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Six years ago, this October, my sister left my house after her last day of working from my home and we never spoke to her again.

She came back in the wee hours of the morning to return some items I and my son had given her, leaving them at the bottom of my accessible ramp. She spent a good bit of time going online and throughout the community talking trash about my family, not only myself but also my son with special needs.

That was the way my third reconciliation with her ended, after 20 years of trying. I’ve seen her on the street in the community a few times since then, but have never really run into her and haven’t spoken to her.

My husband and I more or less accepted that this was how she wanted it, so we’d accommodate her. As unfortunate as it seems, our lives are much less stressful without her in them. She brought nothing but drama into our lives, accusing us of persecuting her for her religious beliefs, using her, taking advantage of her, turning our son against her, on and on… just about any negative thing someone could say about another person she said about me and my family, no matter what we did for her.

Today, in the mail, there was an envelope from my sister. I couldn’t imagine what purpose she had in sending me anything, after the way she treated us, after everything we’d done for her.

I hesitantly opened it, not sure what I’d find, as the outside of the envelope said “Do Not Bend.” My husband said that maybe it was something of ours that she wanted to give back, or something my mother had had that she was sharing, as my mother had a habit of doing exactly that, after years of silence.

I opened the envelope and discovered a homemade wedding announcement, not an invitation, but an announcement. Inside was a piece of photo paper with the announcement on it.

It had a middle eastern man’s name and my sister’s name. They are ‘getting married’ in Pakistan September 7, 8 and 9th.

My sister is 46 years old. She’s never had a boy friend that wasn’t a married man. She’s a Fundamentalist Christian. She has made it a way of life to not let people get close to her and once they do, she dismisses them from her life. She fabricates things in her own head, plays the victim and as a result, she has no friends, no social life.

A few years ago she started a relationship with a man on the internet who was a middle eastern man who was supposedly doing missionary work. She got a passport, started talking about going to be and work with him. She was going to marry him. Something happened between them and he disappeared off the internet.

I suspect this individual is likely someone she’s been corresponding with on the internet. She’s done that numerous times. She probably still has her passport and is going to go there to ‘marry’ him. She doesn’t think things like this through.

She paints everyone as evil, everyone is against her, out to get her. She’s always looking for an ‘out’, for a non-existent place where she’ll be happy, away from all the ‘evil’ people here, as sadly she doesn’t realize that her relationships here aren’t satisfying, not because of other people, but because of the way she self-sabotages herself.

She is so naive, has only lived on her own, away from our mother for about a dozen years. She’s had few life experiences that have been separate from her family.

I’m afraid for her, leaving the country, going to a country like Pakistan that’s so dangerous, so foreign to what she’s known. She’s always had a support system. Going there she’ll be completely alone, completely dependent on a man who is a complete ‘stranger.’

Now, is the hard part… for an older sister who wanted so badly to have a relationship with her little sister, who wanted ‘family’, who feels responsible for her younger sister… I have to remain detached, I can’t take on her ‘issues’, I can’t intervene, I can’t interfere, I can’t allow myself to feel responsible. I have to be able to let it go, put it out of my mind.

I can only hope the best for her, but I can’t worry about her anymore. She’s extracted me from her life many times now… which is why I don’t understand sending this wedding announcement.

I just have to let go. I supposed I could throw it away and not think about it again, I suppose I could put it in another envelope and send it back to her, there are probably a lot of things I could do, but I think I’ll just put it away, out of sight and try to put it out of mind, because if she does go there, and needs me, there’s nothing I can afford to do, so I really can’t stress and worry about something I have no control over.