Monday, October 30, 2006

Caller ID

This has been happening for a while now:

I call my sister's cell phone, it rings, and then comes the sound of someone picking up, and then I say "Hello" a few times, and even after I say hello, there's no response, and so eventually I hang up. I thought something was wrong with her phone, so when my mom got home from Europe I told her about it, just because it was weird and I thought maybe my sister needed a new phone. Uh, no. Turns out my darling sister has been answering her phone, and then not saying anything until she hears who it is, and then when it's someone she doesn't want to talk to (like me) she hangs up.

For some reason this has beyond pissed me off.

Seriously, WHAT THE FUCK?!

I know she has a disability. And I am sure sometimes she doesn't want to talk to me. But to answer your phone and then hang up after determining it's someone you don't want to talk to is just beyond rudeness. It smacks of not giving a shit. And whether it's her fault or not I can't help feeling that this is what happens when you live a life with no consequences.

I feel like it's such a "screw you" to her family. I really want her to not get away with it. I am sure she'll get in trouble for it, but other than having her phone taken away, what can you really do?

Somehow it's the worst of all worlds. She wants to be independent. Her family wants that for her too. But she ISN'T independent. She doesn't pay her own bills, she doesn't support herself, she doesn't make herself go to meetings, she doesn't show up for job interviews. She just acts however she wants, no matter how bratty or rude, and then thinks that makes her independent. She just says "I don't have to ________ if I don't want to " and she thinks she is making her own decisions.

Sometimes, I don't want to talk to my family when they call me, and I don't answer the phone. But I pay the phone bill. I have a job, and I take care of myself, so I get to make that decision for myself. She doesn't see the disconnect there. Maybe someone needs to explain it to her. But I don't know that she would get it.

My sister has made me realize, over and over again, that sometimes what being independent means is making yourself do the shit that you don't want to do. How do you teach that to someone? I don't know, but we're not doing a very good job of getting that across to her right now, and it shows.

I don't want to force my sister to talk to me, and I don't want to kiss her ass during our phone conversations so she likes me enough to WANT to talk to me. I don't want to emotionally manipulate her into a false relationship with me. (Others have tried this with much success. For some reason my sister responds really really well to emotional manipulation and bullshit weedlings.) What I really want is for her to care that being rude to people in her family hurts their feelings, and to not do it anymore. Which I am starting to realize pretty much makes this my own problem, no?

We're right back to my lesson I have to learn over and over again, ever since I saw it on the Travel Channel. Yes, the Travel Channel, where the old Creole woman explained voodoo and then said: "After all, you can only ever really change yourself."


sarah said...

What I really want is for her to care that being rude to people in her family hurts their feelings, and to not do it anymore. Which I am starting to realize pretty much makes this my own problem, no?

Oh my God, you have pretty much just described the impact my own sister has had on my family.

Amy told my mom that when she died she wasn't going to her funeral. Of course this was after some huge argument in which Amy insisted on doing something inappropriate and couldn't figure out why my mom was telling her she wasn't allowed to do it. Because Amy should get to do anything she wants all the time.

They (my parents) get "I hate you, I'm moving out" comments all. the. time. Usually my mom is so fed up she yells back, "Good! I'll help you pack!" Which doesn't improve anyone's mood.

She needs to be in a group home or whatever it is that your sister is in. She needs to get out of my parents' house and let them have a life again. Unfortunately those kinds of semi-independent living places are few and far between in Ohio.

Jessi said...

Forgive me because this will probably show that I am not a loyal reader, but what kind of disability does your sister have?