Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It Becomes Her (or so she thinks)

"Shrinking away from death is something unhealthy and abnormal which robs the second half of life of its purpose."
         ~Carl Jung

While I do believe there is something to growing old gracefully, I don't exactly prescribe to the idea of embracing death as the underlying purpose of the second half of my life. I am more of a do not go gentle/rage against the dying of the light type of gal.

Lala, it seems, has an affinity for the dark.

If in a rose garden I happened upon Death and saw that he was beckoning me, I no doubt would run screaming, without pause to ascertain that it was me he wanted.

Lala, I think, would take special care to prick her fingers on the thorns while pruning a dozen of the finest blooms, offering the flowers and her blood as tokens of gratitude. 

~end metaphor~

I think she is killing herself by willing herself to die.

Seven or so years ago after invasive testing, she was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. I do not underestimate how debilitating this condition can be. I have seen Lala weak with illness, struggling against severe digestive issues to keep her weight up. Though she was terribly ill when she first received the diagnosis, the symptoms were quickly brought under control with strong medications. She was given an effective, self-managed treatment plan to follow for daily maintenance and an alternative medication plan to follow if her symptoms began to flare up again.

Emphasis: self-managed.
She has a tendency to "forget" to take her medications as prescribed.

Flare-ups can be triggered by stress.

A strong suit of mine (if I do say so myself) is objectivity. I tend to be annoyed when people get into pissing matches over their personal stressors (You think you've got problems?). Oneupmanship and belitting do not have places in the sharing of problems.Your stressors are yours. My stressors are mine.


Lala is a victim of self-imposed stress. The Universe feels no need to take a random shit on her like it does with the rest of us, because Lala already considers her life to be in the toilet.

It's not, but she perceives it to be.

Blahblahblahpeople'sperceptionsaretheirrealitiesblahblahblah. Translation:

If you haven't already noticed, processing my thoughts about my sister is a clash of contradictory thoughts. On one hand this, but on the other hand, that. Objective vs. subjective.

Subjective (Shadow is an asshole): I think she makes herself sick. Mind over matter, be damned. She gets herself so worked up over the smallest of things that she ends up sick. Not fake sick, but flare-up sick, the type which makes her speak in whimpers and keeps her running to the bathroom every 30 minutes. I'M GOING TO FILL OUT APPLICATIONS EVERYWHERE TOMORROW! GO, ME! On second thought, no I'm not. Because I'm siiiick. I need ginger ale. Do I have a fever? I'm just. so. tired.*whimper*  

Objective (Shadow has a heart and really does care despite all the bitchy rage): Well, to some degree, who hasn't experienced psychosomatic illnesses before? There have been times where I've been so suddenly nervous or frightened that my insides instantly liquefy and my half-digested lunch goes rushing towards the nearest exit. We've all been there. Lala's stressors keep her in an almost-constant state of illness.

Subective Asshole: Bull.Shit. Grow a set and get a life.

Bottom line of both frames of mind -- Lala is in serious need of counseling. Even if it is passive (as previously discussed, inaction is her mode of choice), I believe that she has suicidal tendencies. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago on SO that she recently spent a week in the hospital due to a severe mystery infection that circulated through her blood, so severe that she needed a transfusion. The doctors quite literally feared for her life.

Whether it was the flurry of attention rallied around her or the pleasing, but sorely mistaken idea that her brush near THE END gives her (yet another) extension to continue her chronic joblessness, I think she liked it. 

According to Jung, Lala is way ahead of schedule.


  1. When I was a teenager, my dad told me (well, he told my sister, but I was listening) that if I didn't like my life, I should just change it. It's a pretty simple philosophy (although sometimes difficult to implement) and I always wonder why people generally can't follow through on it. They'd rather complain and live with the status quo. Then, after observing for a while, I realized that there are people who thrive on sympathy and attention. I don't have the emotional resources to support this type of person long term, so I try to minimize contact. It seems like your sister exhibits some of these tendencies. I have great sympathy for you, since you are torn between family love and a very wearying personality.

  2. The more I learn about you and your situation with your sister, the more sympathy/empathy I have for you. I keep coming back, in my own mind, to my own situation with my bipolar sister. Their situations are very different, but man, it can be so frustrating dealing with a person bent on self-sabotage.

    How are you doing with all of this? I imaging that your whole family would tend to center around her drama--but how are you? Lala will be Lala, and there's not really much we can control about other people (not anything, really). I hope that you are finding ways to take care of you and to deal with your own feelings about this. I told you before, and I'll tell you again, I think you are brilliant for starting this blog. Brilliant. You also know how to find me (and I imagine any number of other people here) if you need to talk in words not written down.

    Much love--R

  3. Oh hon, I can totally understand your view of what is going on with Lala. And, I think at some level you are spot on about her enjoying the attention it gives her. I wish I had some brilliant advice or was there to listen in person. It can't be easy dealing with all that.

  4. My older sister did things that this, as well. It was SO hard on me, my family, as well as the rest of the family. I finally had to take a step back. It hurt me to do that, but it was time.

    It sucks, plain and simple. I'm so glad you're able to write it all out and receive support. That's HUGE!

  5. So much of Lala's behavior reminds me of my husband's. And your thoughts that of mine. I'm trying to pair the thoughts instead of making it an either/or thing. For example, JD is a lazy whiner AND JD makes sure he takes the dog out. He's good and bad at both times.

    I wish they'd both grow up though. I've got a ways to go till I'm all about the acceptance thing.