So, she came yesterday with her two kids–one of whom I have never seen before, and the other one I saw 8 years ago or so.
Ahead of time, I felt frightened. When she did come, it was okay, and surprisingly normal. Except when she first came, she seemed surprisingly surprised by everything, or maybe much more puzzled than I could account for. She did this exaggerated surprised look/shrug thing I couldn’t quite fathom. Are you really that unable to process what is happening? Maybe. Maybe she felt a lot of uncertainty.
Anyway, she seemed to get past that and settled down to something more normal, the capable person I remember. She is capable, after all. She is very good at a lot of things.
She was with her second husband, the kid’s stepfather. I suppose they have been married about three years. He struck me sort of oddly, kind of passive. Her first husband was so passive he was like someone dead. We had nice chats–the first husband and I–but he just kind of withdrew from my sister and let her make all of the decisions. Meanwhile, my sister was lonely.
There is some kind of dynamic, where my sister is very decisive, very organizing, as a lot of women are, and her husbands just kind of sit back. When we got lunch yesterday, her husband put in his order with my sister and went and sat down. Well, it was good to grab a table, but he did the same thing at dinner time in an empty restaurant. Left my sister to organize, because she does organize.
So that was interesting to see.
The odd thing about being with my sister is she is my sibling, but she doesn’t seem to really remember anything of our shared childhoods. It’s like she didn’t really exist, and it’s a strange feeling to have no arguments about what really happened, no one to actually compare notes with. I remember her being there, but she does not usually remember what I remember, not even in her own version of that. There is a sense of lacking a shared history that we ought to have, as though she is not someone I grew up with and have known literally from a day or two after my birth, but instead is someone I met only as an adult.
It’s not just the crazy shit that is like this, but perfectly normal things. Like we went to a place she and I first went as children when our aunt came to visit. I’ve been there a few times since, but I think that was the only other time she has been there. Did she remember? Maybe. She couldn’t quite say.
I think it speaks to her disorganization. The idea that memories are just not integrated into proper narratives. They are disconnected impressions of things. Which is what seems to happen, and not necessarily because of trauma in that moment, but because the brain does not generally how to create nice, integrated ways of understanding things.
That’s what I have read anyway from attachment experts.
I don’t really know