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2002-11-23 | 1:10 p.m.

My Mom and my sister are fighting again. I'm hoping this time my Mom really does get her own place. It is so overdue and the rancor between them is so vicious. Makes me sick to my stomach. Yesterday my Mom came with us when I took Felony to the mall to get her ears pierced. Big deal for Felony, lots of fun, but sometime on the way home my Mom fell into telling bitter stories about all the pain and humiliation Diane has caused her. At one point, I think she said, "You have no idea," and I said, "Oh, I have an idea." She forgets that she wasn't the only one Diane embarrassed and humiliated. But Diane loathes my mother with a special fury that I don't understand.

My sister and her son had to live with my Mom after she left my house (after I "kicked her out"--that's how she thinks of it anyway). My sister was getting social security checks, survivor's benefits in the age of irony, and they made a deal that Diane would pay rent and Mom would pay for groceries. Very poor planning on my mother's part, since if the rent didn't get paid, she would suffer, while she was able to eat for free at work.

On the fourth of July, Diane called my mother at work and slurred, "You'll have to take a draw. My money's gone and you'll have to take a draw if you want your rent paid." Diane had hooked up with some loser and gone to beach with him, carrying $1700 cash with her.

"Flashing it," my mother said angrily. "You know she was flashing it around."

Then the money was gone and my mother had to cover the rent on her meager salary. Another boyfriend stole all of Diane's jewelry, and my mother paid almost $400 to get it out of hock after the police told them which pawn shop had it.

My mother should never have done this. I think these things are part of the reasons why Diane hates her so much. Diane hates anybody who's helped her. Anybody who knows how weak and despicable she has been; can be. People who are indifferent to her, she likes better.

When Diane used her diamond ring as collateral to raise money to bail out Damien when he went to jail for a night (for using a stolen cell phone, duh), my mother called me a month or two later. Could I give her the money to make a payment to the lender? Damien had promised Diane to pay the money back, but he never did. Even though he was working full time, et cetera.

I refused to help.

Damien never coughed up the money and Diane lost her cherished diamond ring. That was a few years ago. Last year, when Damien wanted to buy his girlfriend an engagement ring, he talked his mother into letting him charge the ring on her new jewelry store credit account. The diamond he bought was well over a carat--probably cost more than $5,000--and at a payment of $50 a month plus finance charges, will end up costing far more. Together, he and his wife make over $100K a year, but the jewelry store keeps calling because he neglects to make his payments. Meanwhile, last Christmas Bambi bought her mother another diamond ring to replace the one she lost. So you see how it goes.

At some point I just decided to do my damnedest not to participate in the family drama anymore. And it's worked pretty well. It's always been theirs, anyway. It belongs to them. I was never anything more than a guest star. A recurring cameo. I've got my own script in the works.

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