Dear Sister,

    There is nothing as demoralizing as watching someones downward spiral. As with Mary, as with Russell, as with Taylor Crowley and Ben, and a dozen others we have known, I’m watching another collapse.
    When I say you need serious, professional help, it isn’t for myself that I’m saying these things. I am not trying to use you, I am not trying to benefit myself by molding your fate into something I can exploit.
    When I say you need to spend 6 months alone, it isn’t for myself that I’m saying so; it isn’t because I want to see you more, it isn’t because I think you’re needed somewhere else.
    When I say you need to leave that putz in the dirt with the rest of the muck and worms, it isn’t for myself I’m saying so. It is because I have witnessed what has happened with Aunt Mary, who originally had so much potential, until she met Russ, the loser, and had her two children. If you speak with Dad, he’ll tell you that she used to be a star on the rise. Russ brought that star to the ground and made it just another useless rock.
    Some people are destined for unhappiness, like Uncle Dan and Aunt Laura. Some people choose unhappiness, like Grandma and Grandpa Jordan. Some people fall of their own volition, like Russell.
    Yet others, like Mary Beth, like Drew, like Sean, rise above their prior situations, escape, and live the way they want. Drew knows there’s no money to be made in Jewelry and Art, yet it is something he wants to pursue, it is his dream. Sean doesn’t want riches and glory, he just wants a secure job; he could’ve just inherited the riches of his parents, but instead, he’s going to school, he’s suffering through three math classes a semester, just so he can make his own way without their help. Mary Beth is fairly self explanatory.
    Dad watched his brother, sister, and parents fall in their own hells, he’s suffered tirelessly in order to help them. He’s now an alcoholic, a nicotine addict, and over-stressed.
    Mom’s watched Dad suffer because of his family; she now hates his family, drinks herself, and has even occasionally tapped the drugs she’d sworn off.
    I have never been so humiliated as the night we had to move your dresser and mattress out of Mike’s apartment; I acted as the devoted sister should, I called in all the guns, and I went to act on your behalf. If you think that is selfish, I suggest you re-evaluate yourself, because it’s anything but. I called Grandma and Grandpa, I begged for their help, they were going to lend me their truck. There is nothing in my life that compares to the humiliation I suffered asking them for help on your behalf. When that plan fell through and I had to rely on Brian’s dad, I thought for certain that you were through with the situation that Mike has put you in. I called in my own boyfriends family to help you, I am still horribly embarrassed, apologetic, and grateful every time I see them now.
    You have brought your suffering down on me, and you may believe me when I say that I am suffering watching you commit these ridiculous and unintelligent acts. You have turned your back on your family; you’ve disregarded their feelings; you have thrown away their good advice in order to follow a fruitless pursuit under the fairy-tale premise of “love.”
    Your selfish behavior, your gross misconceptions, and your continuous pursuits of the unreal has punished everyone around you. You do not care, you will disregard this letter. You will ignore and justify and rationalize and excuse.
    Can I consider Ruth, or Russell, or Dan, or anyone else more my enemy than you? You’ve become the pillar of my personal hell, because I care about you, and therefore will suffer for you. You will not notice.
    You may never come out of this. You may be fated to end up like Mary, and I am not saying that lightly. I think, without doubt, without any personal benefit in mind, that you do need to seek help, if not from yourself, your family, then from a professional therapist.
    Mike is your enemy; he is as much your evil genius as Ruth was to me. You may end up committing suicide as a result of your relationship with him. You may well end up drinking and drugging yourself into a stupor and live the last of your life in a sanatorium. His relationship with you will make you neither happy, nor rich, nor better in any way.
    It has always been my attitude that if someone is not benefiting you in some way, you cut them loose. This grant of freedom is something you do for them, to save them from wasting their time. You decide that they will be happier without you, you decide to that you will sacrifice yourself, your following tears, and part of the soul you’ve devoted to them, in order to release them from the burden that is you.
    It has been time for Mike to be cut loose. If you cannot, for any reason, see a way of doing so, see a way out of this rat trap you have built and put yourself in, then you do need to seek help. If you will not act to save yourself, how can you expect anyone, Mike, Mom or I to save you? How can any cowboy hero save the damsel in distress, roped to the train tracks, when the same damsel put herself there and is shouting “Leave me, leave me! I know Mike is going to come and save me!”
    If you’re waiting for a super-man moment, I hope you’re prepared for the alternative as well, because he will kill you. His neglect, selfishness and immaturity will contribute to your death, by the train bearing down on you called Reality.

    You may choose to ignore these words. If that is the case, you may expect me to ignore your own.

    Your sister.

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