2 min read

A "no-win" situation for my birthday. Lucky me.

So I didn't think that my little declaration of finally talking about things would go unnoticed.

I didn't know was that I would be presented with a lovely, shiny, perfectly beautiful "no-win" situation for my birthday.

I would give you every single gory detail (which is my way) but it involves someone who can't defend herself. I'm not about to splatter her life across the internet like a ripe tomato against a wall.

I will however tell you the basics:

  1. I was given a lot of details about how the email writer had martyred herself to create the exact specific outcome that she wanted.

  2. I was told that I might participate as long as I stayed with in the tight parameters outlined in the email.

While I believe in the paramitas, I'm not the hugest fan of tight parameters in which I am to dance like a puppet on a string.

I try.

I do.

This particular person has asked me to jump through so many hoops over the years that I feel like a freakin' show dog. Every time I make it over, the bar goes up a little bit higher.

Because the rules change on a whim, there's always some way that I don't color within the lines. (Even getting it right is a way of getting it wrong.)

I've spent a literal fortune trying to draw correctly in this person's coloring. I've spent a metaphorical shit-ton of energy, kindness, effort, support, and pretzeling.

I don't ever get it right because there's no way to get it right. It's all just a game to make sure that I know my place.

Which means, this year, for my birthday, I not only got a reminder of my place, but of her superior position to me.

Prior to my birth, she was the punching bag to my angry, frustrated father. Upon my birth -- you know, when everything went to shit -- I took her role. From the time I was about six months old, I served vehicle in which our father vented his rage.

Why did this happen?

Because everything that went wrong in the family was my fault. No one was more clear on this than this particular accomplice. She was sure that any mistake was blamed on me. She even went so far as to do things that were against the rules so that our father would beat me up.

As long as she wasn't "getting in trouble," she didn't really care what happened to anyone else.

I did.

I didn't think my younger sister or the sister just older than I could handle our father's rage and abuse. When things went south, I usually stepped up to divert him.

And this sister was always pointing the finger in my direction.

As adults this primitive behavior has transformed into the "no-win" situation.

The only way to win at a no-win situation is not to play.

So I'm not playing. I'm tired of playing Sisyphus to the ever growing boulder of her externalized self-loathing.

I have other things to do.

You'll be relieved to know that I thanked her for the birthday present. After all, life is short. It's likely that we will have few more birthdays to wish each other happiness or "no-win" situations.

One thing I was grateful for was that she sent the same email to my younger sister.

Usually, she passes along these turds as if they came from me. My eldest sister usually manipulates situations like this to make it look like I'm the genesis of the "no-win" situation.

Of course, I offered to sit down and try to work this out -- but we all know how she feels about that.

Just. Not. Going. To. Happen.

And so it is.