Monday, June 16, 2008

Highs and Lows

I may have mentioned this before.

My sister-in-law was bi-polar. Manic Depressive.

In other words she was pretty messed up.

She was sexually abused in her early years and when she confided in her parents, they did nothing. They even continued to talk to the "uncle" that did it.

Did I mention she was pretty messed up?

I shouldn't cast judgments on my in-laws. I wasn't there.

But I do it anyway because I know how I would have reacted and it is nothing like that.

I'm not sure if maybe they didn't believe her - or what - but they didn't even talk about it or get her counseling. My husband found out about it years later and by accident.

She was bi-polar and she was bi-sexual. She had relationships with women and men that looked like women. Or at least were so wimpy there was no way she was a threatened.

And she was brilliant. This amazing personality that floated up high and drug you along on a trail of power and fancy. She played with our dogs on the ground - throwing her whole person - all that she was - into that play.

And she was moody. She once decided that she didn't like the way my husband was treating her (he was being too helpful and considerate) while on vacation with us at my parent's house so she packed up her bags and checked in to a hotel. They didn't speak again for several months.

But more than any of these other things she was my love's big sister. She was his first playmate. She was the one that shared each Christmas memory and giggled with him under the covers.

And she is gone. I am sure you knew that by my use of the past tense but she is dead. Has been for almost seven years.

She took her life away from us a few months after my love and I were married. My wedding was the last time we ever saw her.

And I am so sad for her father - as he celebrated father's day yesterday. And I am so sad for my children - who celebrate her birthday every year but will never get to meet her.

And I am so sad for my husband.

so sad.

A part of him died that day. A large part of his childhood and his innocence.


And I am so pissed at her for doing that to him.

And I smile as I type that because truly he was (and still is) the only one that seemed to understand why she ended her life.

And he misses her but doesn't ever seem to be angry or have regrets - so what right do I have, really?

This week a friend of mine confided that she had tried to commit suicide five years ago. And I find that this knowledge does not in any way affect the way I feel about her or for her.

I am also so glad she failed.

And that made me think.

That I am not so sure that I am not glad that my Sister-in-law succeeded. I know that sounds weirdly phrased but that's the best I can do, given the emotion.

I cannot imagine what my life would be like if she had survived her attempt. What her life would be like.

So it is not that I wish she had not taken her own life. It is that I wish she had never felt that need, that desire.

And she had tried and failed once before and was humiliated. SO in a way I am glad that her final attempt worked. That she succeeded.

Now her ashes sit in a closed in my in-laws house and her spirit is free.

Maybe she made the best choice she could. Given the circumstances.



KT said...

My mother was abused as a child. Sexually. By her grandfather. My mother is bi-polar and apparently has borderline personality disorder. My mother should never have become a mother. It's unfortunate. She and I have no relationship. I realize that much of this is not her fault. But her instability affects me in so many negative ways, I can't even begin to describe it. She has tried to kill herself more than once. Never suceeding. I'm not sure if she meant to do it or was crying for attention. But there are times when I wonder if she'd be better off had she succeeded and freed herself of all the chains weighing her down.

Aunt Becky said...

I don't know how long you've been reading my blog, but I lost a good--no GREAT--friend this Feb. Her name was Stef and she was a bipolar alcoholic. She died at age 26 from natural causes.

And I will never be over it.

Much love to your husband. The pain is always there.

(my mother is also bipolar)

Anjali said...

Isn't it amazing just how many people are affected by the sexual abuse of ONE child?

Hugs to you.