Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Guilt and Family - Escape vs. Martyrdom, Part 1

Recently, we've had a bit of family drama. We being my siblings and I. Most of it sprung from poor communication, misinterpretation of sarcasm, poor timing, general cluelessness, and not a small dose of preconceptions and fear.

Without going into detail... hmmm. Harder than I thought. Let's stick with the basics. I hope it's not too vague (or too specific!). This weekend my brother Rob called K2 (the 21 yr old) with "news" about K3 (the 18 yr old). K2 then called me (K1), very upset, not sure what to do about the "info" imparted by dear Bubby Rubby. I advised her to talk to K3 before taking any action. I also got a voicemail from Rob.

When he and I finally connected, he told me rather alarming things about K3. As usual, he spoke with complete confidence and conviction. He explained what he was thinking about doing in response to K3 alleged actions. Then he asked what I thought he should do. I didn't really have any solid advice, so I said that I would contact K3 and let her know about Robby's intentions.

WHY the boy did not just confront K3 with his suspicions in the first place is totally beyond me. I talked to her, she confirmed that she did make a few comments that could have been misinterpreted, but only because Rob came at her when she had friends over and was on her way out the door. She felt harrassed, so she laid out the sarcasm, not thinking that Rob would take her seriously. Oops.

Anyway. I asked her not to shoot me as the messenger. Agreed that Rob's issues weren't really her problem, but that if she didn't talk to him, he might make them her problem.

But you know what the worst part was?

I don't know my baby sister well enough to be able to speak on her behalf - to say to my brother that K3 is not like X - that she wouldn't have done what you think she's done...

I mean, I left home when she was not quite 8 years old and I never really went back. That's 11 years. Is it any wonder that we don't really know each other?

And so I have a wish list of regrets in regard to K3. I wish I had spent more time with her on my breaks from college. I wish I had showed more interest in her life. I wish I could be more patient with her as she makes "mistakes" in her life. Etc.

At the same token, I can't undo the past. And I've come to accept that I was too unhappy and bewildered in college to have been very good company to her - that I never forgot to contact her on her birthday or other special occasion - that patience it not a trait my family has much of...

(to be continued...)

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