One of the reasons I love soup so much is often it’s very easy. You chop up a bunch of stuff, throw it in a pot with some liquid, wait until you are hungry, and voila you have magically made yourself a tasty, warm, comforting bowl of nutritious love.
I’m so good at making these kinds of soups that I’m sick of them. I don’t think I’ve made a single pot of chicken noodle at all this soup season, which is rapidly coming to an end. My new favorite thing is to make various inauthentic ramen from recipes I find on Pinterest. The kinds of ramen I make take more active time and attention, which is why whenever I summon up the kind of focus and energy it requires it feels like I’m reaching for an extra special level of taking care of myself.
And boy, I fucking needed that today.
My parents came over yesterday under the guise of picking up some more boxes and borrowing a pair of pliers. While I’m sure that was their honest intent, they ended up tossing an emotional grenade into my lap and then skedaddling to go finish packing for their move today (they’re moving to a smaller place down the hall from their current apartment).
Out of nowhere, at least to me, my parents started laying it on thick about Sister #3’s estrangement from the Sister Club. I’m not exaggerating. My dad said, and I quote, “I don’t have much time left and I really want to see us all together again.”
Then my mom started crying and said, “I’m just so afraid that when I die she’ll be all alone without any family.”
It was a fucking lot and I felt ambushed. Since Sister #3 opted out of the Sister Club in 2020 I’ve had a don’t ask, don’t tell policy about her and The Tibbles. It’s too painful, a piece of glass in my heart I do not touch.
I reminded my parents I did not banish Sister #3 or The Tibbles from the family, that this was her choice. She’s the one who blocked us on Facebook and she’s the one who told me to never contact The Tibbles again. I also told them holidays were less anxiety-riddled for me now that I don’t have to arm myself against her free-floating meanness.
Their sadness about this familial rift leveled me. I spent last night in a funk debating with myself about texting Sisters #2 & #4 about what happened. I didn’t want to burden them the way I felt burdened, so I just went to bed at 10 (only to learn of the death of Taylor Hawkins, which has hit me in a weird way).
The sadness didn’t dissipate in the night. I carried it around most of the day. It doesn’t help at all that today is Liam, the youngest Tibble’s birthday. He’s seventeen now. I don’t think I’ve really talked to him since 2019. I will never be able to properly describe the hole his absence has made in my life.
My plan was to sleep and read my way to emotional numbness, but my friend EM called and so I cried on her shoulder and that made me feel moderately better, so I texted the sisters.
Within thirty seconds of sending the text, Sister #2 had all three of us on a FaceTime call where I spilled many tears and the entire story. I’m so glad I burdened them, even though neither of them felt particularly burdened. I think living so far away gives them better perspective or they’re better at letting go of the ongoing saga.
They reminded me this is not my problem to fix, which is right. They also said it’s okay to protect myself from Sister #3’s toxic behavior even if it does make Mom and Dad sad, and I don’t like that one fucking bit even though I know it is true.
I’m a mess, Darling Ones. This is zero percent fun and I hate it.