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By Jody Valley
Nothing to do with you
Q: My sister is an alcoholic. Unfortunately, I did not know this until, for psychiatric and financial reasons, I had to move from my apartment in Tulsa, Oklahoma into one my mother’s properties back here, where my sister has been living for the last 9 years. I immediately found her to be ten times as abusive as I ever knew her, after I discovered that she was drinking like an alcoholic in my first month here in Michigan. I immediately went to Al-Anon – a support that has literally saved me from being killed, as I now can tell when to confront my sister, and when to let her be. I guess I didn’t know how much of a handful alcoholics as siblings or spouses can be.
For my safety, I’ve been preparing to move into my first home (although I wanted to stay at my mother’s place several more years in order to save some money). Yet, recently my sister has been terribly violent. She told me, in an angry rage, that she would urinate on my grave if she ever had to deal with my having a lover or life partner. Jody, no one in the family has ever been supportive of me, but this is so far beyond what I thought people were capable of. I have almost finished my degrees in nursing and computer science – and I guess you’d think I was a strong person, but what she said to me is just too much for me to bear. I am pursuing my education in silence. I am moving secretly into a new first home, and I am living…totally solo, without a partner or girlfriend. I feel deeply lonely and trying to prevent a broken heart.
A: It is hard not to have family support. It must be just horrible for you to have someone as cruel as your sister. I have no clue where you are located, but I hope you find some support people, along with Al-Anon, to help you through this time. You might also want to look into getting a legal protection document that orders her to stay away from you and your property. It sure seems to me that she has threatened you. Also, I think you could use some counseling to help you deal with thisÑfrom a counselor that you are sure is gay-supportive and affirming. Perhaps you could benefit from a mantra that goes something like: These words and behaviors of my sister are ALL ABOUT HER, IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH WHO I AM. Take care, and let me know how it is going for you.
Q: I got involved with a woman, “Jayla,” who has a reputation for cheating. So, I sure knew better because I knew beforehand about her cheating ways. But, I saw so many good things in her and felt that it would be different with me. I figured that she just hadn’t met the right person and, of course, the right person was me! Wrong! I got the same treatment as every other woman who has been involved with her. Jayla leaves a trail of broken hearts a mile long, and I just got in line.
I am sending you her real name, but I’m guessing you won’t print it. But, I’d like to warn the lesbian community about her, like, wrap her in bright-orange reflective tape so people could even see her in the dark. Am I wrong, would you print her name, just as a public service?
Burned Like the Rest
A: I am not sure what good it would do to print her name. You, yourself, confess that you knew her reputation and still fell into her trap. You are right, I won’t print her name but, as a public service, I will remind folks that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Having said that, there are people who change–but don’t be fooled by those who talk a good line in order to impress others, yet never intend on, or make, changes.