Bigger Bandages Required

Lori Reese

My hazel eyes with a ring of blue; I tell myself that’s you, my blue eyed baby sister. I will always be there for you until the day I die. I promise.

She doesn’t like it when I blog about her.

My sister is a private person.  Those that know us both remark that it’s a funny contrast; the girl who holds nothing in, and the girl who lets nothing out.   Neither option is particularly right or safe in this world when you think about it.  Holding things in, acts like an acid to the soul; it burns, and it leaves scars, and they can be slower to heal when concealed.  When you don’t want to let air to the wound, it festers sometimes.

I’m actually attracted to private people like that.  They like that I do all the talking.

My way is obviously not ideal.  I can be a walking target, were it not for a sharp tongue, wit and sarcasm.  It’s like a bullwhip these days, and I wince and smile at the same time thinking about how I have changed.  Would I want that trusting person back?  That one that assumed everyone was good and that everyone could be trusted with the contents of my mind, heart and soul?  That shit is dangerous.   It’s a door that leads to the place where people can break you into a million pieces, not that I allowed everyone there.  Very few in fact.  And man, did they kill me when it went south.

I love deeply.  I trust so sparingly… and so if I love and trust you that much, you should know that you can end me.  How the fuck I stand up (or stood up) afterward I don’t understand completely.  I think my Dad used to mock my sensitivities as weakness and so, when my tenderness makes me a target, I stand up.  Even if I have to reinforce my legs with taped toothpicks and wobble; you can bet your ass I will always stand.  My heart has learned to bleed quietly.  Like a good criminal.

So I am not allowed to blog about Kim.  Diane doesn’t mind, and Christina (see a pattern here about how I hold on with so much love and loyalty to so few?) she doesn’t mind either.  Although I try not to embarrass her with the mushy stuff.  I save that stuff for the occasional IM that doesn’t do the emotions justice.  But Diane, my poor loving, loyal best friend, who I am so completely lost without here in Texas, she hears all the dirt.  And still picks up the phone rather than screening it to voicemail when I call.

I think on some level, she finds the drama entertaining 😉  *shrug*.

My job as a big sister is to explain things.  Things that seem like flaws, that are really understandable, when you look inward with compassion.  Except that some wounds make that impossible, and if you think my inner critic is bad and painful… my sisters hurts me even more.  As an artist I hear the critic so easily in dialogue.  I hear the self-criticism and I want to punch my Dad in the face (except I never would because he has bigger muscles, and I am a lady, AND … you don’t hit your parents).  It’s one thing to be on my journey and be healing the little bits that need unpacking and healing, but when I see the same scars on my sister… I get very angry.  There is no consolation in it for me, except to appeal to HER inner critic and try to tame it (without being a controlling person) and offer her the kind of perspective she needs to start taming her inner-critic.

I hand her bits of duct tape that is disguised… little talks that remind her of her wonderfulness. Of her talents.  Of her big heart (and that she is allowed to own one).  Of the adventure of being the architect of a life you love, even if it makes no sense to critical people in your life.

Of course you know I want her to move to Texas, but that is about me.  I try to limit my offer to help her immigrate to about 6-14 times a week.  She laughs, dislikes the idea of living in America strongly, and talks about moving to Scotland.  My heart sinks and sails at the same time; if she does and loves it, that will be her happy new path.  If she does and hates it, I’ve asked her to consider Texas because… well, we love her. I’d like to grow old with her helping me raise two young men, who are already quite in love with her.

Instead of fighting the Scotland idea, I gave her some strategies that will work.  A contract work term there to “test it out”.  Renting out her house for a year.  It’s hard to give someone a winning strategy that is contrary to what you want, but everything that she wants.

That’s love right?  Sacrificing your happiness for theirs, and finding a way to be okay with distance, when I really just want her to buy the house next door.  Control freak me.  That’s only about me.  I learned that from my Dad, and whip that notion into good behavior.   I am not the worst parts of him; I’m what grew when I allowed myself to become self-directing and free of his control.  And she is there right now, trying to keep a loving relationship that allows her the freedom to be herself, without apology.

I’d still like to punch him in the face sometimes, but … I don’t think he really gets it or sees it.  Ever.  So the result would be pointless, because I’d want to punch my Father again when he asked me why I punched him in the first place.

There is no point to this blog post.  No wisdom I suppose and nothing inspirational to anyone.  One of those self-therapeutic posts I write quickly, while the kids are making their own pizzas in the kitchen with the dough I made today, fresh.   My husband is cooking so that I can wrap up a few things that didn’t get done, as I wrangled a choking, aged chihuahua, twin ten year old’s, calls from a renovator, three conference calls, social posts for eight brands and 4,000 word of original content.

*Flex*  Again, that spout was self-inflating.  I’m damned tired today.

The heart of an older sister is not unlike the heart of a mother I think.  Their wounds hurt more than your own, and you want to fix them first. <3 

She’s going to flip out when she reads this.  Deal with it.  That is what life is like when you share genomes with an artsy writer type.   I recommend you don’t date one either sis… it’s twice as bad.

The best people on this planet, are people who have the bravery to look in, and love what they see (at least some of the time). You are more than you realize, and you always have been.