I do actually have an excuse for not updating this time. And even though the summer session has started in my master's program, and I have been busy with homework, that's not really the reason.
I have attempted to write the next part of my story. And that next part involves a lot of anger on my part. Rage, even. Some of my anger was irrational and based on the vulnerable emotional state I was in at that point. However, it involved someone who, a few months later, did something that devastated nearly everyone I care about. I might even describe it as the worst thing that has ever happened in my life. My family is only just starting to pick up the pieces from this event and move forward. And I think my rage at the person responsible (or persons, really, because her husband also played an instrumental role) is fully justified.
However, when I tried to write about it, it quickly devolved into enraged vitriol, and was not fit to be published.
Not so much because I'm worried about offending anyone's sensibilities (as I would guess that anyone who was easily offended would likely not make it past the title of my blog).
I was more concerned that it might be damaging to people I love who are also involved in this situation, if I were to put it all out there that way. That is the last thing I want to do. As much as I would love to lash out and fully vent my rage, I can't do that to my loved ones. Especially the two of them who are children.
(Note to my facebook friends who think I overshare as it is: You should see the thoughts that haven't made it into status updates. I edit far more than you probably think I do.)
Still, if you've gotten this far into my story, I feel like I owe it to you to give some information about what happened next.
So here are the bare bones.
A couple weeks after my 33rd birthday, my sister made an announcement. She was getting married! Oh, yeah, and just an afterthought, she was pregnant!
This was not the first such announcement from her. (Well, the wedding was a new addition.) The first time she did this was when she was a senior in high school. We got over the shock that time, and the result was my niece, who is and always will be the light of my life.
This time the announcement came when my niece had been living with my parents (without any change in legal custody, against my advice) for close to two years, because my sister had been, to put it bluntly, neglectful, and had never gotten her act together enough to rectify the situation.
Needless to say, given how much I wanted a baby and how crappy of a parent I thought my sister was at that point, "overjoyed" was not exactly the reaction I had.
Still, I tried to put on a happy face. I was deeply concerned about how this would impact my niece, but I tried to be supportive. In retrospect (sorry, but I'm going to be cryptic about this and not explain my reasoning fully), I do not think this was the reaction my sister was expecting from me. I think she was banking on the idea that I would react angrily. I think she wanted to alienate me.
A couple months later, she found out that she was having another girl, and her middle name was going to be Lucille. (She had announced a first name before finding out the sex.)
Remember how I talked about wanting to name a little girl Lucy? Yeah, my sister and her husband knew about that.
I have reasons for believing this was a deliberate effort to provoke me. I can't prove it, but that doesn't stop me from believing it. Because, you see, I was a social worker, and I had been pretty vocal about my opinions on my sister's parenting (or lack thereof) of the child she already had. Pushing me away would be beneficial to my sister's agenda. Even better if she could make it look like she was being reasonable, and I was being irrational.
Just her luck, then, that I was in an extremely vulnerable emotional state, with a dose of 'roid rage thrown in, because it worked.
I can't say I'm proud of how I reacted, but I'm also not going to beat myself up over it. I'm not a saint, and I had been pushed to my emotional limit, and I was on medication that had a significant effect on my mood and behavior. And that's all I'm really going to say about it.
She ended up changing the middle name, for reasons that had nothing to do with me, but the damage had been done by that time. That was pretty much the end of my relationship with my sister. We made small steps to repair things after my second niece was born last October, but that was before the weekend in December that she and her husband (a guy who is a complete nutjob, and he is the sole reason that I block all calls and texts from unknown numbers on my cell phone) took my older niece for an overnight visit, and then the next day sent a text to my parents saying that they were not in control anymore because she was taking HER children and moving out of the area, and they would not be in contact until they thought my family could respect them. And then for six months she did not allow anyone in my family to have any contact with my older niece (who not only lived with my parents for the two years leading up to this, but also lived with them from birth until she was two years old, and had previously been in contact with her uncle and me almost daily). A long legal case followed, but I will save my rage towards the family court system for another time.
I think it's safe to say at this point that any chance of repairing any relationship between the two of us is shot.
Like I said, things are getting a little better now, and my family has had two visits with my older niece in the past month, and this has lessened my rage a little bit, but a lot of irreparable damage has been done.
That is, believe it or not, the short version. And I'm going to end it here. I think it's possible that my next post will be the conclusion.
Until next time.