Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday's Child - I, Evil

(from August 5, 2007)

Apparently, I’m evil.
My sister called about two weeks ago to tell me the above. In fact, she opened with it, screeching. It was another off-cycle call, several days before the full moon and early evening. I had no inkling she'd be on the other end.

How could you be so evil?” she demanded.

When I said I didn’t know what she was talking about she told me I did so. She wanted to know why I’d called her that morning. I’d done nothing of the kind. When I said so she insisted I not deny it.

“I don’t want to die like this,” she screeched into the phone line.
“It’s not my fault I couldn’t get out of Edmonton.”
“If our parents we’re alive to know how evil you are they’d hate you forever!”

I remained calm. I wasn’t about to get sucked into her bottomless vortex of insanity and pain. Certainly reason has no place in such a conversation. It only irritates her further.
So as calmly as I could I told her, “I don’t know what you’re talking about and I don’t give a rat’s ass. Good-bye.”

I’ve reached the point where I don’t have to put up with her nonsense. Listening to her spew doesn’t seem to have much of an effect. I think that it only keeps her at her current level as opposed to challenging her to do something to better her situation.

Listening fosters stagnation. It feeds her immediate need and therefore doesn’t assist her to meet whatever her true, underlying need might be. It’s a surface solution, the cliche’d Band-Aid ® on a broken leg.
I can’t fix her broken psyche and it’s not up to me to do it. All I can do is help myself. I spent my life listening to her drone on about her problems, irrespective of her mental state, and not doing anything about them no matter how many solutions were handed to her.

Perhaps she wants help and does not know how to ask. Maybe she likes the emotional satisfaction of feeding on another’s energy.
She can’t have mine.

Occasionally a cousin will call to tell me what I have to do. Well, no. I don’t have to do anything.
My sister does not listen to me and I don’t have the legal standing to do anything.
Even if I could force treatment on her, she is violent. I’m not exaggerating. I fear for my safety around her.

This most recent conversation lasted less than 30 seconds. I’m not going to waste an evening being yelled at and whined to. Perhaps it may be seen selfish, but that’s someone else’s opinion, not mine. No one is going to look after me in this except me.

It can be argued that she needs an ear. Yes, but I don’t think it does her any good, and I don’t believe it has to be mine. I understand this is a manifestation of her illness. I don’t think she actually means it. I doubt she’ll even remember making the call.

During a recent meditation my guides told me this about the situation: “If you hear with your heart, then you don’t have to listen with your ears.”

I take this to mean as long as I understand it’s mental illness speaking and not really anything personal, then I don’t have to waste my time on the phone with her. This is my approach. Unless she has a question for me, or needs to tell me something important —and real— I will hang up.


the Bag Lady said...

I like that: "If you hear with your heart, you don't have to listen with your ears."
Good advice.

Leah J.Utas said...

Thanks, dfBag Lady.

Reb said...

Good for you!

Leah J.Utas said...

Thanks, Reb

Polly Kahl said...

I like what you said about she may need an ear, but it doesn't have to be yours. And the more ear you give her, the less likely she is to seek the kind of ear she really needs - professional, of one form or another. Maybe she needs to hit some kind of emotional bottom to get help on her own, and anyone humoring her would just delay that. But whatever the case is, kudos to you for taking care of yourself. She sure as hell isn't going to do it!

Leah J.Utas said...

Hello, Polly.

Thanks. Listening to her is simply helping her stagnate. I think you are right about hitting an emotional bottom, but as long as people humour her it won't happen.