Our drama is just more obvious than most families’ drama

My sister called me earlier today, with our mom’s help, of course, to wish me a good Sabbath. I didn’t hear the phone ring, so she left a message – very cute, since she doesn’t understand how voicemail works and keeps expecting someone to answer her. I called back when I got back from dinner with friends. It was a pleasant enough conversation – Mom had a lunch party with her friends that went well, and Dad wanted to talk to me about a silly email I had sent him. We chatted about my weekend mini-trip to visit college friends.

And then Mom tried to help Lily get from the dining room to the living room, and Lily bit her.

Now, I know that Lily rather likes Mom, and would never intentionally hurt her. But Lily also likes reactions, and she clearly bit Mom because she knew Mom would get mad and be demonstrative about it. (Remember my recent post about being mad at and about Lily? (new window). Well, my folks aren’t without their anger.)

I have friends or know of friends where parents and siblings have drug or alcohol problems. People have trouble at work, face horrific abuse and a whole host of -isms, suffer loss. And much of that is easy to conceal; you can’t tell just by looking at people what pain they and their families feel. Aside from the odd outburst or misbehaving child, it’s not like you see pain on fellow passengers on a train, or people at the grocery store. But with obvious, major physical disability accompanied by intellectual limits, well…like I say. Our drama is just a lot easier to see.

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