Arsenic and The Older SisbyLeslieBlue©
Dysfunctional families come in all different shapes, sizes, and forms -- and as far as any family goes, mine was no more or less dysfunctional than any of the other families that grew up around me. Nevertheless, we certainly have had our fair share of dysfunction, and my older sister, Gail, is the perfect example of that fact.
Even though we were born six years apart under the same astrological sign of the Aries Ram, no two women could have been more different. From the time we were little, I don't think we ever saw any single thing in the same way. I always liked to tell myself that it was me who took after my Dad, and she who took after my Mom -- and as we grew older, the men in our lives would definitely confirm that for me, including and especially, my dear old Dad, himself. He and I agreed that Gail was, indeed, so much like my Mom was, but we used to say that in so many ways, she was worse! Being that Dad and I considered my Mom to be nothing more than a real "piece of work", to say then that my sister was just like her was -- in no way at all -- a way to be giving either one of them a compliment! And the sad facts of the entire matter at hand were that it was all quite simply the truth!
I knew my sister was jealous and envious of me most likely from the very day I was born. It was obvious to anyone of us in my family that I was always going to be the younger one, the cuter one, the smarter one, and the prettier one -- and as a result of those things I wound up being -- not by anything within my own choice or doing, mind you -- the favorite daughter. That went as far as both my mother and my father were concerned. Indeed, my sister and my Mom had nothing less than a tumultuous relationship their entire lives -- always seeming to be in some kind of battle of wits in jockeying for a favorite position of grace within my father's eyes.
However, their battles went fought for nothing as far back as I can remember, simply because of the way that my Dad always and forever adored me. And these things that are felt among the family members but are seldom, if ever, spoken seem to be the constant mitigating factors that cause that same family group to either get along well together, or otherwise hate each other's guts!
Hence, I would have to say that between my Mom, my sister and me, there existed an awful lot of despising one another. It was kind of a love/hate thing -- love only because we were related by blood and felt obligated to feel good things about the other one, and hate very simply because no matter how hard we tried to love each other, we never could get past the negativity of it all.
There is no doubt that the older we became, the worse the bad feelings grew and by the time my sister was on her fourth marriage to a wonderful man by the name of P.D., the jealousy she had towards me had grown way, way, way out of proportion. I mean a little bit of sibling rivalry is certainly understandable between any two sisters, no matter what the age difference may be. But the degree to which she actually hated me would not fully be felt for several more years to come -- that would be 30 years, to be exact -- the length of time that marriage lasted between my sister and, as I affectionately called him, P.
From the first time I met him, P and I were instantly drawn to one another. I am sure the reason being had a lot to do with the fact that P was so very, very much a man like my father. But just like the relationship that I shared with my Dad, there was never anything untoward or improper about it. In fact, I never felt as if P was my in-law at all -- I looked upon him as being nothing less than a full-fledged blood brother. Any woman in her right mind who knew what it meant to love, would have been thrilled to have such a close knit family feeling between her husband and her younger sister. But my sister, Gail, was never in any kind of a mind that was right. I always thought for sure she suffered from a severe case of borderline personality disorder -- but I was ashamed to say it out loud, since my favorite shrink of my lifetime, Dr. Rita, would shake her finger at me and shush me up for not being qualified, whenever I said so to her! So, it went unspoken.
Nevertheless, I was certain that in my sister's twisted way of thinking about things, she imagined that at every holiday and family gathering, P and I were always fucking furiously away in another room, just because we happened to finish our dinner and leave the table at the same time. And to say that she made sure that he and I never got to spend one single moment worth of time alone together, is an understatement of the severest proportions, akin to an ice cube being able to remain frozen in hell!
Despite her always constant overlooking of our activities -- P and I found our secret ways of getting together and communicating with one another -- namely known as the telephone! So for about 20 years, he would sneak money in the mail to me, to help me pay my monthly phone bill, which usually averaged somewhere around $300!
Needless to say, in spending so very many hours of talking and bearing our most intimate secrets of our souls with one another, we wound up sharing a love so strong and we became so inseparable, that he was more than just a brother to me, he was my soul mate and my best friend. I also suspected that his feelings of love toward me bordered more on being in love with me, than I was with him. However, we kept sexual contact completely out of our relationship in every single way, and we never so much as shared more than a simple peck on the lips and a good hard hug, in greeting or saying goodbye.
It was well into at least 15 years of their marriage, during one of those conversations on the phone that P and I were having, that he told me of his suspicions about why he was getting so physically sick all of a sudden. And when he told me his thoughts on the subject, it rang so true in my ears that I felt we had just shared one of those epiphanies that happens in one's mind about once or twice in a lifetime. However, it was not the kind of enlightenment that makes you want to jump up and cheer with glee at the very thought! In fact, it was such a dreadful and horrifying realization that it made me feel all queasy and ill in the pit of my stomach, and I had throw the phone down for a few minutes in order to run into the john to vomit.
What my poor pal P had just told me was that he feared my sister was putting poison of some kind into his meals. And as time went by, no matter how much I wanted to deny it was true -- I could not possibly have a sister so evil, so cruel, so cold-hearted and callous as that! -- I had to admit and accept that, yes, indeed -- Gail was poisoning P very slowly over the years with arsenic. The very fact that he had contracted Guillian-Barré syndrome, which had left him partially paralyzed in his chest and lower extremities, was all the proof in the pudding that I needed to know -- no humorous pun intended!
I think that eventually -- after probably about 12 years of poisoning him steadily at regular opportunities -- Gail was not just puzzled and perplexed about why P was not dead yet, but she was downright frustrated, angry and even fuming over it. (You see, as clever as you think my sister may sound, a certain aspect of her character will always remain stupid. Hence, she neglected to look up and see that continual poisoning of any kind will lead to a person building up somewhat of an immunity and resistance to it. I doubt very much she had the smarts to realize that in order to speed up his death, she would have had to continually increase the amounts of arsenic she was adding to his food.) So one day she surprised the hell out of him by slapping down divorce papers, packing all her belongings and leaving him flat.
Flat she left him, too, because she only walked out on him, with nary a word of explanation, after she had cleaned out their joint bank account of the $85,000 he had hard-earned for his retirement.
Despite the fact that P and I shared a love like no other two people ever shared, he still remained in love with my sister, for some odd reason. During their entire 30-year marriage, he treated her like a queen in that she never had to work a day of it. In my estimation, he treated her like gold the whole time -- far from treating her like the piece of ungrateful shit that she was and deserved to be treated as!
So when she left him, he suffered not only from the symptoms of her years of poisoning him with arsenic, but also from receiving the raw end of the deal he got, not to mention also the horribly broken heart. Everything vital that was left alive in him quickly went downhill over the next couple of years, and he died an alone and lonely, broke and broken man last September.
Now, my dear friends, my guys and my gals alike -- you may ask me what is my purpose and point in wanting to write about this, and in a sense betray to you my very own sister, by uncovering what are now -- truly -- the skeletons in my family's closet. Well, OK, I am going to explain it to you.
When P was buried last year, with him went down the only other living soul besides my sister, Gail, and me, who knew about the way that she poisoned my beloved P with arsenic all those years. And for me to carry that burden upon my shoulders now, let me just say to you that it is not with any sense of ease that I do it, because of several reasons.
First one being, I don't think my sister should be able to get away with doing such a horrible deed to any man, especially one so wonderful as Mr. P.D. Barnes was! My God, she fucking MURDERED the guy!
Another reason I do not feel at all comfortable knowing such information is quite simply, because I am scared to death of my sister, Gail -- literally! I would not trust the bitch as far as I could throw her, and if she ever came and knocked on my door, I would fear she would be here to do me in, too! I know if she is capable of killing one person in her lifetime, she is fully capable of killing two! And God only knows how many others there may have been before, and may still be going on as I write this right now, with her hubby Number Five!
So I put this in writing on my trusty computer, where I know it will be indelible forever, and now I cannot say that I am the ONLY one who knows! Knowing that you, my dear readers, now know, too, makes me feel at least a modicum of a safety net around me, should anything ever happen to me that would result in the appearance of my untimely death.
The final and main reason I am writing this is because I have plans to print it out and mail it to a woman I only met one time, about 25 years ago, at the first wedding of my nephew, Michael and his wife, Mary. (First wedding -- yes! Second wedding to the same woman -- long story to be told to you on another day and time!) Even though I only met Shirl once, we became dear and fast friends, and I dare add that it was very much the same way it was when I first met her father, P.D., all those many years ago! That way, the ball will be in his daughter's court -- not in mine -- and if Shirl chooses to pursue justice of any kind, she could have her father's body exhumed for forensic testing.
As they say at A.A. meetings, my guys and my gals, thanks for letting me share!
Love and kisses,
- Add a