Saturday, January 25, 2014

That Perfect Girl Is Gone

Thanks to an incredible internet link, the kids and I have been watching (and re-watching) Frozen.  If you haven't seen it, I'll try not to spoil it for you.  I love this movie.  It speaks to me.  The music is wonderful and I cannot get it out of my head.  It's a flipping cartoon, but I think about it all the time.  I wonder what I'm missing.  Every time we watch it, I notice something new.  And AMAZING.

My children love it too.  The boys are mad for Anna and Elsa and spend much of the day pretending to be them.  At any given time, you can hear Jo singing, "do you wanna build a snowman?" or see Jake, blanket thrown over his shoulders, waltzing through the living room, shouting, "I am free!"

Elsa and Anna - Aren't they lovely?

You guys, I'm developing an emotional attachment to this movie.  Anna and Elsa are sisters.  If you've been following my blog, you know I have sister issues.  Elsa is the older sister and heir to the throne.  (Did I mention they're princesses?  Of course they're's Disney!)  Anna is the younger sister and is a bit naive about the world and how dangerous her sister is.  Elsa has been cursed with the ability to make snow/ice/wintry weather.  Anna is normal and just wants to play with her sister, but Elsa is too dangerous to play and stays locked in her room. Although they did not spend much time with each other, there is a deep love between them.  The movie highlights the importance of the sister relationship.

Remember when the princess always needed a prince to save her?  I've always thought that was stupid.  Disney has caught on too and corrected it.  Both Brave and Frozen have female heroes.  They save themselves. I love the message this sends to my daughter.  I've yet to watch Frozen without crying.  Buckets.  Damn you, Disney, for making me feel things.

My sibling relationship much different.  For most of it, my sister and I shared a bedroom.  There was a clear division between sides of the room.  My side was neat and orderly.  Her side was a sty. I insisted on being furthest from the door.  I have no idea why.  I always had to wade through her crap to get out of the room.  Perhaps, I thought her mess would flow through to my side of the room if I was closer to the door.  Who knows?

My sister and I had daily access to each other.  While we are not twins, we were in the same grade, often had the same classes and made the same friends.  It wasn't until our junior year, when she went to the vocational school and I stayed at the high school, that we had any real time away from one another.  I wish I could say her absence bothered me, but it didn't.  I was glad she was at another school.  We weren't friends and basically survived by tolerating each other. She was the perfect child.  I was difficult, running wild, longing to be free. I no longer run and that perfect girl is long gone.  Perhaps she was never real to begin with.

We haven't lived together since 1995.  I moved in with my dad that year, after a failed runaway attempt.  It saved me.  I'm close to my dad.  He's been a support source for me throughout my life and a really good man.  He's not my sister's biological father, but he raised her, and continued to do so long after my parents divorced.  He's a grandfather to her child.  He loves my sister just as he loves me, even though she has used and abused him.  He could be free of her, but he chooses to allow her in his life because he loves her.

My mother often says that my problems with my sister are my fault.  She thinks that I'm jealous of her relationship with my dad.  That couldn't be more wrong.  Dad and I have a great relationship.  We've spent a lot of time and energy fostering a friendship.  I harbor no resentment or jealousy of my father's love for my sister, nor do I feel threatened by their relationship.  In fact, I think it's wonderful.  He's a man that was willing to raise another man's child.  He loves her with his whole heart, despite that she's stolen from him, lied to him, and greatly disappointed him. If anything, it makes me treasure him even more.

Unlike Brave, Frozen doesn't reveal much about the princesses relationship with their parents.  The story remains focused on the sisters, their separation, and their journey back to one another.  And that sits heavy on my soul.

I feel guilty for not having a healthy relationship with my sister.  I think we liked each other when we were really little.  I remember always having someone to play games and ride bikes with.  We were once protective of each other.  If one of us was about to get in trouble, we'd hide the paddles...she'd hide the belt (Mom's choice for disciplining me) and I'd hide the wooden spoon (Mom's choice for disciplining her.)  I have a clear memory of tackling a girl who called my sister "fat" and bullied her, daily, on the walk home from school.  She took care of the neighborhood brat that always tried to wreck me when I rode my bike.

I'm not sure when that changed.  Somewhere between elementary school and high school, we stopped protecting each other.  By junior high, even I called her "fat."  She became self absorbed, obsessed with her hair and makeup, and put me down for have simpler tastes.  She called me, "butch" and often made lesbian references/jokes.  We were cruel to one another.

In high school, she was deeply unhappy.  She did not socialize like other kids.  She stayed home, watched TV, read books and ate. She was well over 300 pounds by our graduation.  Then we went away to college.  I went to Muskingum and rarely came home.  She went to Hocking, but didn't go to class or do her assignments, and failed out.  Having no where else to go, she moved into my old room at Dad's house.

While at Dad's, she brought him into the 1990's by convincing him to get cable and internet service.  We used to play online chess with each other through Yahoo Games and chat with Messenger. I loved that!  We became more friendly.  When I got married, she was my maid of honor.  Once, she even sent me $12, all in one dollar bills, with a note that said "Here's a little mad money. I'm sure you can use it."   I used it to fill my gas tank (yes, $12 bought a lot of gas in 1999!) and drove to New Lex to visit her.  We were able to support each other while our mother battled leukemia from 1999 until 2001.

After she had bariatric surgery, I thought we would become friends.  She was more outgoing and willing to do things.  I wasn't prepared for how shallow she became.  Vanity sank deep in her bones and it's still there.  Even now, after heroin and pills have stolen her teeth and caused her to look a decade older, she's incredibly vain.  She's a storm: wrecks everything in her path and moves on to the next victim, careless about the mess she's left behind.

And despite this, despite the pain she's caused, I love her.  There are still days that I just can't believe that my sister, my sister, is a heroin addict.  She's in a rehab facility in Columbus.  It's been relatively easy to block her from my mind.  Until I watched Frozen.  Seeing the love those sisters have for each other makes me so sad.  We should have that.  We should be friends.  But you can't be friends with a heroin addict.  And you can't be friends when you have an anger buried deep inside that you just can't seem to get out.

I'm angry that she's wrecked her life.  I'm angry that she joined her husband in using drugs instead of getting him the help he needed.  I'm angry that she's been giving her daughter away since the day she was born.  I'm angry that she stole my identity and wrecked my credit.  I'm angry that she did the same to my dad, probably my mom, and so many others.  I'm angry that she's in rehab.  I'm angry that people continue to enable her.  I'm angry with her.  I resolved to find a way to forgive her, but I'm struggling with that.

I just can't seem to let it go.

No comments:

Post a Comment