Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I've been feeling off the past couple of days. Not like me. Glum. Ever feel like that? Like you know that you are not the version of you that you are accustomed to being, and not really being able to find your way out of that?

I'm pretty sure that this will dissipate in the next couple of weeks. See, we're slouching toward the anniversary of the start of the hardest year of my life, and the post-traumatic stress, it is rearing itself. Ugh. I shouldn't use terminology coined during Viet Nam to explain my flashbacks to this time last year, because it's not like I saw anyone's face get blown off in a rice paddy.

It was just about a year ago that Big Sister called to say that our mother was not well. The whole story is here. I don't know if I'll be feeling this... messy for the next six months, 'til we hit the anniversary of her death. I think it more likely that it will pass soon, and that maybe it's just that this particular couple of weeks is triggering it. The wild contrast of the benign sameness of this time of year -- big deadlines at work, visit to Cleveland for the 4th, birthday party planning of the Boy -- with the awful gaping absence of my mother is hurting my head.

It could also be that I'm feeling guilty that I don't have much of myself to give to anyone besides my husband and little ones. I bring this up because my other sister -- Special Sister -- needs some nurturing right now. I call her Special Sister because she is mentally challenged. Basically, she is an eight-year-old in an adult body. She's very sweet, incredibly thoughtful, somewhat devious, doesn't like chores, and needs attention. So, yeah, an eight-year-old.

I see Special Sister at least once a week, chat with her, try to give her a chance to open up a little. So, I do keep tabs on her, but it's not like I'm taking her to a social worker to determine what kinds of programs she has access to, I'm not signing her up for personal trainer appointments, I'm not getting her involved in classes. That'd be almost a full time job in and of itself.

Anyway, my parents have a wonderfully lovely next-door-neighbor who spends loads of time with Special Sister, taking her to church events, shopping, and things like that. This neighbor will send me and Big Sister e-mails every once in awhile when she is concerned for Special Sister. And I just... I can't right now. I'm not feeling up to it, which then makes me feel like I'm failing her. Clearly, I am a masochist.

You might wonder where my Dad is in this? Well, first, he's eighty. So, I kind of give him a pass, because, Christ, he's EIGHTY. Second, frankly, he's not really built for this kind of thing. He's not gruff, and is certainly affectionate. But oh my God, is he laissez-faire. And Special Sister needs structure, and lots of it. I already feel responsible for her, so to get an e-mail from the neighbor makes me think that other people feel like I am responsible for her too, which adds a layer of guilt to all of this.

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