Just off the phone with M, who called during the workday to vent about his younger sister. I know we have officially entered the negative sphere of influence when he calls me at work. He almost never calls me at work unless we have a contractor/service professional working at the house and it’s a cosmetic change we had not yet discussed or is an expense he does not want to assume sole responsibility for authorizing. Otherwise he texts me. It’s the way the family communicates.

Younger sister is having surgery next Tuesday and requested a substantial loan for her portion of the hospital costs. which they have requested up front. M had previously avoided answering her, but this morning he just answered the phone to face the music. The amount requested was significant, and M told her we could not do more than a very small percentage of that. When he asked who to make the check out to, i.e., hospital name, she wanted cash or for it to be made out to her directly. It was “easier” for all concerned.

Huge red flag for M. He refused. She tried to explain her reasoning further. M still refused, asked again for the hospital name. She started to cry and get angry. M explained our position. She took off the gloves and called him not nice names. M was calm … M is ALWAYS calm when he gets really mad … and told her those were our terms, take them or leave them. She hung up on him.


One thing M hates more than anything is to be hung up on. He called back and left her a curt, much less calm, much angrier message on her voice mail. I believe they are no longer speaking.

Then he called me to relay that chain of events and all the while there were numerous incoming phone calls from his sister. I listen. I am supportive, because we are a team and are in these things together, even if he is having to bear the burden of the heavy lifting with his sisters and family.

We now think perhaps the situation is not so dire? Or maybe it is really bad or worse than we are being told and we are going to burn iin the firey pits for being stubborn and insensitive? Those are problems for another day. For now, for today, M is heading for the mountains and a long trail run with a pal to burn off his angry frustration. I think I am on my own for dinner, because they will be arriving back at the car at dark and stopping somewhere for dinner. Which is perfectly fine. I can eat cereal and enjoy it.

In our world, all is well. With his family life, the unrest and turmoil continues. I hate it. I want it nothing bad to befall her or anyone else. If her health situation is this bad we wish for her to have good doctors and the best medical care available. But it is not our responsibility to fund that care. I feel the pull of the rescuer in M and the codependent in me, but we are holding onto each other and hoping and praying for the positive outcome.

Yet we both feel guilty. Why is that? Timeless question, for sure.

4 thoughts on “Ups, downs, merry-go-rounds

  1. Huge red flag! Don’t feel guilty. If it was dire she would be grateful the check was made out to the hospital!!! Let it go, breath. I think you did the right thing by just letting it go. I have family that have “issues’ and it is always hard no matter what. Even when we know we are probably doing the right thing, we second guess it!
    Just take it easy tonight and let it go until she calls again and then it will start all over again. xoxoxoxo

    1. Thanks for the kind words, DG. My poor husband has some lingering anxiety about this, but his family makes him crazy anyway. Ours was a practical contribution for a specific problem, because we have learned that giving cash directly to them does not resolve problems. It’s exhausting to cope with, but at least we know we have each other to lean into.

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