I received a message from my sister on FB messenger the other day. I hesitated before accepting it but the notification ping was driving me a bit crazy (yes, I am aware that I can turn it off) and the next morning I opened it. I really wasn’t going to read it but the first two lines registered and… I ….read ….it. Ugh! Why? Why do I keep doing this to myself? Hope? Curiosity? Sibling devotion? Insert exasperated shoulder shrug and head shake here.
It started off fairly innocently, ‘just wanted to say hi, and see how you are doing. I am good. In a much better place now. I decided it is time I work on me and get my life together.’ I admit I was not expecting this as her opening and so I responded and regretted it instantly. Nothing, outside of a no drama opening, has changed.
She sang the praises of her new boyfriend and his family (and gave me a comparative analysis on how much better they are for her than the previous boyfriend, his friends and his family). She talked of recommitting to her spiritual journey (which is more of a dabble into the paranormal) and bemoaned and blamed the trials and tribulations of her bipolar disorder on inadequate doctors and her job loss. Gave a flippant and insincere nod to my parents who had taken her in a few months ago and ended in tears (with comparisons to our empathetic brother) and apologies for not staying in contact.
I immediately contacted our brother, he, also, had heard from her recently. We had each received similar but different stories (she gives us the same life highlights but also tries to play into what she thinks we are interested in) and we both agreed to not open that Pandora’s Box. Nothing is new. Nothing has changed. I know it sounds harsh but this is typical for my sister. She is at a high point right now. New friends, new boyfriend (and new surrogate family), contemplation of a new job, new doctor and therapist, new meds, for her it is a clean slate but for the rest of us we know this is the apex of her rollercoaster ride, that first hill before she plummets again and again until she is nauseous and wanting a new ride and blaming the current ride for making her feel rotten.
There is, obviously, something my sister feels she lacks in her life. I have proposed that she utilize her therapists and figure out what it is but she never does. Perhaps she finds it easier to replace everyone and everything in her sphere when things get rough, boring,… uncomfortable? She will put us, her biological family, in a limbo state and recycle us as needed; when things are great we receive a show of ‘look how great my life is,’ or ‘look how you destroyed my happiness,’ if it isn’t going well.
I hope one day she realizes that she is the greatest common denominator in her life, it begins and ends with her and only her. She has to make the choice to be happy, she has to do the work, she has to save herself. She has to be responsible for her choices. Until that happens I will probably open her messages, take her phone calls and read her emails but I will not enable her delusions of victimhood. My brother and I have decided to stand firm, we have a choice and we choose not to play this game with her.