As I write my recounting of the terrible experience while on vacation, the true nature of the dynamics occurred to me. My parents invited me but allowed my sister to destroy any enjoyment I could out of it. It just dawned on me that if the invite was out of a good place from my parents, wouldn’t they want to protect my enjoyment out of a sense of being hosts? You’d think they’d tell my sister to lay off or something but instead they stayed ‘neutral’ during all the barbs she hurled my way in front of them (the worse ones were when they weren’t around) and then actually joined the attack when she went after me at the resort.
It has taken me six months to write about this because it’s taken me this long to feel like I can mentally and emotionally revisit it. Now it’s difficult because I’m truly feeling deep outrage and anger as I’m retelling it.
I spent the last night in my sister’s condo with my parents and we left very early again the next morning for the airport to leave for Mexico. My sister had already left an hour before as she had reserved her flight at a different time than my father had ours. We left and we arrived at the resort after hours of flights and bus shuttle travel completely exhausted, of course. The room my parents reserved had one bedroom and the central room had couches that housekeeping turns down into beds for the night. My sister had already arrived and was out of the room when we got there and I saw that she had intended to sleep in the central area, expecting, I supposed, that I would have to share the bedroom with my parents (which had two beds in it).
I was tired of her control, tired of her getting everything her own way, when I NEEDED to get some decent sleep for once since I left my home. I, too, put my luggage and stuff out in the central area as I intended on sleeping there. I was so tired I was willing to FIGHT for this. There were two couches that both could be made into beds, she could still take one if she wanted, but I needed somewhere quiet to sleep. (My parents like to watch TV in bed and snore, etc.)
My parents paid for me to be there for four days (I was leaving on the fifth day) and the three of them were there for two weeks. She could have the damn central area/living room after I was gone.
She came back and of course mentioned that maybe I would want to sleep in our parent’s room. I said no and sat on the couch. I told her she could have the other one. I was digging in my heels and she could see that I meant it. I had it with her crap. She decided to sleep in our parent’s room, telling our dad that she just thought it would be more quiet for me in the bedroom where one can’t hear noise from other guests in the hallway. If that was true, why did she choose that area for herself?
My sister almost always tries to get what she wants, insults/gossips about others, and couches it into words of concern. It’s the way she does things, but it’s so often you can begin to see through it.
I won this round. I slept well that night, for the first time in days. I woke up feeling like a new woman, before the rest of them did. I put on my running shoes and went out to do a light jog/walk around the resort, checking it out before a lot of the other guests were up.
It was wonderful. The air was warm but not too hot yet. I saw some coati (like Mexican raccoons) behind the resort in the trails. They were the cutest things! The resort was within acres of preserved jungle with wide trails throughout it so I went to explore them. When I got back the other were up and I put on my bathing suit and wrap as I wanted to go to the beach right after breakfast.
During the first few days there was the constant back and forth of me wanting to be on my own because I knew they didn’t want to do things with me, and then experiencing both them doing things with me but also my sister and dad making plans for activities without me. That, in turn, would make me want to not ask them to do anything and go back to just being by myself at the beach, etc. At this point everything had socially broken down between them and me.
I had been rejected, rejected, rejected the whole time up to that point and I was now in Mexico and intent on getting some enjoyment out of it. I would do it without them, if I had to, but I was feeling stressed that this trip is all wrong and what a shame that I’m being extreme in protecting myself. The trip was ruined but I was trying to get what I could out of it.
Here the outrage for me: my sister and parents were already on a them vs. me at this point. The whole time in my sister’s city my parents watched her barb me, talk about me with them behind my back, saw that I was quiet in return and obviously naive to what she was saying about me. They didn’t feel sorry for me nor told her to lay off. By the time we were in Mexico I was willing to be by myself often because I could sense the three of them were on vacation and I was the irritant they had to tolerate for the next few days. I had done NOTHING WRONG!!
At this point I’m salvaging what I can and I’m spiritually worn down. My frustration and disgust starts to seep out and I can no longer attempt cheerfulness. Here’s examples:
My sister, in a critical tone, says of my younger sister, who is committed to all the dance and sports programs her three daughters are involved in – “How come (youngest sister) doesn’t take her kids camping? Kids should have memories of their childhood. She was always outdoorsy, why wouldn’t she take her kids to do things?” My parents just kind of noncommittally agreed with her, even though my youngest sister is the Golden Child, the one most like our mother. I was the only one who stood up for her and mentioned that she never was that outdoorsy and she does lots with her kids. My parents remained silent.
This next one makes me wonder what my sister is projecting. Since my sister arrived first, she had already set the code to the safe in the room where she had already put her passport. When we arrived she said she didn’t want everyone (I take it she meant me?) knowing her code. The safe allowed more than one code so my parents and I went with another one. I know it doesn’t make sense when we all had access to the safe’s contents anyway, and for the fact that who would want her damn passport anyway? Weird.
Later I felt vindicated when my parents said they don’t care who in their family knows their codes and that they’ve even made sure we know where their will and personal info (credit card account info, etc.) is in their house, in case it’s needed in an emergency or if they died. Keep in mind that my little nieces were 11, 9, and 7, and my sister says, “Oh, I wouldn’t do that. The grandkids will end up having themselves a shopping spree”. She wasn’t joking, she said it in a tone of advising them. Where the bloody heck did that come from? My little nieces robbing their grandparents? They were just little girls, why would my sister and brother-in-law even give them that information anyway? It’s bizarre. I said in a thickly disgusted voice I couldn’t disguise, “Why would they do that?” I practically sneered it out I was so disgusted, especially right after her “I don’t want anyone to know my code” nonsense. Again, my parents had no problem with her saying this but you could tell they were rankled with my tone and defending my nieces.
My first thought was, is she a thief, and she’s projecting it? Because apparently everyone around her was, even the little girls in the family. I was still licking my wounds from her treatment of me at her condo that still left me in a feeling of mass confusion, but here I was beginning to get a little clarity. She was in such a dark place in her head that she didn’t even know what was normal or appropriate anymore.
I guess at this point they were seeing me as the grumpy one, ignoring the fact that they had witnessed my sister making digs at me since the beginning and talking about me behind my back. Apparently they couldn’t see this as a final reaction to all the mistreatment.
I will go to the last part four now, which has the final attack.