It's painful for me to even think about cutting ties, but after what has gone down over the past few days (and past few years, truth be told), I need to at the very least step back and not have contact for a while.
Anyone who is facebook friends with me may have seen the shitstorm that went down Sunday night/Monday. It started very innocently. We went to the local Christmas parade and at the beginning of it they shot off fireworks. Andrew is TERRIFIED of fireworks and kind of freaked out, screaming "No!", clinging to me, shaking in my arms and begging me to take him inside. I'd forgotten that they shoot the fireworks off at this parade and felt really bad since he freaked out on the 4th of July about them. I held him the whole time they were going off and kept reassuring him that it was ok, they were just lights that make noise and they wouldn't hurt him.
Right after this I posted a status on facebook stating that we were at the Mt Pleasant Christmas parade and I had forgotten about the fireworks. Andrew is terrified :(
My oldest sister and another friend commented saying how their kids also don't like loud noises like that and they commiserated. I commented something to the effect of it being a little heartbreaking to see him so upset. My other sister then posted the following:
I was taken aback. Was she really questioning me on how I felt about seeing my child upset? I asked what she meant and she came back with this huge diatribe about how she had spent 24 of the last 36 hours dealing with a child who might have leukemia and another that was possibly being abused (she's a pediatrician) and how events like that are heartbreaking and if I really couldn't handle seeing my child a little upset then there is something wrong with me.
I explained that I wasn't saying that my life was devastated because Andrew was freaking out, but that it made me sad to see him so upset and not be able to do anything about it. She went on with another diatribe that I wish I could quote, but I've since deleted the status because I was embarrassed for anyone else to see how my family was ganging up on me. Eventually I made the statement to her that I hoped she had a better bedside manner with her patients parents. My mom reprimanded me for that. Later my dad jumped in saying something like I need to learn to handle life's trials and tribulations and that this should be handled in private and not on facebook.
Again - um, what?
Where was anyone telling my sister to cool her jets and stop attacking me? I had plenty of friends who leaped to my defense and stated that heartbreaking was absolutely the correct term to use and that they understood what I meant.
That afternoon she changed her profile picture on facebook to the Grinch with this explanation:
"The presence of my heart has recently come into question, so I thought the profile pic would be appropriate for a while. "
Before leaving work (and before seeing my dad's comment and deleting everything) I sent her an email saying that for the record I never said she didn't have a heart. However, I do think that her two word response was unnecessarily rude and her further explanation was condescending and belittling of my feelings. Also that her little profile picture change was passive aggressive and incredibly immature.
That evening several friends contacted me after seeing all this to check and see if I was ok. Once I saw my dad's horrible comment I deleted it all. I was in serious disbelief that my own family was talking to me that way when all I did was make an innocent status update and SHE came to MY page and was attacking ME.
Then came yesterday. At 11:42 an email came through from her. I read it and pretty much had to pick my jaw up off the floor. Some of the highlights were as follows:
"But for the record, I don't think I was entirely in the wrong for what I said. I DO think you over react about things sometimes to get attention, but I usually just roll my eyes and keep scrolling."
- This is rich coming from her, she is pretty much the biggest attention whore I know.
"Now I better understand your stance and behavior based on the responses of your pride of lioness mom friends. They really came to your defense and likely think I am the devil incarnate for not sympathizing appropriately. Oh well. I don't agree with them, but I understand why you are friends with them. You think alike. The friends that I polled on the issue think I am right, but that is why they are my friends. We think alike."
- I would REALLY like to know how she spun it when she presented it to her "friends"
" I understand that late Sunday afternoon wasn't optimal for you, but sometimes you have to suck it up and deal with a little inconvenience for the sake of family. Your me-me-me attitude up until this point had just been annoying, but now it actually affected me personally because I didn't get to spend any time with you and my nephews, and I was pissed. I was very offended that you didn't want to make that effort for me as my trips to SC are few and far between and I won't be down that way again for several months. I'm sure it was my irritation with this situation that carried over and caused me to 'lash out" at you on your facebook post. Not excusing it, just trying to explain myself. Mom and Dad thought your excuse was pretty lame, too, but they won't tell you that. They don't want to ruffle feathers. I've already done that so what do I have to lose? "
- This was in regard to me not driving 4 or so hours round trip with two kids the day before my first day back in the office in 3+ months
"I really don't appreciate you questioning my ability to be a compassionate pediatrician though. I felt that that comment was a bit passive aggressive on your part, but perhaps you felt that I deserved it"
- In regard to my comment on her bedside manner
"You can call off your million mom army. I won't be commenting any further on any posts about your parenting style. I've said what I needed to say and I'll keep any further thoughts or opinions to myself."
- regarding all of my friends who defended me
There's more, but I'll spare you. To say I was stunned is an understatement. I couldn't believe what I was reading. Then I came to find out that she had copied my mom on it and my mom (from what I can tell) did not defend me. I assume because they are also mad at me for not going up Thanksgiving weekend. I knew I would get flack for that. My reasoning was it was the day before my first day at work, I did not find out about it until Friday, my parents weren't even getting back from TN until late that afternoon and to be honest, I didn't want to burn a tank of gas to drive all that way with two kids to spend a few hours with someone who has been barely more than an acquaintance since Andrew was born. If my mom yells at me for not going up I will tell her just that. Clearly my sister doesn't think very much of me as a person so why would I go out of my way to see her?
I replied to her email with two words - "Message received" so she knows that I read it. I will not be engaging in any further discussion, at least at this time. No matter how rational I am or what I say she isn't going to hear it. She is so convinced that she is right about everything. She pulled this same shit back when Andrew was born, lashing out at me via facebook. She didn't get reprimanded that time, either - just me.
So that's what's going on in my life. I hate that my relationship with my sister has degraded so much over the last couple years, but I can't keep feeling bad about that. I just can't deal with her.
As much as it hurts, I think it's time to cut ties with her for a while. Of course she will always be my sister, but right now she is not my friend and I honestly don't really like her as a person at the moment. Maybe with some time and distance that will change. I hope so, but I'm not holding my breath...