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Friday, March 04, 2005

I will not lie to you. This is going to be a long post. It is not going to be happy or light-hearted, either.

It's just been one of those days. One of those years, really. The kind that makes you wonder why you try and why you get up out of bed in the morning. 85% of the time, I wake up feeling completely worthless. There are two things that help: knowing that there's a guy on the other side of the bed who disagrees with me, and a certain incident that happened 9 years ago.
There are a lot of people in my life who I think have made New Year's Resolutions to avoid me. Which essentially means that they aren't really people in my life. They're people who used to be in my life. I miss them. For as much as they don't talk to me anymore, I know some of them still read this site, looking for updates fairly frequently. I do not blame these people. I get in these moods where I think someone is avoiding me and then I make these resolutions to not be the first to make contact because I need to feel like so-and-so cares whether I live or die. Then, by the time I do decide to make contact, the person may actually be avoiding me because they think I was avoiding them. Or, they were avoiding me in the first place and nothing has changed except that now I'm a pest.

My sister once decided that gumption was a cool word. One definition of the word gumption is "guts." Another is "spunk." I wish that people who decide to avoid me would have the gumption to just say "Hey, I don't want to talk to you anymore, here's why and now please leave me alone." For that matter, I wish I had the gumption to say it to a few people (not to anybody who reads my ramblings... your time is most appreciated).

My sister is one of the above mentioned people who doesn't talk to me but reads this site. She was here around 9am this morning, so I don't expect her for a bit, but I'm sure she'll be back. My sister doesn't talk to me for a long laundry list of reasons, the first and foremost being that she is my sister and therefore the other daughter of our parents. In so many ways she could be my identical twin, yet in others she is my polar opposite. The ways in which we are so very different could almost kill me. I can't even imagine what it would be like if we WERE twins. This post is really about my sister.

There are a lot of matters of faith and morals that we disagree about. I'm not good at explaining things and a lot of times I wish I could throw my Catechism at her head and it would magically make her understand that "the Church says so" for very good reasons. If I could summarize my sister's opinion of me, I think that she would say I am closed-minded. I think that it is mainly for this reason that she thinks I hate her fiance. I would also completely disagree with her. There are issues where I have an opinion about what I think is definitely right and definitely wrong, but I'm a lot more openminded than I could be. The truth of the matter is that I don't know her fiance. The thinks I do know about him are contrary to my beliefs so I disagree with him, but I don't think I hate him. The Big One is that he seems to think that God doesn't exist.

She didn't call me to tell me she was engaged. She was told that I knew he was asking, so she thought that was enough. It made me sad.

I didn't ask my sister to be my maid of honor at my wedding. See preceding paragraph about beliefs. I'm convinced that I'm on crack, though, because I fully expected that she would ask me to be her matron of honor. I had this Crazy Idea that, if you were going to ask to be married in the Catholic Church, your chief witness(es) should perhaps be Catholic. (I chose my moh for a variety of reasons, among them was that she lives her life close to Church teachings.) And I'm the big sister, gosh darn it. I'd like to think that I've managed to not completely screw up my life and set a pretty decent example over time. She chose the Mystery Man's sister to be her moh. It broke my heart.

As I've said a few hundred times before, I have a problem with words and over-reacting. I say a lot of crap that I probably don't really mean, and I say it in a mean way. As a result, she thought she needed to write me a letter. In it, she said a lot of things that she probably did mean, in a way that made me feel like crap. I didn't know what to say, and I didn't want to screw up again, so I said nothing. Then the relatives started bugging me because she started talking to them. I blew up. I cried for weeks.

I let my sister pick the dress she wore for my wedding. She & my moh picked it out together because I knew that they needed to be happy with it. My sister sent me a picture of The Last Dress On Earth you'd ever catch me wearing and asked again if I'd be in her wedding. I took it as a sign that she really didn't care at all about me, a theory I've been developing since she learned to talk, and I told her no. I really lost it. She didn't care to hear my reasons at all, which made me think that she really did finally get what she wanted - me out of her life and out of her business. There's nothing worse than feeling unwanted and/or unloved. Nothing. All of these things - her blatant disagreement with the Church, my not having any real chance to get to know her fiance, her not telling me about the engagement herself, her picking someone else (a "complete stranger") over me - they made me feel like crap and like she didn't care about me. They made me wonder why I ever cared at all about what she thought about anything I did. I'm like that, though, I care about what other people think. And I generally want people to be comfortable. That dress incident was the last straw for my last fragile strand of hope that my sister cared about me. I simply could not agree to wear the dress in the picture. I'm a married woman now, and one who wants children in the worst way possible. At the time my sister sent that card, she hadn't really spoken to me in a few months and she hadn't seen me since Christmas. We've been postponing pregancy, but are seriously thinking about switching gears soon. I still have plenty of time to achieve a noticeable pregnancy between now and her wedding... had she considered me at all when choosing a dress, things would have been completely different. She would have realized that a pregnant belly could not wear that dress. She also might have taken into consideration that I don't ever wear strapless dresses.

I know I'm no angel in this situation. I said a lot of things very harshly. I'm sorry for that. I lost my sister. I'm almost sure that she really doesn't care about me at all and that I won't be at her wedding, much less in it, at this point. There's no going back now. My sister would be stupid to not have those dresses ordered for the other two girls and, as usual, I'm the one left out - alone.

She's reading this, probably thinking that I really have lost my mind, and she's right. Slowly but surely I'm losing almost everything I have - and she has no idea. I wonder if she cares.
# posted by Amy : 8:17:00 PM

Hey, Amy. Very thought-provoking post. I have a number of gut-reactions to your post, so I'll try to put those aside;) My sister and I are also two very different people (I'm older), though we do still speak when we "run into" each other at family events, holidays, and so forth. It's unfortunate, but maybe, in some way, it's for the best at this time. Things can change. Things do change. Just hang in there. I know where you're coming from regarding depression. At times, I suffer from it as well. It's tough, true. I just try to hang on to Him in those times. I don't have an answer but I UNDERSTAND...
May God bless you, Amy . . . I know that you are made in the image of God. I hope you know that, too.

You mentioned that you are depressed.

I suggest two things (which perhaps you have done):

1.) Confession

2.) See a good Catholic counselor

Both are excellent . . . and I am convinced that both will help you.

I love you, Amy!

With Love and Prayers,


P.S. Jesus is Lord, Mary is His Mother
Let us celebrate His Mercy.
I don't have any brothers or sisters, but I know if I were estranged from any of them, then I would find that very devastating as well.

I am figuring that you don't want any advice, just a listening ear and some support. I really hope you and your sister can find a way to truly love each other where you two are at. I do relate to having fundamental differences in faith and mindset with family- my parents are very much the opposite of practicing Catholics. It can be very difficult, I know. Prayers going up for a reconciliation between you two.
First, you should make sure that what you describe as 'depression' is outright clinical depression or not. Everyone feels the way you do sometimes and often it can last for weeks. Seeking counseling, meditating, taking a vacation, or simply the passage of time will conquer it. If it is clinical depression, then it is caused by an imbalance in release and reuptake in a neurotransmitter system (commonly thought to be serotnin but may involve others). This condition rarely clears up on its own and requires medical intervention. My advice is to go see your doctor and see what she/he recommends. There are a number of excellant medications out there with very little incidence of side effects to help one regain emotional equilibrium. Remember that there is no justfiable stigma attached to depression and it can be classified as a pure medical issue.

Second, the issue between you and Lisa is a family matter and I cannot/will not give any opinion on it. As a caveat, I will offer the suggestion that you need to be certain of the other's feelings; perhaps their feelings are hurt as well. You chicks can be so pernicious at times (joking)

Third, if you want to talk to someone, just call/email/text/singing telegram them. Everybody is burdened with life and its related crap and substantial time can slip by without noticing you haven't talked to someone in a while.

Fourth, Pearl Jam is the best band ever. (no relation to your post but completely veracious nonetheless)
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