From my Mother I have three half siblings; two surviving sisters ..
The only sibling I knew as a child is the surviving twin born 11 years before me. She began the journey of drug use when she was 12... it's the only way I ever knew her. I grew up watching my Mother be mentally abused by her teenage daughter, her older siblings, her boyfriends, and even her own mother. It warped the way I grew up.
I doubt I was even 5 when I decided that I would always be there to watch over my Mother, and that I would do everything in my power to protect her. Now I find myself in turmoil. She has always wanted to heal others, a trait that she passed to me, but she is the type who will give everything to help someone without thought of keeping enough for herself to insure her own survival.
My sister has been an addict for 26 years now. She has a 6 year old daughter and a 2 year old son. We had lost track of her for 7 years. She appeared again when she was around 4 months pregnant with her son. I have tried during this time to bridge the gap between us. All for the sake of my Mother, all because she wants her daughter to be united.
My Mother openly admits that my older sister is her favorite. Though she openly says I am the best of her children, it is still a stubborn wound that I am not the favorite. I do not hold it against her. She was forced to give away her first daughter. Her second birth was twins, the firstborn was her son..and he was strangled by his cord. In that, my older sister was her only child for those 11 years. Now that I have children of my own I understand more then I ever have. No matter what your children do, you will love them.
The problem now is that my sister is hurting my Mother. Her addiction is full fledged and she could care less about anything else. Her children are being pushed aside for her own wants. Last weekend she called my Mother. My Mother ended up watching her children as she indulged to the point of sickness, not once but twice before she could be shepherded to sleep. Unfortunately I had picked the same weekend before hand to take a mini vacation and relax at a friends house, so my Mother was watching my children as well.
I was informed of what happened when my Mother came home on Sunday evening. My anger at her pain over the matter was immediate, but she asked me not to speak out on the matter so I have not. I told Mother it would be best if she let it go for the moment, took some space for herself rather then contact my sister, and wait to see what happened. From Sunday she did not bother to contact us until Wednesday - When she and Mother each have therapy. Mother tends to spend that evening with her, to get some time away from things here. My sister made a deal with her neighbor for pills behind her boyfriends back before they left to pick up her son from his fathers. While she was away the neighbor came to her house and gave Mother what my sister had asked for and told her to let her know who it was from. So when my sister returned that is what my Mother did. The boyfriend became angry, so my sister told my Mother she should have kept her mouth shut and to leave. Which further upset my Mother, who informed me of the happenings when she returned.
Later that night my sister calls. She tells Mother she is sorry, and wants to know if I would walk with her to an appointment. When I say no she tries to convince Mother to go with her, at which point I resort to volunteering because Mother would agree regardless of the fact that it would cause her large amounts of pain to make that walk. I'm not supposed to be out in the sun that long, but I would rather suffer then allow my Mother to do so. Though I never said anything on the matter, while on the walk I was informed that she did not want my children to come over to play with her daughter that night (we were going to pick up her daughter from her fathers on the way back) because of how badly my children has misbehaved the weekend before.
Not that my children are angels, but her daughter is a massively spoiled brat. She had a brain tumor that took up most of the space in her head by the time they discovered it. It was removed and did not grow back, but since she was so young they did not replace the skull that had been deformed. She ended up with a large sack of fluid incased in skin on the base of her skull. My sister and her husband at the time felt bad because they had been addicts all through her pregnancy and infant hood. So they gave her everything she wanted on demand .. but they didn't stop being addicts. Now the child treats everyone like trash and gets worse if she does not get what she wants immediately. The only time she tones it down is when I am around, because she caught on quickly that I will not tolerate it. My children have issues of their own, I won't lie. They can drive me up a wall in a matter of minutes.
So when she told me this, blaming my children for the chaos of the weekend before on them... I managed to keep my mouth shut, but I was livid. When I came home I was in bad shape, the heat and sun had taken it's toll. When I had the chance I told my Mother what had been said. I told her I felt like we were just being used. I told her we shouldn't contact my sister, to just wait and see. Sure enough, the next time my sister called was a couple nights later. She wanted the kids to come and play with her daughter, and for me to use my resources to feed her addiction. It just so happened that Mother forgot to cover the receiver, so that when I said "No. I refuse to do that." she overheard. She then said that was fine, because she was planning to pick stuff up later anyway. Mom and I ended up having a conversation after the phone call, trying to decide how we wanted to handle the situation. It wasn't long before my sister called back saying it was getting to late and to not come over. At the I pointed out to Mom that she had really only called because she wanted a quick fix and someone to watch her kids while she went to pick up her haul. She's been using us...
If it was just me, I could walk away from it. Mom however .. is hurting. Hurting having to watch her daughter so blasted out of her mind she doesn't know what she's doing. Hurting knowing that her daughter has no intention of stopping something that could kill her. Hurting seeing the truth that she was just being used. For me, when I am hurt directly it doesn't do much. Wound me as you will, I'll always be able to get back up. It pisses me off, but I've been through it enough that I can shrug it off and be the better person and just leave. When it comes to the few people who I care about ... anyone who dares to hurt them is likely to end up at the end of my fist.
So now I am watching my sister hurt herself. Having to watch my Mother suffer as she watches. Now, I care much more about my Mother then my sister. I have no problem turning on my sister to protect my mother, my children, and myself. My mother though, she may not have the strength to turn her back and walk away. She has only kept the current distance because I keep stepping in. That in itself is hard for me. I know it hurts my Mother to not be there for my sister and she knows I am trying to protect her.
So now I don't know what to do. Though I don't think my sister will contact us for a bit yet, I am having trouble making the final decision. Do I turn against my sister, keeping her and Mother apart? Do I hold the line with the hope that she finally sees? Do I accept that she'll never see, never change? How do I make a choice of that magnitude when the choice is not only my own but that of my Mother? I do not want to be the one to make the choice for her, but will I have any choice in the end? Mom told me she doesn't want to watch that anymore, but that she can't seem to turn away. I know I can block her view. I know I can protect her if she stays where I can guard. I don't know however if I have the strength to stop her if she wants to see my sister... because then I would be the one hurting her. This seems to be a losing situation regardless of the way I turn. I don't like things situations like this, I usually end up the one in the worst of pain.
I'm so very tired of pain. Especially when I have noting left to show for it. I'll suffer for a tattoo. I'll suffer for a piercing. I'll suffer to protect my family. I'll suffer to ensure they survive. I will not suffer for the sake of suffering. That's a game I refuse to play. I just have to figure out how to stop it before the hurt gets worse...
And this ended up being really long. Heh.. Ah well ..