My aunt — my mother´s youngest sister — left a chilling message on my cousin´s voicemail.
“Suzanne has to be institutionalized,” she pronounced without conscience or hesitation. “Don’t enable her delusions.”
Just like that. Suzanne was bipolar so she should be committed; lose her freedom, her rights. My aunt, whose exact qualifications elude me, was now a self-anointed/appointed psychiatrist.
I had written to my aunt to ask her to talk my siblings into some semblance of reason, after I had been excluded from the funeral plans.
My mother was not yet buried when they swept in like vultures, cleared her office and had grabbed the original will. Two days after the funeral, after eulogizing about my mother’s generosity and love of family, they took the will to a lawyer without informing or consulting me. As I had been excluded from the funeral arrangements, I was now being exed out of the choice of probate firm.
The “Suzanne should be committed” chorus had been orchestrated by my sister and brother, and no one in the family stopped to consider the curious coincidence of my sudden “insanity” and the probate.
I had been sane enough to take care of my ailing mother. I had lived for one year in constant consternation over the health of my mother. I had stopped going out, put a bell in her room so she could call me whenever she needed me. I had searched for specialists.
My sister and brother knew that I wasn’t sick. My sister and brother were playing a nasty game of exclusion, backstabbing and slander fueled by one of the seven deadly sins: greed. They had never informed themselves about my condition.
My brother violated my right to privacy by speaking to my friends about my condition. He told everyone he could that I had mental problems, that I had been physically abusive to my mother, that I had assaulted him in the ICU.
He gave the impression he had spoken to my doctor. He was venomous. On the day of the funeral he abandoned his place in the greeting line to engage one of my pals in discussion about my mental health. He led her to believe I was off my meds.
My siblings had absolute belief that they were superior, that I was mentally feeble, a nobody. My brother dismissed me when he wanted to ask the doctor how long my mother would live. What a stupid, stupid boy. I had already spoken to the doctors and had been informed that she would not survive.
I was allegedly fragile, yet my sister’s knees buckled when she learned that my mother had cancer. My aunt said I was sick because my mother had been my rock, when my brother refused to accept that my mother was dead until a doctor signed a death certificate. She had flatlined, but he was in complete denial.
I, the “madwoman” had held the emotional fort. I was my rock and their rock, too. I sought grief counseling, but they had not. They were too “sane” to ask for help.
I had no option but to “lawyer up” after they expected me to give an attorney the green light to act on “our” behalf when I had no idea what document they had handed her, without my asking a single question.
I have no children and they have always assumed that their mother’s money was for their offspring. The grandchildren are entitled to more than I am. My mother left me money for my health bills and the house because of my close relationship with neighbors, but my siblings wanted my share.
I never saw the vicious attack coming. I never for once thought my siblings could be so conniving and so cruel. My friends — at least the ones I told about the condition — were 100 percent supportive and nonjudgmental.
My siblings and relatives are making me stronger day by day. My doctor has said he is proud of me for being so solid during such a rocky time. He has encouraged me to stop the family from labeling or intimidating me.
He was, as others, astonished to learn how they had behaved and that they had taken the will to probate 48 hours after my mother’s funeral. It was obscene.
Money is truly the root of all evil. In this case, my siblings were so avaricious that they were prepared to commit the greatest evil of all: institutionalizing their sister so they could share the spoils, to which they had contributed little or nothing.
I do not know if I can ever again meet with my siblings, except in the presence of a lawyer. Each of us inherited a house and they now have two, but yet they coveted mine.
My aunt has said I am delusional because I have called them on their game. How could they want my house when they have two? She is a simpleton.
Greed has no end. Enough is never enough, particularly when the money is not yours and when you think you can have a sister who suffers from bipolar disorder committed as soon as your mother dies.