Today has been... stressful.
Among other things, I had to tell my little sister that she is an orphan. Kaja offered to do it, but Kaja's method is “quick and hard”, and Odetuchna doesn't usually respond well to that sort of thing... I had to spend about twenty minutes prepping her for the news, then another thirty holding her while she sobbed.
All things considered, though, I think she's doing pretty well. We spent the rest of the afternoon singing vapid duets together; I brought all of the sheet music I could find in our apartment, so at least she had that to comfort her. I played “Beat Me, Daddy, Eight to the Bar” for her, and she asked me if it was jazz. Jazz! Imagine! I mean, even if she had thought it was blues, that would have been better. But how can you mistake boogie-woogie for jazz? My little sister has had her education seriously neglected.
I have one of those American songs stuck in my head. They're so simplistic, but they're catchy. I keep hearing it over and over. Odeta says she likes it, but I doubt she has any idea what it's actually about. “You go to my head, and you linger like a haunting refrain, and I find you spinning round in my brain like the bubbles in a glass of champagne. You go to my head like a sip of sparkling burgundy brew, and I find the very mention of you like the kicker in a julep or two...” It's weird to have the song stuck in your head be about things that stick in your head.
Also, leaving today was really hard. I've left before, obviously—sometimes for months or years at a time—but I always knew I was going back. It's an odd feeling, not knowing if I'll ever go back there. It'll be looted and probably completely destroyed soon. It's better that Kaja's not living there now—it wasn't safe—but still... I feel like there's an empty pit where most of my internal organs should be.
Where is home now? I don't think we have one.
And... I also had a fight with Sasha today. It's been building, but I'd been trying to siphon off the tension so it wouldn't explode. But he almost went and did something completely idiotic, so I was forced to try to stop him.
He hates me now. I know he does.
He finds it objectionable that I tell him what to do. But what I am supposed to do? Allow him to go out and get himself killed? I don't understand why he can't just act like a normal, civilized person.
I'm not sure how to feel about the situation. I sort of feel guilty. He's right, I have been a bit of a bully: manipulating him, making plans for him without asking his permission, &c. And I have been treating him like a child, which shows that I don't respect him. But... I somehow can't stop thinking that he is a child, and somebody who needs taking care of.
So the question is, how can I get him to behave the way I think he ought to without making him feel patronized?
Things That Didn't Work
Putting a hand on his shoulder
Helping him with things
Reasoning with him
Refusing to speak to him
Implying that he's not utterly self-sufficient
Things That Worked
Taking personal risks
Pretending to give into his idiotic demands
Apologizing for things that I'm not sorry for
Taking all of the blame
Behaving as though it's a favor he would be ever-so-kind to do for me
Acting on my plans as though he's agreed to them and hoping he'll go along
Manipulating his energy with the dizi (don't do this again; he was incensed)
Things I Haven't Tried
Acting like my feelings are hurt
Pretending to be injured (on second thought, he'd know I was faking, so never mind)
Looking over this list is disheartening. All of the nice things didn't work, and all of the things I haven't tried yet are vastly beneath me. I'm going to be reduced to begging and flattery, which I find repulsive.
But he really ought to obey me—he obviously can't be trusted to make good decisions on his own. Maybe I can be really, really nice to him until he can't help but adore me, and then he'll want to do what I say. That's how it works with Odetuchna—she worships me, and I dote on her.
But with this, I'm not sure how to begin. I don't think his opinion of me is very high. Actually, as I said before, I'm sure he hates me. This sounds rather silly—and I would die before verbalizing this—but my feelings are kind of hurt. I do like him very much, and so now I feel more or less idiotic. He seems to disdain my family, my upbringing, and all of my innate little habits. The phrases “goodie-fancy pants”, “pansy ass”, and “upright snob”, were, I believe, used in reference to me. In addition, he has made it quite clear that he thinks I am physically incapable of defending myself and my family, completely out of touch with common sense, and overeducated. (He also called me a womanizer and a freak, but he was only teasing. At least, I thought he was at the time, but maybe not...)
On the other hand, he hasn't objected to being called Aleczek or Sashenka, and those are pretty intimate diminutives. But suppose he sees them as childish, rather than affectionate?
Anyway, I won't think about it any more.
My brother is a brat. Please make some little chibi goddess come along and turn him into a puppy. Preferably a Rottweiler. Also, if the Mods aren't too busy, I would like a Rolls Royce and season tickets to the opera, as well as a palace with extensive gardens and lots of soft cushions. Thank you.