**Warning** The Abdication of Responsibility: Fluffy Duck and Suicidal Sister… Part One *Potential Trigger*
Hey there Llama lovers. I'm sufficiently miserable to describe the events around my sister's first suicide attempt, (and how Fluffy took it out on me and basically made me out to be the crazy one – change of mind, this will be in another post).
My sister has had a lot of terrible, terrible things happen in her life. But don't get me wrong, she hasn't made things any easier for herself either. Instead of seeking therapy and a change of location and lifestyle she has chosen to remain mired in her addictions; her chosen mode of employment is in itself illegal and makes her very vulnerable to violence and abuse; the old adage that "you can take a horse to water but you can't make it drink" succinctly describes her without more comment on that needed.
Anyway, 5 & 1/2 years ago I received a call from Fluffy asking me to go to her house to check on sister. I asked why, Fluffy replied that she had a call come in where sister was (drunk/high) saying "I'm sorry for everything, I love you" rambling for a few minutes and then hung up. Fluffy wanted to chat about what I thought that meant, whether she should come home from work or call police/ambulance. I told her to come home from work, I'd go check on sister and stay with her until Fluffy got home. She wanted to chat, I said "let me get off the phone and get yourself home". I ran to Fluffy's house, and Sister was out the back under the patio holding a big arse kitchen knife and smoking. There were a couple of empty bottles of strong, cheap wine and liquor scattered around her.
It took 20 minutes of talking to get her to put the knife down. She wouldn't give it to me though… I'd been so panicked to get there and check on her I'd not picked up my mobile/cell. I was terrified to leave her alone. I kept watching the clock, thinking 'surely Fluffy should be nearly here by now' but not having a phone couldn't check… The minutes ticked by. The 20 minutes became 40 then an hour. I had to collect my kids from school. 'God, WHERE is Fluffy?' the seconds dragged by and the minutes jetted past.
Eventually sister was like, "oh hai – you gotta get the kids from school".
"Yeah, but I don't want to leave you."
Sister said "I promise I won't do anything. I'll just sit and have a smoke I'm okay now". Fifteen minutes pass, I had to go collect the kids. It was one of the worst things I've had to decide on… The catch 22 was that NO PHONE meant I couldn't get anyone else to get them, but where the fuck was Fluffy???
Knowing I was going to get to the kids late, I made sister Promise not to do anything to hurt herself and ran for home, my car keys, my phone. I jumped into the car and threw it in gear, calling Fluffy's mobile/cell at the same time. No answer. Oh my fuck. I tried it again and again, thinking Oh Lord she's been in an accident. SO I called her work phone. She answered. My stomach dropped.
"What are you doing at work still Mum?" I yelled, scared for my sister, worried my (anxiety riddled) kids would be freaking out that mum's not there to get them, terrified my sister was going to Hurt herself.
"Oh, I was just waiting for you to call and tell me how she was…"
Cue my yelling about how dumb she was, get in her car and get home, call an ambulance, call the police, she had a 12" kitchen knife plus a couple of others with her and Why call me to deal with it and tell me you were on your way home if you weren't? and now I'm late to get my kids and how I hope I don't have a crash and Why call me if she wasn't worried? What in the hell was she thinking??????
I told her to get her arse in gear, call emergency services' mental health team and Get My Sister Help. I hung up as I got to the kids' school, and the little angels were happily playing over the other side of the school field so I had to run to get them, run back to the car and get home. I got them home and – knowing Father was home from work by now – set about getting the kids some food and playtime stuff going. I tried to settle, then Father comes banging at the door "can you go see your sister, she's made a mess of herself"…
OMG. The smell. The sight… So much mess… OMG… I called out to Sister, Fluffy was there now (gee, nice of you to join the party) and younger brother was too. He'd walked in the door moments after Fluffy holding a cake to celebrate completing his Masters… I ran into the bathroom and the blood … I'll never forget how much there was… I got Fluffy out of the way, checked Sister's nail beds (good venous return), she still had good colour and was as lucid as an alcoholic drug addict can be in the middle of a binge… Lifting the face washers off her wrists, the damage seemed superficial and not in the direction needed for death to be a possibility, plus she was able to move her fingers/hands still. The bleeding was slowing. Some things were good, others not so… She definitely needed stitches to close the wounds.
I told Fluffy to get into her car and get it started. Younger brother insisted on going with them, so I told him to get in the front. Sister didn't want to go to the hospital "needles scare me" (yeah, bitch, unless you're holding one full of hooch). She screamed and fought me and I dragged her to the car. I child-locked her in, told Fluffy to get her to the hospital and Do Not Stop if she could avoid it so Sister couldn't jump out of the car.
I asked younger brother to hold her hand, she trusted him and would let him. He snorted derisively at me and said "she won't jump out". 'Yeah, right fucktard' I thought as they drove off.
I returned to my home, let Father in on the events and he returned home with eyebrows raised and proclamations of "well I can't do anything! I just get cut off at the knees". So, for the next couple of hours I was busy getting the kids fed, washed and into bed. I called Fluffy. She said that Sister was in a bed, waiting to be seen. She also said that Sister wound the window down opened the car door and jumped out of the car, at the entrance to the hospital. Some passing security guards tackled her and "escorted" her into the waiting room. (Ye. Gods. Can this get worse? LOL, OF COURSE IT CAN)
The nightly phone call from DH was hard, he couldn't believe that Fluffy had played me like that… That she didn't call the Mental Health Emergency Response Unit, police or ambulance, and that she'd continued on her day for over an hour and a half; knowing that her daughter was suicidal.
After that I called Fluffy's mobile, yes, Sister was being seen, yes she needed stitches and yes she was going to be in over night. Could I bring up some pyjamas for Sister? Father most graciously (/s!) came and sat with the kids (now in bed & asleep) while I ducked up to the hospital. Sister's blood alcohol level was 0.42 (lethal dose for most humans) and the doctor was morbidly impressed. Sister thought it was hilarious. Fluffy ignored it all and younger brother asked if they could go now. So they left.
Cue the tirade at me, a nurse actually opened the curtain and asked me if I was okay. I nodded mutely, tears pooling and trying not to crack.
The stand out nasty comment was when Sister blamed me for it. For not protecting her. For not being around for her enough. God, that hurt. It still does. I was still battling my own cancer beasties, and my step daughter had attempted (quite thoroughly too) suicide a year earlier. Sister said I was the worst person ever and that it was my fault step daughter left and tried to suicide too.
How do you recover from that? I don't believe anyone can… It devastated me.
I made my way home after that, leaving her there in that cold, clinical place where I dreaded Fluffy was going to enable her to walk out the next day without starting treatment. I knew that we could get her admitted involuntarily, but that Fluffy just wouldn't do that.
Sleep was hard that night.
I got up the next morning and took the kids to school, then headed to the hospital. Sister was sober, and had a shower, her bandages were nice and clean – she had been stitched up after I left the night before. She seemed a lot better, well, sober. She asked for her phone and handbag, and if I could go with her to have a smoke. The nurse said it was okay if I went with her, so we did. Not much talking was done.
We headed back in, in time for the Psych team to arrive at her bed. They spoke with her and after that, the Psych Consultant asked to speak with me. She asked if Fluffy would support Sister, as Sister said that she would; and that if Fluffy did that, Sister could go home.
I told the Psych Consultant that I believed it was in Sister's best interest to have an involuntary admission. She said that as Sister was lucid and sober, she seemed okay and that she would be admitted if Sister wanted to be, but I just knew that Fluffy wouldn't make Sister get the help she so desperately needed/needs. Sure enough, Fluffy rocks in just as the Psych team are about to leave and just like that… Sister was discharged.
I suppose that the point of telling this now, is that I have to get these things out of me to be able to heal. And in telling these things I hope some other people might see how insidious the abuse Narcs throw around is.
My desperation to be valued is used against me time and time again, a wish to save my loved ones is my downfall. This story really isn't about me, but it is at the same time. It's bigger than just a bad mother/daughter vibe, but so intangible that as the pawn in this twisted game, I constantly feel I have to explain everything to everyone about why I'm so damned fragile. It's why it's so important that we support victims of abuse and violence, because the ongoing disbelief and victim blaming is part of the problem, especially if the victims blame themselves.
The other part is the abdication of responsibility. It feels like Fluffy has been abdicating responsibility for parenting my siblings for most of my life, onto me. I'm tired of feeling like everything is my fault, that I haven't done enough or been good enough to protect people from bad things. It's hard to know what healthy is and looks like, I haven't ever really had it. I'm tired of being made to feel that way.
What I can say is that without this sub, so many people would be in far more precarious situations that we/they are. Thank all that is good, sacred and holy for this sub ❤ I love you all JNMILers!