Monday, July 25, 2011

For The Last Time

Saturday night at 3:45am, my sister Karen posted a comment on this blog, but since I now moderate all comments, hers was not immediately published. I have struggled with whether or not to publish it.

I considered not publishing Karen's comment strictly because I'm sick of dealing with her and her crap, but, since her comment perfectly illustrates why I can no longer have any sort of relationship with my sisters, I have changed my mind. And, since her intention was clearly to comment on a public forum rather than using a private email, I have decided to publish Karen's comment here in its unedited entirety. Of course, that means that I also have the opportunity to respond, which I will do following Karen's comment.

So, following is Karen's comment, complete and unedited.

"First off, my dear sister, I had no way to know that the packages would be sent before I reached San Diego. I put in a change of address the next day after I left. 2 of them should have been automatically forwarded (the ones from USPS), the other 2 I was not aware were coming UPS. You see, someone, who is not being snarky at all, disconnected my computer connection so that I couldn't check on how and when the items would be shipped to avoid any problem.

Secondly, you have neglected to mention that after my surgery on July 1st I was told by my doctor not to lift over 10 lbs. which explains why the big house plant wasn't thrown out. The pee in the bedroom was most likely from YOUR DOG. Dusty NEVER peed on the floor. That is Joe's trick, why you banned him from my room.

You also fail to mention that I was planning to move out on August 3, when I got my next check and was not financially able to do anything other than stay in a cheap but very clean motel for a few days and then take a bus here to San Diego (where I am treated like family, not an object of your complete disdain.

The sheets were washed the week before and I warned you before coming about Dusty's shedding. I was brushing her and using the bissel sweeper as you requested. I know of only 1 fur bunny on the floor. I hope that you forgive that after getting out of the hospital with a sewn up carotid artery it took alot out of me to have to pack up everything I owned and move it all out. I, also, offered to pay not only postage to have the packages sent, but to also pay you the same handling charges I had already paid once to the seller. Please be advised that one of those packages has an item in it worth several hundred dollars. I got it for a steal because I researched it. If you would rather, I can contact the storage facility and see if they would allow you to enter and put the packages there. And, oh yah, since your blog is in the public domain, I suggest you watch your lies and exagerations. It's called slander and defamation. By Karen

Now my turn:

  • So, Karen, let's deal with the packages first, shall we? Are you trying to tell me that you had NO WAY of knowing that the packages you ordered would actually be sent to you? In fact, that is precisely what happens when you purchase something online - the seller ships it to you. And you're advising me of the great value of your packages because...??? The value of your packages is of no concern to me. But, if you are so concerned, why on earth would you just leave for San Diego, or anywhere else for that matter, without knowing the outcome of that extremely valuable package? Where was your desperate concern before you left? Perhaps a communication from you such as, "I ordered some things online before I went into the hospital and they should be delivered soon. Could you please let me know when they arrive?" Or maybe while you were still living here you might have even asked if we would re-connect your internet connection for a short time so you could check on the extremely valuable items you ordered. I know. Communicating like an adult is hard. Just how does your failure to follow-up on your own crap then become my responsibility to get it you, whether you offer to pay for it or not? I have news for doesn't. We are not keeping your crap from you. You, or your agent, are free to come and get it any time. We merely steadfastly refuse to make any effort to do what YOU should have done before you left town. What's the saying? "Failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part." Like I said in my post ~ the post to which you took exception ~ it's time you put your big girl panties on and figure it out without me.

  • Concerning the filthy condition of your room and the dried pee and poop on your floor ~ you can extol your cat's virtues all you want, but I've been around enough cats and dogs to know the difference between cat and dog pee, which is how I determined that it was Joe that had peed on your floor shortly after you moved in. It is also interesting that it was me and not you who noticed that Joe had peed in YOUR room (which, given the consistency of the yellow puddle, had been there for at least 24 hours), and I didn't even have to go into your room to see it. I was able to see it from the hallway (so it doesn't surprise me when you say that you only saw one "fur bunny"). However, you are absolutely mistaken when you say Dusty NEVER peed on the floor. I wiped up ~ no, scrubbed up ~ dried and drying cat pee not only off the floor on this occasion, but previously in your comforter, and, as you may recall, on the mattress on your bed, as well as cat poop on your comforter and under the bedside table in your room. So you warned me about Dusty's shedding. So, I was warned and that excuse makes the filth ~ the weeks of accumulation of dust, cat hair and dander ~ okay? I love how you call those clumps of cat hair floating on the floor, ground into the carpet and dangling from the blades of the ceiling fan "fur bunnies." What an innocuous little name for the huge discarded pile of cat hair that looks like a large decomposing feline laying at the edge of my compost pile. That's where I dumped the vacuum cleaner basin twice while cleaning your room. Do I need to send you a photo of that slander and defamation? Just because you deny it, doesn't make it so. I did not exaggerate. Your room was disgusting.

  • I find it so interesting and somewhat amusing that, once again, you pick and choose which doctors' orders you find to be applicable at any given moment as long as it suits the excuse you need, that your concern and care for your "sewn up carotid artery" did not exclude your continued cigarette smoking, but the reason you didn't throw away a dead plant is because of a doctors restriction? What a crock. That plant was dead and shedding leaves long before you went into the hospital for surgery. You merely ignored the mess it was creating. You managed your personal environment (your bedroom) the same way you manage your health and well being, with little regard for any impact on others. When you were in the hospital last March, I was in your room when your doctor asked you point blank if you smoked. You lied and said no. Dr. Kendrick said, "Good, because if you said you did, I would tell you to stop now." You not only lied to your doctor, but you lied to us until Tom saw you smoking just two weeks out of the hospital after that first medical emergency. Your response to Tom's discovery: You tried to hide the cigarette and said, "You caught me." And, again, you lied to the surgeon and nurses about your smoking in the aftermath of your second medical emergency which required the appendectomy. When Tom arrived at the hospital to pick you up, he spoke at length with the nurse about your requirement for oxygen. Tom asked the nurse if you had told the doctors or nurses that you smoked and the nurse replied, "No, she didn't mention that." Then on a third occasion, within a couple of hours of being released from the hospital after major vascular surgery and a "sewn up carotid artery," you once again decided to ignore your doctor's orders and have a cigarette. And, your antagonistic-mind-your-own-fucking-business response to Tom when he went outside to check on you, "You just had to spy on me." Are you beginning to see a pattern here?

  • So, you were planning on moving out on August 3rd? That's news to me. I knew you were looking for an apartment, but you never mentioned a date. And you resented any inquiries as to when you might move (remember when you told Tom that you didn't like people in your business?). In addition, we had no way of knowing of your plans to move to San Diego. I only guessed you had already gone to San Diego after viewing your cell phone records. Apparently, I guessed right.

  • Now about your internet connection. Let's be perfectly clear, I didn't disconnect your computer connection so that you couldn't check on your items. I had no idea you had ordered anything. How would I know that? You were hold-up in your room sitting at your computer nearly 24/7. I disconnected your internet connection because you used the computer to isolate yourself and avoid any interaction. I also realized that I am an enabler because I was creating an environment that allowed you to do so. I was pissed off and finally had enough of both.

  • If you want to level a veiled threat of "slander and defamation," go for it. You can live in denial all you want, but I'm no longer cleaning up your messes, literally and figuratively. If you want to call me thoughtless... uncaring... cold... even a liar... whatever foul adjectives suit you. Fine. But I've had enough.

So now, here is where I need to acknowledge that, in fact, I am continuing to be an enabler. Tom and I have also been paying for Karen's cell phone for over two years, which, of course, she has absolutely no problem using even though we treat her with "disdain." The cost for the phone isn't a large amount. That's how I've justify my own enabling saying it's not a big financial deal and we're just helping her out.

A couple of weeks ago, someone said to me, "When charity turns into enabling, you know the person is toxic."

Now, I have to ask myself, What is the difference between helping and enabling? My answer is this: Helping is doing something for someone that they are not capable of doing themselves. Enabling is doing something for someone that they could, and should be doing themselves. Simply, my enabling creates a atmosphere in which Karen can comfortably continue with what I consider unacceptable behavior.

So, I have called our cell phone carrier and I've arranged for the cell phone number that Karen uses to be automatically suspended as of August 1st, one week from today. I have changed the settings for her email address to designate it as "junk mail" and upon receipt of any further communication, the email will automatically be deleted. I'll never see it. She has my phone number. Once she has determined how she is going to retrieve her very valuable packages, Karen can leave a message and I will put the packages on the front porch for pick-up.

As I said at the outset, this is it. This chapter is over for me. I am 65 years old; too old and too tired to continue to allow myself to be drawn into the dysfunctional, petty behaviors and never-ending dramas that began in our childhood and continue to this day. Make no mistake, I am calmly and firmly closing the door and moving forward. And I won't look back.


whatsupwiththat said...

I am also a gemini, semi retired educator named Terri What really struck me though is I have my own verasion of Karen. I have not been in contact with my sister for over a year. I applaud your ability to write honestly about your relationship with her, perhaps when my neice no longer lives at home I will be able to do the same. I have found individual and family therapy (with the rest of my family, not her) to be very helpful and even my mother has stopped enabling my sister. She has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and also as bipolar and she definitely has addicitive tendencies. If you aren't familiar with borderline pd it is worth looking into. Congrats on your honest writing and best of luck!

Terri said...

Terri - That is a huge coincidence...almost a little spooky. Thank you for taking the time to comment and for your kind words. Best of luck to you and your family.