I try to be civil and polite, but it is very hard to have a conversation with someone who is my polar opposite in almost every way (staunch GWBush reporter and true believer in capital punnishment, to mention a few). I agree with urban fox (and MY therapist) who says that we don't get to pick whom we are related to and sometimes we just have to try to get by. I feel your pain, but also know that you are stronger and more insightful than most. Keep up those small tokens of contact--even if she never responds, at least at the end of the day you have a clean conscience that you tried...

Love Ya!

Kara