Author’s Note: While this story is a work of fiction, there are events and descriptions of symptoms that could trigger someone with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). If you think you may be triggered, please think before reading further.
I ignored the call. Partially because I didn’t want to interrupt my conversation with Nick, and partially because I need to be in a certain mindset to talk to my sister sometimes. Today is one of those days I don’t think I can deal with her without some preparations. So, Nick and I continued our conversation and then we were on our way. He went to go meet up with his long-time girlfriend and I went to meet up with Lucy. On the walk back to our apartment I call my sister, Carol.
“Hello?” Even with caller ID she answers like the person on the other end will be a surprise.
“Hey. What’s up?” I greet her.
“Not much. I called you before.”
“I know. I was with Nick…”
“No worries!” She always cuts me off at this part of the conversation, as if I was apologizing. “So, what you doing today?”
“Headed to meet up with Lucy and do some errands and stuff. You?” We are so pleasant.
“That’s nice. Yeah, we are going to do errands and maybe get lunch…” She continues on but it’s the usual. Hard to focus on the superficial conversation when I know we have more to talk about.
I went through something horrible. In her defense, she had no idea at the time. I get she is the older one and has this element of disappointment in herself for not being there. What she never seems to get is I don’t blame her, or my parents, for not being there when I was going through it. They didn’t know. What really makes me angry, what really hurts, is that when she did know and saw me go through depression and was on the brink of suicide she wasn’t there for me. She knew what was happening by that point and she knew why. She made it harder. She had breakdowns. I get it was probably hard, but she didn’t live it. She didn’t want to kill herself. She didn’t want to crawl into a hole and never eat a piece of food. Yet, she had breakdowns and acted like what I was going through wasn’t that big of a deal. Like I should just be able to move past it all, so many years later.
Move past it all? Sounds so easy.
Our conversation comes to a long pause. That happens with superficial relationships. So, I break it. “That’s cool. What else is going on?”
“Oh. That’s it. Just saying hi. Mom said you are coming to visit soon?”
“Yeah. We’ll be in town for about a week or so.”
“Awesome! We should hang out. Maybe dinner or a movie; the four of us.” So, superficial. No deep conversations at movie theaters. My therapist says I have a lot of anger towards Carol that I need to deal with. She says that we should have a conversation about how I feel. We haven’t done that in a long time. The last time we did, it ended with me cursing her out and us screaming at each other. Then we didn’t talk for six months.
Here it goes…
“Well, I was hoping we could talk.” I said with a distinct nervous tone in my voice.
There was a long pause on her end, before she finally said, “We can always talk.”
Ugh! She doesn’t get it! I try to remain calm and breath: in through the nose, hold, out through the mouth, repeat. “No, I mean really talk.” Then, without thinking. “Unless you like the superficial status of our relationship?”
Her tone of voice changes a bit now. Softly she says, “We can always talk, Vinny.”
“When I come to visit, can we maybe go for a walk and talk?”
To be continued...
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