An Email I Didn’t Send to The Squid

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The Squid has been making overtures through our brother that she wants to see Mom. I’ve been agonizing about it. On one hand, it’s wrong to keep Mom from her daughter. On the other hand, that daughter has caused Mom so much anguish for 45 years. And she’s broken her last straw with me. I doubt the sincerity of The Squid’s desire to see Mom. Word is she’s broken up with her boyfriend. Her best friend doesn’t live here anymore. And at least one of her children wants little to do with her. Any time she’s between men or best friends, all of a sudden Mom and me become important. As soon as she hooks a man, we won’t matter anymore. It’s a cycle I’ve seen more times than I can count.

So, I’m relenting for Mom’s sake. No matter how badly The Squid treats her, she’s still her daughter, and she still loves her. I started out with this email, but decided not to send it. I finally just sent a short invitation to dinner. I hope I don’t regret this.

When Dad fell out of his wheelchair, hit his head, and had to be airlifted to Tampa, I drove up there to be with Mom. She met me at the elevator and said, “Come on.” heading toward his room. I stood stock still because the thought of going into his room was akin to being dropped into a snake pit. I was there for Mom, not Dad. That’s how I feel writing this email. But I am doing it for Mom, not you. And certainly not for me. I went into Dad’s room with Mom because it was what she had needed at the time.

I find your eagerness to see Mom suspect. And before you go off on a rant about how your relationship with Mom is different than mine, and blah blah blah…save it. I’ve heard it before. I have the emails. And I’ve witnessed it first hand for 40 years. There’s nothing wrong with my memory.

But Mom still loves you in a way only a mother can, no matter how her child treats her. She asks about you and wants to see you. My wish to no longer have any relationship with you should not impact Mom.

So let’s start out with you coming here for dinner Thursday nights, and you and her going out to lunch on Sundays. If you can respect and maintain my boundaries, we may be able to go further.

My boundaries are as such:

I’m not 16 anymore. You can’t back me into a corner with a pair of scissors and cut my bangs because you think they are too long. I’m 50 years old, I’ve lived all over the country, went to Italy by myself, and do not need or want you to tell me how to live my life. I don’t need or want you to diagnose me, butt into my business, personal or professional, offer opinions I didn’t ask for, offer help without asking me what help I need, or tell me how to take care of Mom. If she had wanted you to take care of her, you would be. She was afraid you’d drop her at the mall and drive off. Remember, there is nothing wrong with my memory. She really told me that once. And yes, you really did forceably cut my bangs. Sure it was 34 years ago, but behavior like that by you has never ceased, and I’m done with it. That’s why I blocked you recently.

Never again try to tell me that you took care of me since I was a kid. All you ever did was run away. With one exception (when I was considering anti-depressants) every time I have turned to you when I was in distress or crisis, or just needing a big sister, you told me you had your own problems. I have that in your own hand writing.

Let’s stop pretending we have anything in common. We don’t. Let’s stop pretending we’ve ever really been sisterly. We haven’t. If you were not my sister, but a neighbor or co-worker, we would not be friends. I would deal with you only when I had to, like now.


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