Postcards of Grief

Mourning is a process.

Comments on breast cancer by proxy, written by a woman coping with the loss of her mother.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

We are family

My sister-in-law has never had much luck with women friends. In high school, there was Bobbi Jo and Angela. Later on, she struggled with Roanna and Tara. They all had their own set of problems, ranging from self-destructive behavior to mental illness. One faked her own rape to cover up adultery. None were particularly good friends. None were there for her when she needed them, even though she was there for them.

Hope finally got a little shy and stopped pursuing friendships with other women. Then my brother became friends with Matt, and Matt was married to Sarah. They were the two lone wives in this giant group of mostly adolescent-acting men. When Matt and Sarah split up, everyone agreed that there was no point in wrecking other existing relationships, so Sarah has stayed a part of their lives.

Sarah comes from a conservative Baptist household and believes in Hell and all its awfulness, complete with fiery suffering. Despite this, she engages in premarital sex and is currently conducting an affair with her married-with-kids work supervisor. At one point in a conversation with her, my brother mentioned that Brooke and I hope to have kids.

“Wait… they have have kids?”
“Uh, well… not together,” Paul responded, moving his index fingers sideways and making them touch.
“Oh. Okay. That’s what I thought.”

Since then, Sarah has become more vocal about Hope’s parenting choices. She questioned Hope’s decision to pass the kids to us for a weekend and comfort with the fact that we will often sleep in the same bed with them. “They’re lesbians,” Hope told her, “Not child molesters.” Sarah balked and insisted that Hope’s comment wasn’t funny. Hope was offended to have Brooke and me painted that way.

Sarah continued, “What are you going to tell Hannah when she gets older?”
“Nothing? I hadn’t really thought about it.”
“Are you going to tell her that they’re going to Hell?”
“Uh, no. No, I’m not. I think we’re done with this conversation.”

I’m sorry to say that it seems like Hope is losing another friend. Sarah’s other dysfunctional behavior (dressing like she’s going to a club when she comes over to cut Paul’s hair, for example) is leading us all to believe that Hope would be better off without her. I need to be a better support to her in the coming months as she separates from another difficult friend.


At 11:02 AM, Blogger pinky pinkerson said...

does anyone ever judge not lest they be judged? (i'm referring to the friend, not you)

and coming over provocatively dressed to give a haircut...it gives me the willies.

At 11:39 PM, Blogger PPB said...

My oh my.
Poor Hope.

At 2:41 PM, Blogger She said...

Yep, I gotta wonder about that (and other conveniently overlooked by the rightwingnuts) excerpts from the Bible, too. What in the world are people thinking? It's hard for me to make good friends too, even without the added BS of being judged by them. Yuck.

At 8:09 PM, Blogger FractalGirl said...

My sister has had the same problem. For some reason, her femail friends always just take off or betray her. I don't get it and feel fortunate that I've had such good friends throughout my life.

That's so shitty, Em. Sounds like Hope definitely does need your support right now. :\


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