Sister, Sister

Hi, Brain Dumpers,

I feel like my greeting takes the gravity out of what I’m about to say. I ate too many calories today. Technically, today is one of my days off on my diet. I’m allowed to eat however many calories I want today. But I feel like shit because I ate too much, even considering the permission I’m giving myself. Also, my fucking sister doesn’t answer my calls or text me back. I hate to say it, but she’s been a little B for as long as I’ve known her. Never taking time to consider other people, always shoving her opinions down people’s throat, always showing up late, never texting or calling back, always telling people what to think, feel, do, dress like. . . I think I’ve come to the point where I’m just giving up on the idea that we’re going to ever click and have a good relationship. I never thought this day would come. It’s been a long road. Sometimes we would make progress, but we would lose it. Like, when we were living together, we’d communicate about things like keeping the noise level down at night so I could be rested for work, or about keeping the common areas clean, or not playing the fucking drums past goddam 8pm. We would talk about why we needed to set up these rules, and then she would agree.  I thought that in good faith, she would keep them and that these understandings would grow into a mature, respectful relationship. It would go well for a few days, but then she would revert back to old behavior, and ruin my trust. I would point it out and then she would lash out. And then we’d try again. She’d break my trust again. And then I would bring it up to her as gently as possible, and then she would get mad that I’m being too unfamiliar or “uncool” in the way I was addressing her. She would say “You could say like yo, yo, yo . . . . [whatever the issue is]”. I think I was right to approach her as gently politely as possible, knowing she is very moody and erratic. All hope is gone. Sad to say it. I’m only unhappy when I’m with her. It seems like her only job is to tell me what to do or how to feel or how to approach things. Have you ever been pressured to live a certain way or do a certain thing by a person with no credibility? It’s hard to turn them down tactfully, especially when they are hypersensitive to reciprocal examination. My sister hasn’t had a real adult job in her life. That would be a very cool thing to be able to say, but only if you’re making enough money to not be a burden on people around you. This isn’t to say that I’m perfect either, I’m about to be 30 years old and I’m still living at our parents’ house while I get my master’s degree. I’ve had a real 9-5 job though. I’ve had several before deciding to switch careers. But my point is, even people who have the credibility and life experience to give to advice don’t spend most of their conversations with people trying to get them to feel a certain way or to do something. That’s what it’s like with her and she has no credibility with me. No trust either. I’m not going to try to change her either, although I would like to see a change. I would like to see her become more organized, become less image-obsessed, more tactful in the way she approaches close relationships (it would be good if she treated our family members with the same courtesy that she treats her friends), less concerned with APPEARING progressive and forward-thinking and more concerned with actually fucking getting her hands dirty and helping out the causes she’s always talking about. I would like to her act less entitled to my parents’ goddamn money.

Anyways,

Thank you so much,

Marcus

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Antilogue

Dear Brain Dumpers,

I’m distracted right now because I’m thinking about how much my sister sucks. I shared a video of my recent drum performance and she said that I was rushing. I know my drumming needed work but rushing was not the problem. I told her that. If anything, the rest of the musicians were lagging because they use me as a reference for timing. Anyway, we both knew that I could’ve played better but we didn’t agree on what was wrong. She offered her opinion and I disagreed with her. When I disagreed with her she became very defensive and said, “OKAY, I’m just giving you my opinion,” as if I was attacking her by not agreeing with her. We had a very calm tone in the conversation before that statement and she escalated it into an argumentative tone when she said it. I didn’t respond, but I was reminded that she is very forceful with her opinions and can’t handle disagreement calmly. I just shrunk for the rest of the night and we devolved into our homeostasis of insulation from one another. I don’t know how to resolve this issue we have. My mom has the same issue with her, i.e., she doesn’t know how to deal with her opinion-forcing. My mom has resorted to limiting her time with my sister. I think I will do the same thing.

I already use her as an antilogue to teach myself how not to be.

Marcus