Musings & Thoughts for Monday, August 22,2022, or: Sibling Rivalry Stings, Even in Dreams

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“People think dreams aren’t real just because they aren’t made of matter, of particles. Dreams are real. But they are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes.” ― Neil Gaiman

Last night, or early this morning, I dreamed about my half-sister Vicky.

It wasn’t one of those rare dreams in which I relive certain events in my past that are based on actual memories. I – thankfully – don’t have those as often as I thought I might, although they do occur occasionally, usually close to our birthdays – mine on March 5, hers on March 10 – or the anniversary of our mother’s birthday. Sometimes those dreams are vague and hardly worth remembering, while at other times they’re so vivid that I wake up feeling overly anxious – even angry.

It also, not surprisingly, was not a pleasant dream, even if it was not a flashback to the turbulent period between April 1987 and July 2016.

My family during a relatively tranquil period in the early 1980s.

In the weird proscenium of my subconscious, I encounter Vicky – a thin, sallow-skinned, bitter-looking woman hobbling across the living room of our house in Coral Estates Park, where she had lived with Mom and me from the summer of 1972 until Vicky was compelled to move out in the early summer of 1974.

Since this was a dream, I did not question why we were in 1001 SW 102nd Avenue rather than the condominium at East Wind Lake Village, my last address in South Florida. I have been writing frequently about the house on 102nd Avenue over the past few months, so it makes sense that it would show up in my dreams, especially since I would leave Lithia and move back there if I had an unexpected windfall – and if I could convince the current owners to sell the place.

“Some people are in such utter darkness that they will burn you just to see a light. Try not to take it personally.” ― Kamand Kojouri

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I don’t remember if I exchanged words with this spectral version of my older half-sister. I don’t think I did. The last time I saw her in real life, I certainly did not; after an unexpectedly brief hearing before a probate division judge at the Miami-Dade County Court complex, Vicky, with a look of hate and fury twisting her face into an ugly rictus, strode up to me and – perhaps inspired by the theatrics of the Latin American telenovelas she is addicted to – and, after I refused to obey her “Come here” hand gesture, strode up to me and hissed, “Don’t you ever call or text me again.”

I still chuckle with wry amusement when I recall that after she delivered that line, which ironically she stole from my last text to her in October of 2015 after I discovered she had made off with our grandmother’s set of elegant porcelain dinnerware and told her she was no longer welcome in my house, she spun on her heel and turned her back contemptuously at me and my two companions (the Caregiver’s mother and first cousin, who were there to give me moral support).

Based on that bit of real-life melodrama, I do not believe that my “dream self” would even consider speaking to Vicky’s equally unreal apparition.

And knowing my half-sister as well as I do, I seriously doubt that she would have struck up a friendly conversation with me, even in a surreal dream setting where we met in the living room of a house I have not visited since 1978 and can now only glimpse from the Tampa Bay area using Google Maps.

“Feuds are weeds… Once it’s grown roots, it’s harder to dig up; and it’s far easier to spread.” Emory R. Frie, Giant Country

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

6 thoughts on “Musings & Thoughts for Monday, August 22,2022, or: Sibling Rivalry Stings, Even in Dreams

    1. Oh, I know that the toxic behavior was there from as early as 1972, but 1987 was when my half-sister, for lack of a better simile, bared her fangs and extended her claws. (She’s a cat person, so I think the phrase fits.)

      The thing about it, Thomas, is that she would get us into a pattern of quarrelling, reconciling, quarrelling, reconciling, rinse and repeat. Mom, of course, always played peacemaker, and Vicky would pretend to have a good relationship with me until she thought it was safe to start the cycle again. (On my part, attempts to be conciliatory, if just for Mom’s sake, were genuine until after Mom got sick and put me, not Vicky, in charge of the household. After 2010, I learned to fake being Mr. Nice Guy as far as my half-sister is concerned. From the moment that the funeral home came for my mom on the morning of 19.07.15, I started asserting myself and was no longer tolerant of my half-sister’s behavior.)

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      1. You did the right thing. You tried to keep the peace if possible for your mom’s sake but then you set boundaries. I am glad your mom had the wisdom to put you in charge. Your half-sister seems to have an unstable and perhaps narcissistic personality. It must have been really tough to suffer that emotional abuse for decades.

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      2. Her behavior certainly suggests that Vicky is a narcissist. Strongly so. She’s incredibly manipulative, does horrible things to others and then denies that she did them, lies – even about dumb things – constantly, and causes discord and drama wherever she goes. She’ll “love bomb” you to win you over, then once she knows – or thinks – you’re on her side, she’ll then start treating you badly and try to undermine you with your friends and family. She did that with me, and she even did it to our own mother!

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