New year, new degree, new home, new sibling drama

I’ve been pretty busy for the past few months and haven’t taken the time to post here much, but things have definitely been happening. For one, I earned my doctorate and moved to another part of the country, with a stop in my family’s current city of residence for a visit. That means that I’m back in the position of needing to decide what to say, to whom I’ll say it, and when I can say it about Lily and our relationship. So far, I’ve really only talked to one of my new coworkers about her (although I’ve mentioned some of her issues to my friend’s in-laws because it was actually pertinent to the conversation).

Speaking of my sister…Lily is doing okay these days, I suppose. Her behavioral problems are still pretty bad – mealtime tantrums, lots of stubbornness, and the kind of tiredness that suggests laziness. Her seizures aren’t so bad now, although they’re still happening daily. Lest this sound too negativ, she’s also really happy with the team who assists her, and they’re trying some new strategies to get her out in the community and to let her take more responsibility for her own life. Her social calendar is fuller than mine, by far, which is weird because I’m physically so much more independent, but also perfectly consistent with our personalities.

Our rivalry was pretty intense during some of my visit – I think she’s so used to having me be “at school” that she’s no longer used to sharing my parents’ attention. She’s trying a new trick these days of shrieking in the middle of a conversation from which she’s being excluded or in which she isn’t able to participate (like the details of my dissertation, or world politics). She does it quite deliberately, and she escalates in pitch (and, to a lesser degree, volume) if her initial outburst doesn’t work. I can’t really blame her, in a way; I was also used to having my own way and was as interested in being a focus of attention and got a little upset a few times. (I do wish she weren’t so shrill, though!)

I think most of this is coming from the fact that we’re both moving into new phases of our lives. We’re both in positions where we are trying to explore our freedoms and lives in new ways, and neither of us is particularly interested in being told what to do…even if we do silly things that drive our parents crazy and make it seem like we need to be told what to do. It’s likely that 2010 will be quite an interesting year.

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