sororizing with the enemy

Precipitated by a forum post on regrets, in which mine was "Not passwording my computer." Which brought to mind a theme I've been debating the past year or so.

The older I get, and the more people who instantly react to the bare-bones story of "My older sister outed me to my parents. Twice" with "Gosh, she must really hate you!"* the more I really do wonder if Dymphna did it (either time) for her own benefit. Inasmuch as she never does anything against her own best interests, I know she did, but whether she did it maliciously or simply out of a misguided sense of responsibility to her poor little sister being led astray, or some such.

It clearly won her brownie points with the parents around those times, simply because my huge negative score of said points automatically put her in the lead, so to speak. I think she believes I'm the "favored child," ironically. I tend to be a lot more easygoing and certainly cheaper to entertain,** so I got along better with our parents most of the time growing up. She's very strong-willed and aggressive and, like my mom, has an insatiable need to have the last word during an argument, so her fights with my mom were quite frequently explosive. I think she got spanked*** more than any of us, including my brothers, which is sort of impressive considering how much it actually took to get my dad to spank us. I think I had a lifetime total of maybe two, in comparison.

She had another huge fight with my mom the last time she was home over whether she would stay home with her kids (once she has them) instead of going back to work. It was intensely bizarre to find myself on her side for once, because unlike my militantly stay-at-home mom, I don't think that putting your kids in daycare makes you a bad mother who's letting horrible baby abusers raise your kids for you. But I digress.

She had a seemingly magical ability to choose the worst possible timing in both cases-- a month before I left for my first year at college, and a month before I left for my junior year at college. Having such perfectly abominable timing once is, perhaps, coincidental. Twice... is still within the realm of happenstance, but seriously, it's not like most people expect to have a third chance. Though I wouldn't be surprised to have her try, at this rate, which is why I have her blocked on Facebook and obsessively pseudonym my entire journal.

Considered in terms of a strict cost-benefit analysis, it definitely looks like she did it deliberately.

On the other hand, she's not a completely evil person (despite what my less optimistic musings on the subject usually indicate), and in any case is self-absorbed enough to never want to think of herself as one. So it's doubtful that she would set out to do something which is pretty clearly malicious, at least not something of this magnitude. She certainly endeavored to convince me that she meant well, and I tended to believe her. Why, I don't know. Maybe my last shred of hope in basic humanity.

However, in the case of the Second Great Declosetation, she already knew damn well what was going to happen-- and had my entire journal in front of her to prove exactly what kind of mental anguish was likely to happen again. I mean, what part of "I think I might kill myself" is unclear as to how much shit I was going through?

This indicates to me that she's either supremely dense and was still trying the same "for your own good" sort of thing, or, well, is a vindictive bitch.

She's long been noted (by people other than myself) for being extremely self-centered and focused on appearances, so in particular, the second time would have been damage control of a negative reflection on her for having a queer freak as a sister-- my homosexuality, her closet. Which, honestly, I can't say I never tried to embarrass her in high school by being... myself... in front of her friends, but hey, it was funny. To me, anyway. But then, I'm weird.

This carried over into a lot of other areas of our relationship (if you can call our strained acknowledgement of shared DNA a relationship)-- I was (am!) weird, and that embarrassed her, so she would attempt to make me embarrassed about it too. Since it didn't work, and I wasn't obliging enough to change my entire way of life in order to make her more comfortable, she tried to distance herself from me as much as possible on a social level. Most people at our high school never knew we were even related until they realized (a) we had the same last name and (b) we rode to school in the same car. I suppose on that level, outing me and letting the parents take over from there would have been just a different way of trying to keep me from being visibly weird in front of people who knew her.

I think I'm willing to believe in some kind of misapplied good intentions in the first instance, but the second was either pure stupid, or pure mean.

I still, however, find her insistence the first time that she has gay friends the first time to be laughable. Besides the fact that it rings of the "But some of my best friends are black!" school of heterosexism, if she really did have any close gay friends and not just a friendly acquaintance with someone of a homosexual persuasion, they should have put her through quite a bit of hell for even THINKING about outing someone.

*Such as my entire senior project class.

** What it takes to make Dymphna happy: Kate Spade and expensive furniture. What it takes to make me happy: a paperback novel and a pair of socks. Let's play "Spot the difference!"

***Why yes, my parents DID read Herr Doktor Dobson.

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thus saith Liadan at 12:42 AM

2 Comments:

Blogger just me saith at 8/29/2007 5:13 PM...  

Woo hoo a new post. :) And I was wondering about that... your sister outing you. I think in some ways I outed myself to my family for fear I would be outed soon enough...

And have you seen "The Truth About Jane"? It's kindof made for TV movie-esque but in it her brother outed her. This post made me think of that.

Blogger Fever Dog saith at 9/01/2007 2:50 PM...  

I expect it's probably been done-to-death already, but have you considered dear Dymphna might have some secret gay feelings of her own, which prompted her to try and have you crucified for yours?

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