I’m currently sitting on the floor of my studio apartment, it’s the first day of March, which happens to land on a Sunday this year. I’m watching the sun slowly make its descent as its rays reach through the blinds of my west facing windows onto the freshly vacuumed carpeted floor of mine, and my dog, Howard, keeps moving and scratching to create a new spot in a fresh puddle of sun. I suppose you could say that I have been gnawing on some information that I received this past Tuesday afternoon while I sat with what’s become like an annual lunch date with both of my parents. I wasn’t keen on the idea of being out in the public since I’ve been watching this pandemic birth itself here in the States, after originally sprouting itself up from Wuhan, China. But, my Dad had called me a week ago today to ask me out to lunch (and then the following day, Monday, he called again to check in and see if I was okay having lunch with both my parental figures, as in he and my Mom, which I of course said “yes”) and then a quick, “wham, bam, and thank-you ma’m” later, there I was, sitting in a yet to be busy BJ’s restaurant with my folks. I casually sipped on my decaf coffee as my parents and I caught up. When I wasn’t holding my mug, my hands were busy fidgeting, holding one another through the front pocket of my hoodie- a small cave woven out of fabric where I can hide the obvious signs of the anxiety that makes itself visible through the non-stop dance of my hands.
And then suddenly it was like everyone at the surrounding tables vanished leaving only the clinking of the ice cubes swish swashing around in their sugary colas and waters as my Mom uttered the words that hit my gut like a semi-truck carrying a full load of potatoes crashing into a brick wall. Apparently, my three older sisters were planning to go on a trip. This was the first I had heard anything retaining to this. Tears started to roll down my face, my nervous hands breaking free from their comfy cave to quickly wipe away any trace they may be leaving behind. “Who cries at BJ’s on a weekday afternoon while at lunch with their parents?!” I thought to myself. After my Mom tried to ease the pain I felt that I don’t believe she anticipated me feeling, she then told me, “Well, you can go! We’ll get you a ticket and book you a room…” I quickly replied with all rational reasoning I could muster up, “Why?!” I exclaimed. “They don’t want me there! If they did, they would have invited me!” I follow up my statement with a question I knew she would have, “When are they going?” and my Mom quietly replied with a quick bounce back, “Saturday” she said as almost hoping that we could suddenly hit
rewind and skip this whole conversation all together. It wasn’t anything that my Mom (or Dad) had said that hurt, I was glad to find out from them then rather get asked by a family friend why I wasn’t with all my sisters in Sunny California as they flashed selfies and coastline images onto their social media pages. Maybe not in the middle of a now busy restaurant, but still, I was glad to of heard it from them then somebody else.
The thing is, this really fucking hurt. I hate admitting it, and pardon my so called, “French”, but let’s face it, I’m 35, hurt, angry, and I’m a grown up…so if I feel like saying “fuck” to emphasize the pain I felt when my own sisters didn’t even bother asking me to join them on a trip, well, I’ll use it. I can work out a couple solid scenarios as to why I was not invited on this trip, one of them being that one of my older sisters is completely controlling, manipulative, and has a sleek way of getting what she wants and when she wants it. I for one have played by her rules most of my life- accommodating demands in order to get to see my nieces and or to lay myself out in front off her verbal firing squad so that our family could have it’s normal gathering for the holidays…really, there are so many examples with this one sister that I could give, but that would be tiring to any eyes gazing these words, and quite frankly, she doesn’t deserve to take up any more of my energy than she already has.
Like many other people in this life I have struggled a great deal with the aching desire to “belong” somewhere, to someone, or to be apart of something greater than just my lone wolf self. But to realize that even my own sisters, people I share blood with, did not want me to be with them on this trip- well, I don’t believe I had ever felt so alone in this world as I did in the hours to follow after receiving this news at lunch with my parents.
Lastly, I have to say this as I wrap up my “venting” here…and that one thing is now this: it’s all on you! That’s right, from here on out, I don’t want to get a single more email, or phone call telling me what a horrible human being I am because I am not at your child’s event or anything having to do with my absence from you or your families lives! Lord knows all the messages I got from either my sisters themselves or at one point or another from even one of their spouses- telling me what a horrible Aunt I was…why? Because I needed space! I guess I can’t hurt for something I asked all of you for seven years ago- you’re just now unexpectedly giving into my request. I love my nieces and nephew, and as long as I walkthis earth I will always be here for them, but I will not spend one more second of this life trying to prove my worth to a group of people that stick their noses up at me, and then throw fits and get upset when I don’t give in to what they want at any given time that I am suddenly supposed to be acting like I’ve got sisters of the year material as my older siblings. I’ll always hold love for them…but I hope they remember this moment in the years to come. I hope they look back and remember their trip to San Diego together and that they purposefully went without ever telling me, or even more, wanting me to join them. You don’t want me around? Well, you’ve got it.