I am several years older than my sibling, and growing up, I did not understand her weaknesses. I expected her to be just like me. And when she wasn’t, I thought that she could just understand what she needed to do to “behave logically.” She couldn’t. I expected too much of her, but I did not know that then. Again, I thought she was “just like me.” In my mind, at the time, I thought I came from a place of love.
Now, as an adult, I understand that she is has some cognition issues (I do believe there is a diagnosis). It took me a long time to understand this. And, as an added bonus, she blames me for, basically, all of her weaknesses and failings. I think that if she does not have this story, she doesn’t know what to do with herself. She is incapable of taking responsibility for her own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
Even as I actively try to manage my own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors (and clearly, when it comes to her, I am not always very effective), I find her incredibly difficult to be around. I want to behave kindly and compassionately, and I do the best I can. But her behavior is so illogical I make myself crazy!
I think that part of the problem is that I am continuing to expect a person with cognitive issues who is not capable of being entirely logical to be logical.
I did not even know I did this!!!!!
If it were just that she was illogical, and was also kind hearted, I think I would be able to handle that. But her obsessions are so self-centered and so self-involved and so dismissive to the needs of anyone else I have trouble even being around her. (HER self-imposed, non-medical dietary restrictions must be met with separate grocery trips and separate cooking methods, HER choices must be first, HER chosen topics must be discussed, HER preferred room temperature must be honored…)
It must be exhausting to live so obsessively, but it is also exhausting to be around it.
I want a good relationship with my sister, but I don’t think it is possible.
I know I am supposed to “drop my manual” but in the case of her I am not sure where to even start.