Now that I have my belly aching out of the way I would like to talk a little about my family. Something I haven't really done as of yet. The Original K, my 4 years younger sister lives with her husband in Germany- (Well actually I am the original K but who's really paying attention.) They are both going to grad school there and will be finished next year. OK has been living there for a few years now. She originally went her junior year of college to study and while there met her now husband in week 3 of the trip, living together in week 6, engaged in 12 months and married a little over a year now. I love him. He is wonderful. I love her. She is wonderful. BUT, she is just one ginormous stress ball. ALL of the time. Me, being the oldest growing up in an alcoholic family with a father who was often non-existent took on the role of Mom2 very early in life. Which has never really been relinquished- partly... well I suppose completely of my own accord. I still forget I have choices. I definitely set better boundaries now, but the truth of the matter is when our mom is unavailable they come to me. It would never cross their minds (I have a 9 year younger sister, L as well) to go to my father for anything. I believe I happily took on that role for many years because it fed my need of feeling wanted, important, being in control and needed. It is difficult now to see her so stressed and upset all of the time. Me, OK, L and my mom are all very close- mostly because we had to be. My father was never there, and even when he was he was drunk. He wanted nothing to do with us or my mom half the time so we became all that my mom had. We became all that any of us ever had. Friends come and go but mommy OK and L are forever.
My sister has a lot of health problems (nothing fatal but often chronic) and I can only begin to imagine the pain and frustration she must often feel. It is difficult enough to deal with life, its even more difficult to deal with life when you are always feeling crappy. I look at me just last week when I had a mere cold. Most of her healthy problems are related to allergies, asthma, intestinal issues (the lining of her intestine doesn't shed like everyone else's) and now we have just found out that her body produces an over abundance of yeast which they are afraid has spread to her intestines and stomach. Needless to say the day to day can be a bit challenging.
She called me yesterday very depressed. She has been more depressed and sad lately. And it is difficult to hear her and know that she is so far away. I know this sounds terrible, but sometimes I am thankful that she is far away because it makes it easier for me to set boundaries. I want to help her, but I also know that this is something she needs to figure out for herself. She gets so stressed over everything... even breathing. I have been struggling the last 2 days with wanting to fix things for her. She just recently found an ACOA meeting in Germany where she lives. I am so happy and encourage her to keep going even if she doesn't know why right now. Without taking her inventory I think that she is just beginning to see the effects of growing up in an alcoholic family have had on her and all of us- How unfortunately much of it has manifested in her physical well being. I feel that the more she stresses the more she gets sick and it turns into an endless cycle. I have this overwhelming need to act as her mom. This all get so huge here because my mom has been in and out of Alanon for quite a few years now and although she is currently going to meetings she has a good grasp on the program. As my mom has begun to recover, she has been able to set boundaries with us kids. In turn, OK has transferred the need for my mother to me in a lot of ways. For a long time I didn't know any better so I have enabled her to continue down this path. It scared me and worries me that by setting my own boundaries now that I will lose her.
Today I am trying to step back and realize that I can love her and support her, but I cant fix her. I still struggle with that. I can care for her, but not take care of her. I will say a prayer that her health problems are in God's hands and He knows whats best. At the same time it helps me to be grateful for all the good things in my own life.
Today I am grateful for:
My sister(s) and mom
My ability to try to see the bigger picture
My home ACOA meeting tonight
Having a job to be bored at
Having a job to be bored at
Long distance phone calling