At the risk of sounding completely crazy... I see dead people. I know there's some sort of psycho-babble term for it; "ghosting" or something of that sort. So if it has a term then perhaps I'm not completely crazy. Right?
My most confused and contorted feelings of recent years are in regards to losing my sister and my mother. I like saying that I lost them; like we were all at a shopping mall and we got separated within the clothes racks at Macy's. But we didn't. I actually didn't lose them at all. They left.
It's been nearly four years since my baby sister ended her torment on her own terms. She always refused to confront the truth about our childhood, our home, and our family. Instead I was the crazy one; the angry sister; the disgruntled daughter. She and my mother routinely joined forces in an attempt to cover my truth and twist them into lies. It hurt. Hurt like it did as a child when I was told that even if I did tell, no one would believe me. In the end it was lies that killed my sister. My mother too.
My sister shot herself in the head. I have since learned that that act is uncommon for a female to carry out. I think it shows the enormity of her pain. She lingered in this world for a few days. Long enough for me to sit by her side and listen to my mother spew that she wished it had been me in that bed. Long enough for my father to make passes at me; at the fucking hospital of all places where my sister, his daughter, was approaching death. Sarcasm: my family reeks of appropriateness.
My mother exited this world a few days later. Overdose. The hateful part of me wonders all too clearly if she just couldn't stand to be upstaged by my sister. I went from a painful existence within a family to nothing. I was alone with my daughter and I couldn't get away from my father fast enough. As ugly as it sounds, for the first time in my life, I felt like I had a real chance for a life.
I went to work the days after both their deaths. I didn't know what else to do. I couldn't wrap my mind around who to grieve for first. Do I do it in death order? By age? By who I loved the most? I've been told that those feelings are referred to as complex grief. "Complex" is a polite word for you have a fucked up family and now they are dead.
What they did is called a suicide cluster. I can't lie and say that I wasn't tempted to join their exclusive little group. I saw that their problems went away. But in reality their problems might have disappeared but a whole new set of problems were pushed onto me. Ultimately, I knew that I couldn't pile my own problems upon my sweet daughter.
For nearly a week I have been seeing my sister. Not as I would like to remember her either. She stands there, holding a piece of her skull, brains, and blood in her hands. She is asking me to fix her head. I can barely stand to look at her and the ugly part of me wants to tell her to fuck off. Nice, I know. But she did it to herself and I am so very tired of cleaning up messes that only hurt me more in the end. I told her the other night in therapy to go away because I couldn't help her. My therapist said that I did good a good job. She left but I am still struggling with my response to her.
I always took care of her. I brought my father upon myself to keep him away from her. When she was very young, I would get her out of her own toddler bed and put her into bed with me. I wasn't more than 6 years old but in my child's mind I believed that we would be safe together. We were until he came in and moved her over to get to me. But when he was done, at least I knew that she was with me and he would not be walking into her room next.
I need to stop here because in many ways, I still feel that in her death the ultimate statement was made that I failed to protect her; failed to keep her safe. I'll pick this up later when I can string my words together in a sequence that makes sense because right now, everything is getting very jumbled up...
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