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The Rancho Commons
Note to self: no whining, no slacking
Hey, I have a permanent account...
maybe I should, you know, post in it.

I just spent the last two nights busting my whatevers keeping someone alive whose death is imminent.  Yes, there is some satisfaction in knowing that my efforts kept him from dying on my shift, but mostly I just feel spent, and for no good reason.  It's one of the frustrations, you've heard it before, yada fast forward through the drudgery till I get to the tired sign off. 

Except sometimes, when I'm really tired, I post some real tight stuff.  My inhibitions are broken down, my attitude is a little sharper around the edges, I'm just flat out pissy even, sometimes.  It's almost like I want someone to come give me some crap, to hurt me and anger me and and kick me when I'm down, give me a reason for feeling this bad.  But after a while here, I'll go sleep it off like a drunkard winding down off a bad week.  When I wake up, I'll just be Bruce/dad/husband again.

This is such a post.

Recently my sister e-mailed me, out of the blue, with a fairly trivial question about someone we used to know a long time ago.  Understand, I haven't heard from her in months.  We are... estranged, for lack of a better or more accurate term.  I'll leave this post hanging here because I doubt she'll ever see it.  Her LJ is all but dead and I doubt seriously if she comes to read mine anymore.  I do have her to thank for getting me started here, and I'm so glad she did.  Truth be told, I leave this here also out of honesty, because she should probably know these things as well.  I'm also sometimes blunt like that, but you know this already.

So, she writes.  I'll be the first to tell you that she has said a lot of really positive, complimentary things about me in her journal over the years.  I know because I recently went back and re-read them.  I would point you there, but her entries are nearly all friends only and you couldn't see them anyway.  Long story short, this is really about the death knell of a relationship and when and where it occurred.

When she decided that she was a lesbian after meeting a woman on the Internet, and decided to leave North Carolina, all of her family, and the only life she'd ever known to go live with her, I was supportive.  At first, anyway.  Until she started rushing things, and refusing to plan well, and refusing to listen to anyone else, and refusing to take advice, and abandoning all reason.  So, I told her that I thought she was making some mistakes, to slow down and think things through, to be sure this was all as good of an idea as her heart was telling her.  (All along she was telling me that she was listening to her heart, and I was telling her not to listen only to her heart, but also to use her head.)

Suddenly, I was no longer the supportive, wonderful big brother, but some sort of traitor, or betrayer for having spoken the truth in love.  I swear to you now that I've never been subjected to the irrationality and... accusatory hostility?  that I got during that time.  We've had very few words since.  The woman?  Not with her anymore.  My sister's been almost totally out of her family's life for YEARS now, and none of us could do anything about it.  Know what?  It's too late, for me.  My oldest son has grown to nearly my own height and his voice has changed.  She missed it all.  My youngest son is not too far from being as old as my oldest was when she left.  She'd barely recognize him, he's changed so much.  She left us all.  It was as traumatic as a death.

So yeah, I have had a hard time dealing with it.  I've put it out of my mind, and sat on it, and ignored it, and chewed on it, and fumed over it, and fought it out in my own head, and yelled and cried and reminisced and memorialized and gritted my teeth and hurt and waited.  I've done everything I needed to do except get past it, and I realize I may never be able to do that.  I can't forget I have a sister.  But I can't include her in my life either.  It isn't like she died, it's like limbo.  It's the waiting room just outside hell, at the end of the hall where family members wait a multitude of eternities for me or some other nurse to come give them just a few encouraging words.  "...send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame." *  But we all know there's no ice water in hell. 

Finally, despite all of the "good" things she said, I'll tell you where I keep getting stuck whenever I think about her, or when my mom talks about talking with her.  I keep going back to the moment I read a post in her journal which is still there and is now tagged with my nickname, Bubby, which she's called me nearly all of her life.  This is no less than the cleaving of our paths, I realize.  This is the stake in my heart that keeps me from returning to the place I cherished sharing with her before.  It's, of course, friends only, but I reproduce it here, for my own sake, if not for your clarity:

Phrases from a Song

...my indecision to call you
and hear your voice of treason...

...Don't waste your time on me
you're already the voice inside my head...

~Blink 182

Current Mood: contemplative contemplative

I'll always remember... this and before this.

* - (Holy Bible, KJV, Luke 16:24)

Current Mood: contemplative contemplative

10 aspirations -{}- aspire with me
anne_nahm From: anne_nahm Date: July 6th, 2008 04:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm sorry you are in limbo with your sister.
aspiring2live From: aspiring2live Date: July 6th, 2008 09:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's not just limbo. It's like an uncomfortable game of twister in your underwear with strangers. In limbo.

Bruce continues the awkward lighthearted replies in an attempt to defray any true emotion he might have let slip when he was tired and weak.
acey From: acey Date: July 6th, 2008 04:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
I wondered where you'd vanished to, Bruce. I'm sorry about the unraveled relationship with your sis. That often happens when we try to point out things a person doesn't want to admit to or accept, no matter how right they are. Been there, done that myself.

Like mending a piece of shattered china, it's hard to stick it all back together perfectly. Hurts die hard. But sometimes, if you try to reconstruct it, you end up with something else which becomes dear.

And a very belated Happy Birthday to you, kiddo.
aspiring2live From: aspiring2live Date: July 6th, 2008 09:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
In the interest of keeping this post from being 18000 words long, I wasn't very detailed on that period of time before she left. Suffice to say, I wasn't forcing my opinions on her, or being insistent that she listen to me. She wanted ONLY positive reinforcement from me with NO constructive feedback, and I came to a point where I refused to do that.

So... I could have a fragmented, glued up china thing which doesn't really resemble the original piece, but I'll still want to put it on my... mantle? Hmmmmm. I don't know Ang.


Thanks, half way to 90, ugh.
acey From: acey Date: July 6th, 2008 09:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
People are obstinate and stubborn for a multitude of reasons. I know countless people who want only positive reinforcement. It's a life skill, to be able to accept constructive criticism, ya know. :)

It is we who are faced with the choices of saying what they want to hear, being honest, or being silent. We usually make the choice with which we feel most comfortable. And our choices can be misconstrued anyway. Communication is a very tricky thing under many circumstances.

Later we may have the choice of accepting that which we consider second-rate and trying again, or cutting the rope to save ourselves. Either way, we may feel Guilt or Sorrow or even Apathy. And yes, I know you know all this already. ;-)

You have my sympathy and my empathy. In a perfect world, we'd all understand each other and always say/do the right things.

*shrug* I could truly weep over an issue in my own close family. It does not directly involve me. It saddens me to no end. I have chosen not to interfere, as I see one of the consequences will hurt me more permanently. Will I beat myself up later because I stayed out of it? I dunno. I hope not. 'Twas my choice. So it goes.

Eh, 45! Yer still a KID! ;-)
mygyzmom From: mygyzmom Date: July 6th, 2008 08:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
I hurt for you and with you...
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 28th, 2008 08:45 pm (UTC) (Link)

thanks much

omg.. good work, guy
aspiring2live From: aspiring2live Date: September 28th, 2008 09:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, anonymous Oregonian! (IPs are logged from anonymous posters.) You don't have to hide here, though you are welcome to if you find it desireable.
brknconfidents From: brknconfidents Date: February 15th, 2009 12:47 am (UTC) (Link)
I hope this doesn't ruin our new Twitter relationship...as I had hoped, foolishly I suppose, that it was the faint and weak beginning of some sort of rekindling.

I can't say that I've seen every post over the last couple years that my LiveJournal has been merely sitting here, but I've seen enough. When I ventured here...when I stopped long enough to let it all creep in...when I've glanced at a picture, or come across a file on my computer...I've seen enough. You see, the last 4.5 years have been a fast and furious race toward prizes that you could never understand...unless you listen while I tell you. Would you? I know you'll read this, and in this hangs my only hope.

Yes, I was quick to follow my heart. A difficult thing to ignore and one that clouds discernment of what one's head is truly saying. I've tried to explain loneliness before...mine specifically, but I don't know if anyone will ever understand that I spent my high school, and the beginning of my college years in isolation and a loneliness that I could never quell. My only friends were a journal and a pen.

When I started spending time with Ernie, it was finally gone. Then I went away to college, and we met again. Then when I "decided" to be a lesbian...again. Although I must hold that it wasn't a decision. I was far too well-acquaited with myself and much too wanton for company. After a long line of friends who had come and gone, no best friend in site, and feeling like I had a secret to be keep that is too large for any keeper, you bet I jumped at the chance to friendship, to 24/7 relationship...to NOT being alone. Now...it's loneliness and I again although I do have a few friends in sight now. I guess it was meant to be.

In case you were wondering, you still haven't left my pedestal. You've been there much too long, and replacements will always be second-best. I don't say that to flatter you or sting some old wound, but because it is true...one of the best truths of my life.

I do not enter with excuse as that's one of things I've learned from Las Vegas is my life's choices are always in my control and excuses are only meant to justify a wrong choice in an effort to make me feel better. I have made so many mistakes in the last 5-6 years and for the majority of that time, I have been running from the consequences. Pushing the guilt and sheer knowing away because it's so much that it threatens my very survival.

This post holds my worst fear...that it is too late. And while there are two sides to every story, it seems you've heard too much...or enough already. It's a bitter realization that you can't push the Pause button on life, or relationships...even with family. They say that blood is thicker than water, but...when you lack one or the other, the outcome is still the same...death.

Yours is one story of pain...there's Mom, Dad, Alison, the boys...my armory is empty. I am a defeated foe. I can't go on here really, with that, there's nothing more to say. I grew up believing that there was nothing beyond "sorry" or forgiveness, but clearly I was mistaken...there...too. All I can really say that is that YOU are the only one who can decide...just as you've clearly decided here that it's too late for you...if you'll ever have a sister again.

Phrases of a song...that were never words of my own.
brknconfidents From: brknconfidents Date: February 15th, 2009 12:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, and by the way...I wrote you an e-mail today too...it was before my trip here...
10 aspirations -{}- aspire with me