On the Occasion of my Sister’s 30th Birthday

November 21st 2015


On this day 30 years ago, I was a nearly 15 year-old freshman in high school. I was crossing the courtyard when my name was paged over the intercom to come to the office. When I got there the phone was for me. When I said hello I heard the cry of a newborn baby.  I was surprised how quickly tears came to my eyes too.

Later when I came to meet her at the hospital, I remember how foreign she looked.
A strange little pink squid all curled up under the incubator light next to my step-mom.
I remember pretty much feeling that way for the next six months or so, until BOOM. It hit me and I was in love. Somewhere I have the photo essay I did on her for photography class.  Even classmates would swoon at how perfectly beautiful she was.  ‘Cue she was.

And still appears to be to this day.

Problem is that her life has not turned out as she came to expect.  And to put it honestly, she has not handled this well.  Today she is a dark and dangerous creature; a source of seething resentment, volcanic vitriol, explosive rage and violent acts of criminal vandalism, erstwhile suicidal tendencies and present homicidal ones.  In our parents’ efforts to do any and everything they can for her, they have somehow managed to prevent her from burning every last bridge.  Although they have bankrolled almost her entire existence her entire life, she holds them vehemently in the crosshairs of absolutely every ounce of blame for every profound way her life is not acceptable.  The atrocities she has performed upon them in return are dizzyingly outlandish, shocking, horrifying, dangerous, damaging and sad.  The depths of her illness are profound for sure, tho possibly still unknown.

2015-11-22 03.02.34


I feel mixed writing about this for sure, but not because she will read this because she won’t.  And I don’t want to be mean or spread dirt.  I’m just sorry for the whole (violent, explosive, savage, dangerous) train wreck, and it sucks being unable to help.  I literally don’t know how to have a genuine relationship with her, or to protect our parents from her, let alone save her from herself.  Over the past few years when we *have* gotten along, it has mostly been by virtue of playing along with her reality.  And oh my goodness she’s so lovely and intelligent and charming and fun.  Truly.  Seven years ago in fact she saved my life when she came to visit and babysat my newborn boy many times while I worked unreasonable amounts.  She even fell in love with him herself.  And there was some disconnect with reality then, but not exactly on the order of property damage, explosive rage and massive abuse.

Now she’s turning 30.  I’ve been thinking about this for weeks.  It’s gotta be affecting her because people are so prone to get hysterical about such an occasion.  I know that contacting her will be tripping a mine, but I’m not willing to do nothing.  I care and want the best for her.   I don’t know the chances of her finding the help and support she needs, or if it exists.

My heart bleeds for our parents. They’re kind and loving, generous and well intended.  And ‘course ain’t none of us gettin’ any younger.  A person deserves some peace of mind at a certain age, and I’m afraid their youngest daughter will not be affording them that anytime soon.

You rip your heart out.
Ya put your heart in.
Ya rip your heart out, and you shake it all about.
You do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around.
That’s what life’s all about.


On that first day of her life 30 years ago, I remember feeling her little newborn naked baby leg, and her tugging it back.  The display of strength and determination really did surprise me, on her first-day-ever.  What a spectacular childhood and upbringing she had, and … what displays she is capable of now.

Sorry about your Birthday, Leah.

About circuskitchen

performing artist, mom, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, niece... just a regular extraordinary person
This entry was posted in childhood, domestic life, faith, family, forgiveness, health, mental health, parenthood and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to On the Occasion of my Sister’s 30th Birthday

  1. Pingback: Tea with ClaraJane – Revisited | circuskitchen

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