Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Can You Hear Me Now?

I can't believe I am up typing at 5:00 am. I have been up since 3:00 am. This doesn't happen to me often. I hope it doesn't happen again for a long time.

Holidays are often such stressful times for people because of family of origin issues. I don't usually have much trouble with those, seeing as how I am a grown adult with a family of my own. However, my twin sister being so seriously ill complicates things a lot. It has drawn me into the outskirts of family of origin complications, and that's why I can't sleep tonight.


It's a Biblical term, you know. Once a year, the High Priest would lay his hands on the scape goat, pronounce the sins of the people over the goat as he laid hands on it, and then the goat would be led into the wilderness and abandoned.

As the Priest turned his back on the goat and walked away, he was walking away from the responsibility for the sin of the people. None of them would be held responsible. It was all the goat's fault at that point.

In my family, I am that goat.

I didn't volunteer for this role, I assure you. Neither did my twin sister, who shares the role with me because of the misfortune of being born a twin.

Talking to her recently, I also was reminded just how negatively my family of origin chooses to view me. My oldest sister, whom I once asked for temporary shelter if I needed to leave the marriage, is spreading this confidential news all over the family of origin relationship sphere. Of course she puts her own twist on it.

In her version, I am melodramatic and just crying for attention. Plus, if there actually IS any problems in my marriage, they are all my fault. I am lying about my husband, he would never hurt me. I am an evil, vindictive person out to destroy a good man. *sigh*

I can't believe I trusted her.

Well, for all of you who pray, please pray for protection for my very sick twin sister. I was surprised when the whole family came together to help support her in her time of illness. Our family is so ungodly, though very religious, so any practical compassion on their part is a true testament that the forces of good are at work in the earth!

They are still one screwed up dysfunctional family though, with a history of blaming everything on the twins, perpetual scapegoats that we are. One the one hand they do currently provide financial support for my (very sick) twin. On the other hand the last time my oldest sister visited her in person, she accused her of faking her illness.

She made these accusations publicly and with a great deal of anger. Talk about kicking a person when they are down. It was wicked. It was cruel. It was destructive. It was ugly.

But she is the one who holds the purse-strings. What can my twin do? She is completely at the mercy of my oldest sister.

So here's the bad news: my oldest sister hasn't spoken to me since she freaked out on me almost a year ago. She had just returned from a visit to my mom's, which seemed to take her right back into the old family role of mom's co-abuser.

Now she is going back to visit my mom again, and intends to then immediately go see my twin sister. I am terrified for my twin. At the very least she will be verbally and emotionally abused during this visit. Don't suggest I am just being negative; I know these people well.

But at worst, my oldest sister is about to abandon her again. It is entirely likely that she is going to announce that the rest of the family is tired of financially supporting my twin. She will probably tell my twin that the Lyme disease is her fault somehow. Likely my oldest sister will hint it is all in my twin's head, and if my twin would just try harder to be well, she would be. Maybe my oldest sister will outright accuse my twin of faking it, like she did to her on her last visit.

I know how my family works. If they want to stop supporting her financially, they will do it in such a manner that they can blame my twin. They will torment her until she breaks, and then spread the news amongst themselves about how ungrateful and hostile my twin was, and after all they did for her! They will tell themselves that my twin doesn't deserve their support. They will try to torment her to the point that my twin herself will refuse their money.

I say "try" because that is not an option for my twin. She is permanently disabled by Lyme disease. She can not work. I think she is still getting government disability, but that is a paltry sum. She is on Medicaid, but then Medicaid doesn't cover Lyme disease. The government health care doesn't acknowledge that chronic Lyme exists, even though Americans die from it every year.

We send her rent money every month. My younger sister pays her prescriptions. My older sister pays her private health insurance. Even my NPD mom chips in, surprisingly.

My older sister organized all this, in her moments of Christian conviction, about the same time that she reconciled with me. Of course those days are over now, and I am afraid that all the Christian charity has dried up as well.


I am asking God to heal her, as I have been all along, but no miracle has been forthcoming yet. Maybe if you join your prayers with mine?

Pray that God will turn my oldest sister's heart: that she will not be able to go see my sister immediately after visiting my mom. That's is the absolute worst-case scenario for my twin.

Pray that God will stir up the hearts of my family once again to true Christian love. It was a miracle the first time. It would absolutely rock my world if He would do it again.

Can you hear me now, God? Out here in the exiled wilderness where the scapegoats go? Does anyone else hear me? If you will join me in prayer, please leave a comment. I am so in need of hope this morning. Maybe God will come through for my precious twin if we all pull together in prayer?

I feel rather puny right now. ~SS


  1. Hey, I'm up at 5:30 too! I'm sitting at the pool for my daughter's twice weekly Olympic development class (why do these things always happen early morning?)

    I have an alarm set on my phone that rings with cheesy cathedral bells twice a day. It is my call to prayer. You and your husband have been on my list for months. I will add your sister.

  2. I just said a prayer for all concerned.

    - Leila

  3. Yeah, family disfunction stinks.
    I hate the scapegoat thing.
    I hate it.
    I'm glad your sister has at least your emotional support. If she didn't, then what would she do?

  4. Sandra, Leila, Merry and Mara-

    Thank you so much for your prayers. I have been really tired and sad today, unable really to pray myself beyond those groans and utterances that the Spirit understands.

    Leila, I had a friend at Cameron University in 1981 by that name. It's beautiful. She was beautiful, of Persian descent with wavy brown hair and beautiful green eyes. I hope she, and you, are living lives filled with love, faithful friends, freedom and beauty.

  5. I will pray for you and your sister.

  6. Thanks, Ang. It means a lot to me that you would take time to pray with compassion for a person you've never met. There IS love in this world. I appreciate it.

  7. Wow, you can count me among the prayers. Hope it works out!


  8. Whew! Well a got an email and my older sister's plans have changed already- at least I think so. People have a habit in my family of telling one person one thing and another something else. But it looks like she has postponed her trip to see my twin for a few weeks, but not her trip to see the other family.

    So, thanks for praying! =) That little answer to pray is *I hope* only the beginning.

  9. I came late, but prayed for your sisters, one to change her mind, one to be healed if that would be best. And healed in a way that she could not be accused. then I read the comments, and found that God, who loves and is faithful, answered, moving into action even before I had asked Him. Isn't that so like Him, though! He loves us always, but every once in a while He just has to do something special to make sure we remember that.

  10. Thank you Mama K. My sister has a long road ahead of her, and all prayers are appreciated!=)

  11. I just wanted to thank you for your blog. Before I read some of your posts last month, I was one of those young-earth creationists that thought anyone who interpreted Genesis differently that I do must not really believe the bible. (On second thought, I suppose I allowed for those who believed in an old earth based on the "gap theory.)

    I read some articles on theistic evolution that I think you posted links to. I found it especially interesting to read about people who believe God used evolution for animals and neanderthals, but take the creation account of Genesis 1-2 literally.

    While I haven't seen enough evidence to convince me to change my views, I do now realize that it is possible to be a devoted Christian that believes the Bible, albeit with a different interpretation of other passages than I have.

    I hate it when my patriarchy supporting friends from my former church accuse me of not believing the Bible (when they learn I now believe in the equality of women in marriage and in the church) rather than actually listening to my reasoning. I will no longer mentally accuse theistic evolution supporters of this.

  12. Thanks for posting, Hoppy. That means a lot to me that anything I write be helpful to anyone in their faith.

    Keep on loving God and loving people! SS

  13. praying for healing in your life
    and in the lives of those you love
    healing of mind
    hearts mostly... May the Lord bless you as you strive after Him in the ministry you are doing with your family...

  14. Thanks anika! I appreciate your good will and your prayers. n_n

  15. I have stumbled upon your blog while researching for a novel I am writing and have been captivated by your insights into dysfunctional fundamentalism.

    I will pray for your sister, even though it is a year after your plea. I am convinced God is not bound to space and time, as we are, and my prayers will be as fresh as the day you asked for them :).

  16. Thanks Jean! You posted on our birthday. =D