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The post from earlier today may have seemed disjointed. If so, it’s because it was – I deleted several paragraphs out of the middle of it. Was afraid that writing about the feud of 602 North St would make it worse. But this evening, I walked into the kitchen to see Bobby and Sue hugging each other, and Sue crying… such an sense of relief. I know it’s going to take continual work, but there was a nice peaceful feeling that it was all going to work out.

Here are my previously deleted paragraphs:

Bobby’s been a grumpity-grump,-grump for the last couple of days. He didn’t sleep much last week, and I think that’s playing a sizable role in his funk. Very on edge, and easily offended – the slightest tone or insinuation sets him off. So that’s been fun – I know how to side-step fairly well, but Sue, not so much. She and Bobby are alike in that they’re both emotional time bombs… and it’s almost like they take some sort of obtuse pleasure in annoying the piss out of each other.

There’s been tension brewing between the two of them for a while – it’s gotten to the point that I’m seriously considering bringing them both with me to Dr Jerry’s, and making them talk to each other. I don’t feel equipped to handle the mediator role for the two of them – occasionally is ok, but it’s becoming more and more predominant in our household dynamic. I find myself defending Susanna – telling Bobby to suck it up, and reminding him of her situation (like he needs a reminder) – even when I know that she’s in the wrong.

In five years and two months of marriage, Bobby and I have lived in five places, had six jobs, endured the death of a mother, the miscarriage of a baby, and now a sister living with us for the last eight months. And Bobby has navigated this continual shit-storm with amazing agility…

So what do we do? Obviously, there needs to be increased communication. Bobby and Sue need to start respecting one another, and we all need to be more cognizant of our roles in the house, and how we affect the others living here. Bobby and I know that we want her to stay until at least next summer… and I hope that she wants to. There are things that need to be accomplished before she goes back to school in Fall 2009 – debts to be paid, financial responsibility to be developed, and emotional/mental stability to be established and nurtured.

She’s only 20 years old. I keep telling myself and Bobby and Dr Jerry and Daddy and Jennifer that. She’s only 20. She seems much older in some ways – she’s seen and experienced things that people 3 times her age haven’t seen or experienced. And because of this maturity, I think that we all find ourselves expecting her to be advanced in every area of her life. Immediately after Sue returned from California, I was horribly anxious about how to balance the role of sister and substitute mother. I’ve become more comfortable with my and Sue’s relationship – I don’t question and analyze it like I once did – but Bobby and I have come to realize our roles as her “surrogate” parents.

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