I have a confession to make.
My sisters aren't speaking to me.
My oldest sister says that I am too "scary". My next older sister is in a mental institution. My little sister tells me I am "selfish" because I refuse to maul through a dying relatives valuables like a vulture.
I've invited them both to go to therapy. I've begged. I've pleaded. I've offered to pay. I've offered to find someone, pay the plane ticket and go.
"Let's work this out. Name the time and place and I will go. I will pay. I will participate." I've beseeched over and over again.
"I don't want to do that with... YOU." They repeat these exact words.
This is my greatest shame, my greatest pain.
My father is dead. My mother is insane and my siblings won't speak to me. And my middle child heart is broken.
As I move forward in my life without my siblings, my mind tries to make sense of the loss. Recently, I remembered this event when I was about five years old.I was sitting reading a book when my oldest sister told me that my father was coming home. She told me that it was the last Friday of the month. She reminded me that our father had gifts for us last month, but forgot to give them to us. She asked me if I would ask our father if he brought us a gift.
"Dad likes you," she said. "He won't be angry."
My oldest sister gets my other two sisters to join us and we line up at the door in expectation of our little $1, end of the month present.
Exhausted from the week and the 2 hour drive home, my father opened to door to our bright faces. In that moment, I'm certain he remembers that he's forgotten the little gifts. (But I always make up stuff like that.)
I step forward and ask if he brought us our gifts. Shame shifted my father's exhaustion to rage.
He beat me. Nothing new. Nothing different. Just another beating.
When it was over, my oldest sister told me that she was angry with me.
"If you never asked him, he wouldn't have been angry," she said. "You've ruined our chance at ever getting another gift."
Because of what I "did", my sisters didn't speak to me for a week.
I'm beginning to wonder if not talking to my sisters is kind of a good thing. What do you think?