Well, I went home yesterday as I said I would. Sorry there was no update, but I got back late, and I really wasn't in the mood. There are some days when I wish I was an orphan or at least an only child.
It's true what they say... familiarity breeds contempt. They know me too well and are too willing to hurt me. It hardly matters that they use words and not fists. Even when their slights are tacitly untrue, it still hurts. They're my family. I love them. I'll never be able to walk away from them completely. I need them to love me, flaws and all, as I do them. I don't like them, but I love them. I don't even know how that works.
No one was at the house when I got there, for which I was extremely grateful. After dealing with Shady's little discovery, I really wasn't in any mood to deal with more headcases. The empty house gave me the chance to gather some more of my stuff that I had passed up last time for want of space. It irritated me to see the disregard my sister and her husband had for my things, but they're only things. I care more for their safety than that they not leave condensation rings on the table or that they leave their dirty dishes in the sink and on the stove.
Besides, there was worse upstairs. They've installed E-Bear in the spare room, and I left her new teddy bear there. I know she'll love it when she sees it. Her parents have installed themselves in my room, and let me just say that married life has not improved my sister's habits. We shared a room when we were little, and it was like the odd couple, my half neat and her half a creeping sty. I'll admit I tend to collect things, but my sister is an inveterate hoarder. No surface of the room was left uncluttered, and the bed covers were half on, half off the bed. My plants were dead of course. She hadn't bothered to water them or clear them away. I wonder how long they'll sit in the windows before she does something about them.
Part of me wanted to start cleaning immediately, but that wasn't why I'd come. I trotted up to the attic and retrieved some empty plastic tubs from when I moved in. It was quiet up there. No weird air pressure, menacing shadows, or whispering... that was a relief. The stain had faded more than I would have expected too. Very odd. A not altogether unwelcome change, but still a little bewildering and for some reason, unsettling. Had my sister had an exorcist in while I was away?
My sister had already emptied my closet and dresser into garbage bags. I found them in the basement. At least she hadn't tossed everything. I shoved them in the trunk and filled the tubs with my books instead. I have a LOT of books, most of them scholarly... eight bookshelves in my bedroom alone, well my sister's bedroom now. I packed up what I could fit in the car and put the rest up in the attic. Carried the shelves up there too. I'll collect it all if I make another trip, but I'd rather not trust my collection to my sister's tender mercies. I'm surprised her husband didn't flip out over the subject matter and toss everything out the window in a fit of rage. (Seriously... the reaction he has to anything which is non-mainstream religious is borderline psychotic.)
I found an old phone in the course of my packing. So, joy? Not sure... I'm cell phone illiterate, so I'll have to wait to see if the SIM card will work. If not, I suppose I'll have to go back to AT&T and see what they can/will do about it. The fact that my sister came home and emoted at me while I was finishing up does NOT fill me with confidence as to the messages I will find when I do get the phone working.
First words out of her mouth? "Where the *bleep* have you been?" (My sister has a very bad potty mouth. I'm sure you can fill in the bleeps.) "Mom has been *bleep* flipping out for a *bleep* week on me and Drew (our brother). How can you be so inconsiderate?"
"Sorry. My phone broke. Just came by for some of my stuff." That's me, being all diplomatically vague.
"You've got some *bleep* nerve. I should just sell your *bleep* *bleep*, considering you *bleep* stole my car."
"Please, I'm letting you stay here pretty much rent free. In two months, you'll already have saved what the car is worth. Don't act like you're doing me a favor. I am being far more kind to you than you've ever been to me."
"What the *bleep* is that supposed to mean?" She got in my face as I tried to get around her.
"I mean, family doesn't extort money from family for the loan of a car. Even a friend would only expect to fill the tank if they borrowed a friend's car. I could mention all the jewelry that went missing from my jewelry box when were kids, including the platinum bracelet I inherited from Nana, which shouldn't be in your jewelry box right now by the way."
"Relax, I didn't touch your precious jewelry, or even take back the pieces I recognized. If you hadn't noticed, I'm not exactly a girlie, girl. Keep it. I don't even care, and E-Bear will inherit from you what she would have got from me anyway. But don't think that because I let your behavior slide that I wasn't aware of it. I just always hoped you'd grow out of it. You're my sister and I love you, but you are a small-minded, petty, and narcissistic. I wonder sometimes how we can possibly be related, but you look just like dad and I look just like Nana; so there's no question about that, unfortunately."
She opened her mouth to make some sort of rebuttal, but her phone rang. She was obviously torn about letting the argument go, but she's a habitual cell-gabber. If there was a procedure to have a phone surgically implanted in one's head, she'd be first in line. She made a grab for me as she flipped open the phone, but I managed to evade her.
I paused at the door as I heard her yelling. "Mom! Mom! Slow down. Yes! She's here right now. I don't know! Her phone broke. God, mom. Shut up! Just..."
I bolted. I feel bad about it, but I did NOT want to talk to mom. Flipping out for mom tended to be the opposite of flipping out for my sister. My sister will get completely manic when she's upset or angry, as per the conversation above. Believe me, the language I bleeped out is mild compared to some of the rants I've heard from her. Not to mention the slammed doors, broken furniture, and smashed picture frames and dishes. My mother goes to the opposite extreme, becoming absolutely maudlin. She stops eating, sleeps all the time, and basically acts and sounds like a depressed Eeyore (as opposed to a happy one). Now imagine growing up an empath in a house with a manic psychotic on one side and depressive neurotic on the other. It's a wonder I turned out so well.
Then to make matters worse, there were multiple accidents on the way back to Jersey. and I got lost because the Jersey highways are a labyrinth at the center of which lies the Minotaur, or Yog-Sothoth, I haven't decided. So what should have been a two hour drive, turned into four and a half, and by the time I got back to the mansion, I hardly wanted to talk to anyone. Even Sunshine avoided me and Trina looked worried, as if she thought she'd done something wrong. And I felt like an ass for it, but I told everyone good night without bothering to explain and crawled into my hammock.