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Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Conversation With My Sister

My sister texted me - Fion, can you call me please. I didn't pick it up until the next morning so I texted her back and told her that and asked what was up. Her return text was - never mind, everything's fine.

So, at my 7am, her 11pm, I call. What prevented her from calling instead of texting, I don't know, unless she's in arrears on her phone bills again and they've locked her international call facility.

Me: Hi Rhon, what's up.

My sister: I'm depressed Fion, no work, Kirk left me again, I don't know what to do with my life. I'm sitting at home all day.

Me: I'm glad he's not around anymore, he's very bad news.

My sister: Well, he's gone for good this time.

Me: Uh huh, like the last five times? You know you'll take him back if he wants to psychologically bully you some more. And that's the worst kind of bullying, that noone sees, that you pretend you don't see. I hate to say this but I almost wish he would give you a black eye because that might help you understand what he's doing to you, invisibly, and you also wouldn't be able to explain that away so easily to your friends.

My sister: He loves me.

Me: Oh my god, he does not, Rhona. He sees you as someone he can get away with bullying and no matter how awful he is to you, you will let him back in. He picks at you, he even told you that he doesn't care about you.

My sister: He didn't mean it.

Me: You may think that and yes, it could be explained away as something said in the heat of the moment, the problem is that every one of his actions, supports exactly what he said.

My sister: I don't know. I'm going to a counselor tomorrow.

Me: A counselor doesn't see the interaction that goes on between the two of you, doesn't see the way he puts you down, doesn't see his manipulation of your drinking problems. Doesn't see how he goads you on until you do something irrational and then when you do that, he blames you for doing it. And you don't tell the truth about any of these things, you always excuse his atrocious behaviour and buy into his story of it being your fault. I know, I've witnessed it first hand and have talked about this to you more than once.

My sister: *Silence*

Me: *Getting riled up* Rhona, you're 45, it's time you grew up and took responsibility for your choices and your decisions. Or at least make some. What are you planning to do?

My sister: I think I want to go to live in Edinburgh, rent a small apartment, get re-trained. As I'll only have Shaz (her Jack Russel) with me that will be easier. I'm going to miss Lupo so much.

Me: Well that's a start. I hope you understand that being re-trained doesn't mean you'll get a job as that would put you in the inexperienced batch of whatever you're being trained to do. And with unemployment what it is, you'd be up against a lot of people who have the experience. Quite honestly, maybe you should at least look at doing some waitressing again as a starting point.

My sister: Yes, that's a good idea but right now I have no work.

Me: I know but it's not like you're homeless or penniless so why don't you get out of the house and at least do some volunteer work.

My sister: Yes, I could do that, I just feel so depressed.

Me: Well moping around the house and drinking until you're sozzled every night won't help.

My sister: I know, Fion, I know.

Me: And for god's sake do not even think about letting that asshole back into your life. Move on from this now, once and for all and grab hold of your life.

My sister: He left me, I didn't leave him.

Me: Yup, I understand the difference but it's good he made that decision, now let him stick to it. Make him stick to it. Do not let him across the threshhold again.

My sister: I still don't know what to do about my money (her inheritance).

Me: Well, Rhona, that's another decision you have to make because I'm not making it for you. It's still sitting in my account and you could have had it in an interest-bearing account had you answered my email months and months ago.

My sister: I found one place a few weeks ago, with 3.4%, but I have to pay 20% tax.

Me: If they're still offering 3.4% that's pretty good but the world is changing every day so you'll have research it again. As for tax, well I know that will be a first for you but taxes are just part of life.

My sister: Fion, would you check on the internet....

Me: What? What? You've just told me you're sitting at home all day doing nothing, you know how damn busy I am and you are asking me to do that for you?

My sister: I don't have internet at home (no surprise) and I don't like going to internet cafes.

Me: Well I don't much like rolling out of bed at 6am but I do it because I have to. So don't ask me to do that for you when you know how busy my days are and you've admitted to sitting at home doing nothing all day.

My sister: OK OK don't get so angry at me, Fion.

Me: Well I am angry at you, Rhona. And frustrated. Angry that you continue to expect me to solve all your problems, angry that you continue to let someone mess with your head, angry that you expect me to drop things and help you out every time. I'm angry that I heard you pouring yourself another drink during this conversation. I'm frustrated with you wanting to keep playing the victim and expecting me to dig you out of every hole you find yourself in.

My sister: I'd better let you get to work.

Me: I'm at work, but yes, I need to get back to work. Good luck with the counselor. By the way, I'm still waiting for the company documents so I can close the contract with the seller and collect my final 10% (for the sale of the dive centre) and still waiting for the vaccination records for Lupo and Toffee.

My sister: OK. Bye now.

I'm impatient with her, I know, but I'm simply no longer able to, nor do I wish to, constantly be looked upon as her rescuer. A few months ago, I saw a book and bought it, to send to her. I've delayed doing that in case it was too hard for her to read. But I really think that now is the time. The list of symptoms on the back cover screamed out to me: This is Rhona.....

. a shaky sense of identity (check)
. sudden violent outbursts (check)
. oversensitivity to real or imagined rejection (check)
. brief, turbulent love affairs (check)
. frequent period of intense depression (check)
. eating disorders, drug abuse and other self-destructive tendencies (check)
. an irrational fear of abandonment and an inability to be alone (check)

It's about understanding Borderline Personality Disorder. So, do I read it to understand her better? Or do I send it to her so she understands herself better? Or maybe both?

Monday, February 23, 2009

As The World Turns ~ Updated ~

Did someone crank up earth's orbital speed? Is it just me or are the days morphing into weeks and the weeks morphing into months? If I thought 2008 went by fast, it has nothing on the speed 2009 seems to be moving at!!

Some highlights for the next few months are:

٭ Arrival of my best friend's twin boys (March 10 or 12 under c-section) ٭

٭ Journey concert, Macau, 20th March ٭

٭ Coldplay concert, 25th March ٭

٭ Weekend luxury stay in a 5-star hotel suite 27th through 29th March ٭

٭ Easter - pondering a quick trip somewhere with hubby ٭

٭ Toffee and Lupo arrive on 15th April ٭

٭ By May 7 we have to find a new place to live ٭

٭ Steve's boys arrive 17th June for three weeks ٭

٭ On the 21st June we're all off to Phuket for a week ٭

And before I know it, half the year will be gone.

Is your world turning as fast as mine?

Monday, February 09, 2009


...is going on with the weather? It was 27C (80F) here yesterday, with more of the same today, and it's early February. Even for us, that's damned hot for this time of the year. We've had about six cold days this winter, and by cold I mean below 15C (60F).

I really don't understand it and certainly hope the temperature dips again, at least a little, otherwise we're in for an intolerably long summer. Every year, the winter gets shorter and while we already enjoy a temperate climate, pretty soon there won't be any really cold days. With our very hot and humid summers, they are something we look forward to - and the chance to break out our boots and winter woolies.

Probably not what those of you who have been knee-deep or more in snow, want to hear, but too much heat isn't that much fun either.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

A Meow and a Woof and a Reunited Family

Thank you Agriculture and Fisheries Department for re-classifying Canary Islands under Spain, making it a Group II country for the importation of pets into Hong Kong. Which means no six-month stint in the UK for them. Once the six-month blood test has been done, Lupo and Toffee are free to come to join us here! In March!

I was in the middle of writing another post when this news hit......basically Rhona is trying to tell me that she's not going to give up Lupo as SHE can give him a better life. Yes, this is the woman who has allowed her boyfriend to break my dog's spirit, this is the woman who thinks it is okay for him to be refused permission to even step foot in the lounge in his own home, this is the woman who has relegated him to having a rag on the floor as his bed, this is the woman who leaves him home alone overnight when she's too pissed to get back and this is the woman who doesn't know what she'll be doing in one month, three months, six months.

Yes, she is also the woman who has looked after him for eight years, this is the woman who has given him a lot of love, this is the woman who makes sure he has a run on the beach whenever possible, this is the woman who will drive for two hours to get him up onto the mountain to play in the snow in the winter. I'm aware of all the goodness she's given him, I can see that. Toffee, not so much, he is clearly a love-deprived animal and isn't looked after that well - nor was Sai-Loh, with tragic results.

Over the years, she's allowed her boyfriends to dictate how my dog lives his life. He's gone from having his own chair, his own bed, to nothing. So little comfort that he has callouses on his elbows. And, for her to now have the nerve to say that she can look after Lupo better than I can, well I don't think so missy.

I'll get nasty over this, if I have to. This is where Lupo belongs, where he feels safe and secure. And this is where he's going to be very soon, cuddling with me on my couch. Whenever he wishes to.


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