Thursday, September 20, 2012

When You Can Count The Good Days On One Hand (Part 1 of 4)

The following represents a collection that, more than anything, just makes me feel bad for DH's sister. I wonder if this will resonate with my female ACoN friends, because I think so many of you have been in this dark place at some time or another; and I know that even more of of you have siblings who may bear a strong resemblance to NSIL, as you'll see her represented here. Unlike this girl, you've found the strength to survive. To get out. To seek help. To learn. And to live. I don't think this girl will make it out alive (either emotionally, physically, or both) and I think that the following tweets (which have been posted over the past 18 months, since she started tweeting) represent a kind of downward spiral that can only end in catastrophe.

I've divided her tweets into four parts, simply because there are so many of them and there is a lot here that I'd like to dissect. I will be posting all four parts at once, and I would recommend starting from the beginning (part 1), since I think the whole thing really tells a story; a very depressing one, but intriguing nevertheless. If you're not interested in reading all of her tweets, you can skip down to the section of each post where I do an analysis of some of the statements that stood out the most to me or that I found to be particularly disturbing.

Also, I think it's really important to add before I begin that some of the statements made here may be very triggering to some of my readers and I ask that you proceed with caution. I am not, in any way, attempting to damage this girl's self-esteem any further than it already is and I do, in fact, have a deep sense of pity for her. The task I set for myself of picking out the following tweets (from a list of over 3,000) was important to me because I truly see a (sad but necessary) value in DH studying his sister's persona (ie the image she has learned to project to the world). I think that she is a key to his past and one that he may never get the chance to communicate with on any sort of deep level. I sat up until three in the morning last night because it was that important to me to write all of this down, read through it with DH, organize it, and finally analyze it.

Sadly, in many ways, NSIL represents DH's past, and it's a past I want to help him dig through in order to gain a better understanding of how he came to be who he is today and how he can fight the dysfunctions handed down to him.

I hope that, if nothing else, NSIL gets some help and finds a system of (genuine) support that can help her through her crippling dysfunctions. For now, DH and I can not be that support system; and there may never come a safe opportunity for us to be. It makes me sad because things don't have to be this way. NSIL doesn't have to be alone. She doesn't have to be depressed. She doesn't have to feel empty. But as always, these things are a choice; and for now, it seems she is choosing a path that will lead to her demise. And her NM is just nailing the coffin shut, one nail at a time.

[Analysis to follow tweets]

 NSIL's Tweets 
March 2011 - June 2011

March 3, 2011
Youre the biggest fucking bipolar bitch #fuckyou

March 5, 2011
Why the fuck does this shit have to happen to me #fuckmylife

March 6, 2011
I hate skinny perfect people. #madjel

March 6, 2011
Heatteddd. #dontfuckwithme

March 6, 2011
once a liar, always a liar. #disgusting

March 7, 2011
NSIL: I miss my brother.#waitwhatbrother
Exhibit A: i miss him too. have you spoken to him recently?
NSIL: i literally havent talked to him in probably 6 months.

March 7, 2011
Going to be in a bad fucking mood tmrw. #caution

March 7, 2011
The best revenge is happiness

March 7, 2011
I hate when ppl say you could do better. What does that even mean? Maybe i dont want better. Maybe what i have is already perfect.

March 10, 2011
Youre the only person ive ever known to keep every single promise they made.

March 12, 2011
you're a douchebag. #truth

March 14, 2011
i gotta stop dressin like a dykee #shoot

March 14, 2011
We are all starting to forget you were ever part of this family.

March 15, 2011
Youre ugly and you look like zelda.

March 17, 2011
I can say whatever the fuck i want bitch. #shutthefuckup

March 20, 2011
"Oh ill buy you clothes so you dont look like a boy" thanks mom.

March 20, 2011
I seem happier lately because I am.

March 22, 2011
Why does every good day have to be ruined? #yourstupid

March 22, 2011
RIP [DH's childhood pet]...

March 22, 2011
Dont know how this day could get any worse holy shit

March 23, 2011
I fucking hate you.

March 23, 2011
Well, it feels like i got stabbed in the knee with a knife #nbd

March 23, 2011
I fucking hate how fucking twofaced every fucking person in [hometown] is. Grow the fuck up you all fucking love drama.

March 27, 2011
Stop acting self conscious when you knoe youre beautiful, skinny, perfect, etc #yourelucky

March 28, 2011
I get it, i do everything wrong #sorry

March 28, 2011
What makes people important? It's not just the happiness that you feel when you see them, but it's also the pain you feel when you miss them

March 30, 2011
I'd do anything to be as skinnyy and beautiful as you #imsojealous

March 31, 2011
My mom just called me from downstairs to ask if i wsnted to go shopping this weekend haha

April 1, 2011

April 2, 2011
Bought my mom flowers just to be nice and now shes mad at me because she thinks i did something wrong. #yourwelcome 

April 7, 2011
Apologizing noowww if i scare you .. im not wearing any makeup tmrw. #ilooklikeanakedmolerat 

April 8, 2011
Oh wait..this is how i look everyday #dykecity 

April 8, 2011
I look like a frizzy dragqueen.

April 11, 2011
Why am i always so hard on myself #disappointed 

April 12, 2011
i fucking hate all of you.

April 15, 2011
Ill prove myself if you just give me the chance.

April 16, 2011
I wish i could see what you see #imsorry 

April 19, 2011
stop tweeting stupid slutty shit for attention!!! #NOONECARES #PATHETIC 

April 24, 2011
Is everyone else's family this weird?

April 25, 2011
Biggest fuck up. #imsostupid 

April 26, 2011
Sleeping with a stuffed animal #imissbeingakid 

April 28, 2011
At the doctors then lunch with my mama #goodandbadday 

April 28, 2011
My diet seriously starts tomorrow.......

May 2, 2011
#iwanttogo to fat camp.

May 3, 2011
I feel and look like shit.

May 3, 2011
Omg id die to be that skinny #notfair

May 3, 2011
My stomach is literally a marshmallow. #fatcamp #liposuction 

May 5, 2011
Arw you fucking serious bitch i can use my phone in the bathroom..#fuckyou #stupidbitch 

May 7, 2011
why are you sucha bitch to me when all i do is help you #ungrateful 

May 8, 2011
got my mama the best mothers day presents

May 8, 2011
mall with my mom acts like 5 year old when we go the mall "maybe we should go to the [ice cream shop] for dinner!" #bestmama

May 10, 2011

May 13, 2011
why do i have the worst luck #notfair 

May 15, 2011
#ifiwonthelottery all my problems would be solved

May 17, 2011
how is it possible you have no flaws #youreperfect #jealous #notfair 

May 17, 2011
i know youre trying to help but its making it worse.

May 17, 2011
you really have no idea, oh wait no one does.

May 19, 2011
keep sending my tweets to my mom. go ahead. thats really cool.
May 19, 2011
i miss my brother #randomtweet

May 20, 2011
taking my car away isnt a punishment, its more trouble for you so #idrc

May 11, 2011
why do you have to comment on my weight? #ftw

May 22, 2011
#sunmerpreparations 1. get tan 2. get skinny 3. get rich 4. get crazy

May 24, 2011

May 25, 2011
i wish i looked like you. #itsnotfair 

May 25, 2011
why does skinny = beautiful? #ftw 

May 26, 2011
i feel like i let you down.

May 30, 2011
really glad no one invites me to anything. #realtalk 

May 30, 2011
fuck off.

May 31, 2011
#iwish i had a sister

May 31, 2011
why can't you do it for me?

June 1, 2011
#summerbucketlist go to fat camp

June 8, 2011
i wish i had a tight stomach.. #ugh #jel 

June 9, 2011
I wish I had a perfect body.

June 10, 2011
that is such fucking bullshit #youfuckingbrat #badmood 

June 12, 2011
theres only two things i want for my birthday and i probably wont get either. #disappointment 

June 12, 2011

June 12, 2011
Mama: "NSIL's knowledge of the sea comes from spongebob squarepants."  

June 12, 2011
youre beautiful and perfect.. #ihateit

June 15, 2011
I love when people give me their honest opinions even if the truth hurts to hear. #muchappreciated

June 16, 2011
i miss you.

June 18, 2011
sorry i wasted your time.

June 18, 2011
nyquil and melatonin #knockmeout

June 18, 2011
When everything just comes crashing down at once and you don't know what to do.

June 18, 2011
i miss my ambien #justwannaSLEEPFOREVER

June 19, 2011
i thiinnnnkk i want to be a psychiatrist...

June 22, 2011
Happy Birthday to a #nonexistent brother.

June 23, 2011
what a horrible start to #summer2k11

June 23, 2011
#sorryimnotsorry i dont care about you at all.

June 23, 2011

June 23, 2011
i want a new family.

June 25, 2011
youre absolutely pathetic.

June 25, 2011
so far this has been the absolute worst summer #cantwait #not

June 26, 2011
this is going to be the worst birthday ever #thanksalot

June 27, 2011
so where so i sign up for extreme makeover: weightloss edition?!?

June 28, 2011
whose buying me a tummy tuck for my bdayyyyy! ill settle for liposuction too #fatgirlproblems

June 28, 2011
shut up dumb bitchhhhhh

June 30, 2011
you look like a dog.

June 30, 2011
you must hate me #imsorry

[Broken up into sections by topic]

"I miss my brother"
NSIL tweeted the following statements that are either directly or indirectly about my husband: "I miss my brother.#waitwhatbrother," "We are all starting to forget you were ever part of this family," "I fucking hate you," "i miss my brother #randomtweet," "Happy Birthday to a #nonexistent brother," "i want a new family." Through-out the next couple of posts, you'll see more of these types of sentimentalities, and they just get worse and worse as they go: NSIL talks the talk about how much she "misses" her brother, but she never once tried to reach out to him - not by email, or phone, or snail mail. And on some level I think she does miss him, but mostly I think she misses the role he played in her life and within their dysfunctional family system. She doesn't truly know DH enough to miss him and therefore it's not really him she misses at all, but the person she wishes he would be. Sometimes, when I'm reading the stuff she writes about him, or the stuff that other people write about him, I get the idea that DH was more like a father-figure to her; which is very disturbing to me and goes a long way towards explaining why her attitude towards him now is very much like the attitude of a young girl who feels abandoned by the deadbeat dad who walked out on her when she was young. It's all there: the blind hatred one minute and adoration the next; the desire for him to be "proud" of her (which you'll see in other posts even more so than here) which is typically a sentiment held more for parents or mentors than siblings; the idea that his "leaving her behind" has ruined the whole image of their perfect little family. And beyond that, it makes me more than a little angry that she proclaims to have missed her brother so much but never did anything to change that. Point of fact: She didn't have to miss him at all. He hadn't gone anywhere and, at the time, was reasonably available to her; if only she could have accepted that the changes he set in motion for their family unit were for the better.

"Why the fuck does this shit have to happen to me"
NSIL tweeted the following statements that appeal to her ideology that everything that happens to her is merely a result of bad luck, rather than consequences for her actions: "Why the fuck does this shit have to happen to me #fuckmylife," "Why does every good day have to be ruined? #yourstupid," "Dont know how this day could get any worse holy shit," "why do i have the worst luck #notfair," "#ifiwonthelottery all my problems would be solved," "When everything just comes crashing down at once and you don't know what to do," "what a horrible start to #summer2k11," "so far this has been the absolute worst summer #cantwait #not," "this is going to be the worst birthday ever #thanksalot." A good friend of mine and fellow blogger, Jessie, has written many times about how everyone sees her sister as being extremely unlucky (including her sister - 'cause what better way to simultaneously get attention by being the world's unluckiest person while being allowed and even expected not to make any changes whatsoever to change that title?) In the words of my friend, "There is always some fucking crisis going on.  And yes, they are real crises, but a lot of them are of my sister's doing.  She's always getting robbed or held up or hit by a car or in an accident or beat up by a boyfriend or in a fight or losing her job.  Mom says she has "bad luck".  Really?  How can someone be that damn unlucky????" And the truth is, of course, that NO ONE is that unlucky; in fact, luck doesn't have a whole hell of a lot to do with all those self-proclaimed "terrible, horrible, no good, very bad" type of days. The truth is that they have just as much "luck" as the next person, but they choose to squander it with bad choices and unhealthy decisions. Then, when the shit hits the fan, they just look around and blame it all on someone else. And if there is no one around to take the blame, well then they just blame fate. Or luck. Or the daily horoscope. Anything. Anything to escape blame for the shitty outcome of their own piss-poor decision making skills and unhealthy thought-processes. People like NSIL fail to realize that shit doesn't happen to them; they make it so and then fail to own up to their share of the responsibility. And no, NSIL, if you won the lottery you're REAL problems would not be solved; they'd actually just get worse. It would solve all of your "I don't have enough Victoria's Secret Bras or Juicy Couture jumpsuits." But something tells me even you understand those are not the solutions that lead to self-fulfilment and happiness.

"I'd die to be that skinny"
I'm not going to copy them all here, but these are a few of the comments she made that stood out the most to me, concerning her extremely warped and/or damaged body image: "I hate skinny perfect people. #madjel,"'Oh ill buy you clothes so you dont look like a boy' thanks mom," "I feel and look like shit," "youre beautiful and perfect.. #ihateit." I would not be at all surprise if NSIL suffers from an eating disorder; and I think we all know where it stems from: the mother. I know that she's been hearing the little jabs about her weight all her life, and I didn't have to be there to know they were said. Don't get me started on how difficult it is for young girls to have self-esteem in a society where the pressure to be thin and perfect is hammered into us no matter where we look; it must be about a thousand times harder to develop self-worth when you have a mother who not only has her own body-image issues, but who constantly and relentlessly mocks and belittles you too. NMIL has been doing this to NSIL her entire life: finding moments to slip in little jabs about her appearance in sneaky and cruel ways. She did it to DH, she did it to NSIL. Recently I recalled a time when she did it to DD, who thankfully, was just an infant and had no idea what was going on. But I was horrified and all I could think was: My god. It starts this young. When they are just infants, these NMs immediately start in on the idea that perfection is the goal. And that, for the child, it will ALWAYS be unattainable. The memory I had was shortly after DD was born in 2009, and NMIL came to our apartment to visit. DD was just in the stage of development when she had baby acne, which all babies get and which clears up within a few weeks time. And while she was holding DD, she said, "Oh. She has pimples. She's not perfect anymore." I recall being very angry and saying, "Of course she's still perfect." But what a moment, in which that bitch revealed herself for what she was: a pathetic creature of habit who had already set out to destroy the budding self-esteem of even the newest and smallest child. That is, after all, how narcissists crush their victims: by crushing any and all self-esteem. And it starts from day one. And I know that NSIL's idea of perfection comes largely from her NM, who taught her from the very beginning that physical perfection and happiness are sisters and that one can not exist without the other. I've always believed that real mothers, loving mothers, genuine mothers, can not look at their children and see anything but beings of perfection and beauty. Real mothers don't seek to destroy their own offspring. It is only mothers like NMIL who see their children as tools to be used instead of as beings to be loved. The sad truth is that NSIL will never be good enough for the mother who isn't good enough for herself.

"I hate..."
Some of the comments that I think represent a whole lot of misplaced anger: "once a liar, always a liar. #disgusting," "The best revenge is happiness," "i fucking hate all of you," "shut up dumb bitchhhhhh." There is so much anger here. Reading through all of her tweets was such a througoughly depressing process and it left me with a splitting headache. To be around this type of person face-to-face must be thouroughly draining; NSIL goes back and forth between being super needy (fishing for compliments) and being super angry (at everyone, at life, at her luck). She spends little to no time examining the depths of her Self or exploring ways to deepen her shallow parts and I doubt she has ever ventured into the truth about her NM. Her comment about "once a liar, always a liar" wasn't directed at anyone in particular, but, given that some of her next sentiments about Mommy Dearest were ones of endearement and servitude, I don't think it was being lobbed in that direction. Which is funny because that's the ONE and ONLY place she should be looking if she ever has the desire to stop living the facade and start living in truth; and it's likely the ONE and ONLY place she'll NEVER look. If she hates anybody, in my opinion, she should start with her lying, cheating mother.

"got my mama the best mothers day presents"
And, it's phrases like these that have me thinking NSIL will NEVER develop a healthy understanding of or separation from her narcissistic mother: "My mom just called me from downstairs to ask if i wsnted to go shopping this weekend haha," "Bought my mom flowers just to be nice and now shes mad at me because she thinks i did something wrong. #yourwelcome," "At the doctors then lunch with my mama #goodandbadday," "got my mama the best mothers day presents," "mall with my mom acts like 5 year old when we go the mall 'maybe we should go to the [ice cream shop] for dinner!' #bestmama." I find it so interesting that, dispersed through out all of this hostile and angry rhetoric, she leaves plenty of room to make occasional comments about how awesome her mother is. It all kind of makes me want to puke, given that NMIL is a bitch who doesn't care one iota about her daughter except insofar as what her daughter can provide for her: attention, mostly. I mean, when you're a piece of shit with no self-esteem who uses people all day long for material goods and have an unhealthy need for constant attention, well isn't it just fan-fucking-tastic to have a daughter (with LOADS of "frenemies" to be used as NS as well) who buys you all the best presents and tells you you're just the "bestest mommy in the whole wide world!!"? Beyond that, NSIL basically only ever mentions how "great" NMommy is when NMommy is busy buying her material shit. Like sushi. And ice cream. And purses.


  1. Phew! You've often expressed a some what...softer? side for your NSIL than you NMIL that sometimes confused me (only because, for me, my NSIS has abused me just as often, if not more than my NM. More on that in a minute). I can see why in these posts you could feel for the girl. She is very, very sad. And it doesn't take a crystal ball to see where she is going. And I don't think it'll ever be very far from her mama.
    She reminds me of my NSIS in some ways. Obviously, as you pointed out, nothing is ever her fault either. And she also rides the love/hate line with her NM. Her sentiments about her brother actually got to me. They are my weakness when it comes to my NSIS too. She can say "I miss you. I need you. You are all I have" and I run back to that vulnerable little girl that I also played parent to. I was "vice-mama" too, like your DH. We've never, ever had a sibling relationship and my feelings of responsibilities towards her often make me feel like I'm her mother and she my child.
    I do pity this girl. She has a lot of hate...for herself mostly. And I relate. But I can see the future for her. And I can also see that she talks a good game, but does nothing to back it up. And that's what I've come to realize with my NSIS. She never, ever meant a damn thing she said to me. She doesn't miss me, she misses the role I played in her soap opera. She doesn't know me. She doesn't really care about me, unless it effects her. And back to an early point, by 18, my sister had beat the shit out of me so many times I couldn't count. She stole everything from me, clothes, boyfriends, friends. And my NM let her. I lived in fear of her. She wrecked utter havoc in my life and of those around me. And if I confronted her, she beat the shit out of me. And then, on top of that, she railed against ME for being a bad daughter. For not "being there" for NM. Um, OK.
    I look forward to reading your next posts...but tomorrow, as I'm exhausted tonight. Good to see some new posts from you, my friend!

    1. I think all that hate towards herself comes from her inability to acknowledge any hate for her mother. Hating herself is a safe target, her mother is not. Seems to be where my self loathing began. Literally. When I was nine years old I wrote in my diary that I hated myself and was going to kill myself because of mother.

  2. She's what, 18? Huh. At 18 the LAST person I'd want to hang with anywhere (especially shopping) would be my "mother." I had plenty of friends my own age (who wouldn't be hangin' with their mothers either) and nothing in common with some 40 yr. old. woman, bat-shit looney or not.
    Reading this leaves me feeling sorry for the mess that's "her" in these tweets and hoping against hope the changes we go through from ~18 to 25 won't overwhelm her-she feels fragile to me: Trying so hard to be bad ass, to be "perfect" and falling so short in her own estimation.
    NSIL: #ABadCaseoftheGood-Enoughs
    I'm with ya on DH-As-Dad Figure. (Nice work, NMIL: She couldn't have screwed up the dynamics here any worse.) Yet NSIL does make a comment about her mother being like a kid which is pretty insightful. OTOH, where does that leave NSIL? Yeah, not in a good place.
    I'm hoping time and distance from NMIL will work some magic here.

    1. T to the Dub-
      My mother wanted/wants to be best friends with all of my friends and my sister's friends. My mother wants her 20s and 30s back you see, and the way to do that is to befriend her kids' friends. It's fucking sick is what it is.

      My sister's father was non-existent (emotionally".
      My sister's brother was her emotional father.
      My sister's mother wanted to be her sister/best friend.
      My sister's friends were useless.

    2. My NM tends to "adopt" my female friends.

      The sad thing is, she has been a way better mother to them than she ever was to me. The worst for me was sitting there listening to her saying the same things I have to say to myself about her, to my friend about my friend's (much crazier) mother.

  3. Jonsi, I hope my comment about you being "softer" towards you NSIL made sense. I was a bit tired last night. And I wanted to make clear, that for me, I've lost all ability to feel sympathy for her just because she had the same childhood I had. She's a grown woman and she's spend her entire adulthood verbally (and sometimes physically) abusing me. She threatens, intimidates, and purposely lashes out at me. She also often berates me for my "treatment" of my mother. Although I've seen her make some small attempts to "swim for shore" so to speak, she always goes back to my sinking ship of a mother. She's had chances to get away. I've offered her a hand. She slammed me in the face in return.

    Also, I may have told you this before, but your comment about DD reminded me of something my NMIL said to me about my kids. When my DS was just two months old, she was "inspecting" him. She told me he had his "mother's broad forehead" (WOW, a double insult to me and my kid) and then told me he had HER MIL's "unfortunate nose". Again, it was a double insult towards her MIL and my son. She followed that statement up with
    "None of MY BOYS have that nose, thank goodness". So, to add insult to injury, she someone how patted herself on the back for having more "genetically perfect" children. Like somehow, and I still don't know how her warped little brain justifies this, she was a better mother than me because her kids her "fortunate noses". She's lucky I didn't fly across the room and punch her in her unfortunate nose. But, like you, I remember thinking "wow, you are already finding fault with this beautiful little child." This baby that she'd BEGGED me for (Demanded even) was finally here, and she was finding his faults AND SPEAKING THEM OUT LOUD LIKE SHE WAS EXPRESSING LOVING CONCERN. So, yes, it starts early. Oh, and my NM likes to say how when her NM visited my at the hospital when I was a baby, NGrandma said I had fat, little (Family name) legs. It was made clear to me that this was an insult. NM told me this story over and over and how it hurt her feelings (I guess my feelings about grandma finding fault with me as an infant were irrelevant.) But the topper was, when she visited my kid in the hospital, the first thing she said was "oh, he has those fat, little (Family name) legs." Nothing like family tradition.

  4. DH, you were well trained.
    You're makin' your way out. It's not easy because you have that Marine Mentality: "No One Is Left Behind."
    Love is a Battlefield.
    Learning that it's not an Enmeshed Mess is your challenge.
    Work it.

    1. Oh wow, TW, that helps me realize that having that "Marine Mentality" is what is still causing many of us ACONs some clinging shreds of guilt (for not staying involved with our FOO) that I know are not valid; your comment suddenly made it very clear exactly why it isn't valid!

      The guilt isn't valid because the FOO are not on our side! They're not our fellow soldiers or comrades, they're various versions of enemies, traitors, or at best, fraternizers with the enemy.

      Maybe someday, some of them will change sides, but until that happens, there is no way to one-sidedly, without their cooperation, achieve a 'no one left behind' outcome in spite of them. --quartz