My sister is contemplating suicide and to tell the truth I feel exasperated. This isn’t the first time or even the second time she has done this. In fact, every time she faces a challenge in life she tells people she is thinking about killing herself. As her sister I feel deeply distressed at the mere thought of her doing such a thing and I feel hurt when she feels pain. At the same time I feel resentful that she is pulling at my heart strings like this. I want to encourage her but when I talk to her I realize we’ve been having these same conversations for nearly thirty years and if what I say is not helping her there is nothing new I can think to say. I remember when she was five years old trying to learn to roller skate. She would throw herself on the bed and cry “It‘s too hard! I can‘t do it.” I would remind her that this is the same thing she said about learning to tie her shoe or ride a bike or anything else she tried to do. I told her because she had kept trying she learned how to do those things. I am like my mother. We will agree with you that you are in a bad situation but we will not agree with you that you are in an impossible situation. Anyone who comes to me with weakness I will point to the strength that is within them. But somewhere along the way my mother got involved with the word of faith christian movement and she raised my sisters to look outside themselves for strength. Now I am wondering because my sister told me last night that her faith in God is gone. I can now see the danger of Christianity. No matter how helpful and sustaining an illusion may be there is always the danger hat encroaching truths may lead to disillusion. When that illusion is based on faith there is no safety net. The church always has an explanation for why things don’t happen in the real world the way they say. We are taught to see these explanations as answers but sometimes a person gets tired of explanations. Sometimes they just aren’t enough. I find myself having the same conversation with my sister that we had and have been having since she was five years old but for decades she has been indoctrinated to distrust the strength within her and see it as a dangerous thing. This past July she really did lock herself in the room in preparation to do herself in with a needle full of insulin (she is diabetic). A spirit (ancestor, angel, orisha, somebody) moved her four year old daughter to bang on the door with a sudden craving for yogurt (I will never bad mouth yogurt). Then my sister knew she could not take her own life and leave her three children. Apparently though, this was not true knowledge just feeling that would evaporated when the next challenge popped up. I don’t know what is going on with her now. The court awarded her $750 a month in child support afte3r her husband went off with an old girlfriend from high school who found him on Facebook. She also got a new better paying job so I thought things would be all right. A week later I call and her 13 year old daughter tells me they may have to move into a hotel because they can’t pay the rent and the 10 year old son may have to go live with the father. When I talked to my sister last night she told me she was tired, and life is too hard, and it’s not going to get better, and to do her a favor and finish my book and tell her story and let people know she loved her children and….. My mind is reeling. What is she talking about? What are you talking about? I say the things I been saying for thirty years.. She tells me she has to go and will talk to me later. The “talk to you later” part gives me hope so I hang up the phone. Fambly I don’t like this being co-dependant. If I accept the possibility that like Phyllis Hyman, my sister might one day really commit suicide I feel like an accomplice to the crime, almost giving her permission or at least allowing it to happen by my lack of faith and/or the law of attraction. But if I tell myself that she won’t do it and just put my mental foot down I feel like I am entering into delusion. , setting myself p to be devastated.