The sad truth of the matter is that we are an incredibly dysfunctional family. My parents are in denial, seeing our bickering as the petty squabbles of children, when in fact there are so many deeper layers of emotion driving us.
My father infantilized my sisters. They are still his babies, needing his protection, and I am the older sister who should "know better". They can get away with all sorts of bad behavior, but if I engage in similar acts he is quick to chastise me. They are "daddy's little girls", they coo at him and sing to him and twist him around their fingers.
He treats me like an adult, and is often critical of my behavior. He's in denial about bad behavior on the part of the wonder twins. They are his angels, they can't have done that.
I suspect he knows he didn't do right by them, that he's worried about their future and who will take care of them after he is gone. What really aggravates him during an argument is when I start to mention my sisters' age and their need for employment. That's usually when he intervenes and tells me to be quiet.
As painful as it has been to realize that while my father loves me, he does not like or respect me, but I will be OK. I am an adult. I am a survivor. I can take care of myself.
I worry for my sisters, though. They are 44 going on 14. They have never been held to an adult standard of responsibility. As my other sister H observed, they never do anything they don't want to do. They have no marketable skills. They are going to be completely lost when my parents are gone.
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