Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sisters - Love and Hate

I spoke to my sister yesterday giving her the belated birthday wish. I thought about it once on Friday and opted to call her when I got to work which was a mistake. Neither of us keep up with those kind of things and rely on non family to celebrate or existence. I use to really want that to change but wanting it and having it are two different things. We both have created different live for ourselves and we both have seemed to accept this.

We are four years apart and during our childhood I was basically a boil on her butt. She was my idol for a long time until I realized she hated me. Maybe hate is a strong word but I don't think it was far off. I ruined her only child life. She was on her way to being a prodigy when I her younger brother showed up. I was suppose to be a boy and got that message pretty early.

The truth was it wasn't far off I hated most girl things while my sister represented all things perfectly precious in our family. She never got dirty and practiced the piano two or more hours each day. She had straight A's all the way through law school. Her only soiled grade was PE in high school and she cried. The number of books she brought home each day equaled the number I checked out from the library for summer reading.

She did a lot things to hurt me when my mother was alive. She told lies about me that got me punished. Once she threw away a small wooden guitar that she made during Vacation Bible School and I retrieved it from the trash. She told my mother I stole it from her room.  I got a whippin for that and obviously I never forgot it.

Being the first born she never had it easy. The piano practicing stemmed from my mother's desire to be a concert pianist. The grades really were just expected and part of the complete package. In her room everything had a specific place and her drawers were labeled. She kept it locked most of the time and she had to use a Bobbie pen to enter each time. This starter after the guitar incident or did I have my own Bobbie pin?

I had groovy beads in my doorway and had convinced my dad to remove my door completely. I think my mother was good with this because she had my sister to beam over. I of course wasn't that into approval mostly because I could never live up to the perfection of my sister. My room was pack to the rafters andmy walls were covered with black light posters. I regular rearranged my five pieces of furniture because I was bored with things always being the same. I did that last weekend.

I would like to say that after my mother died my sister and I grew close but the intensity grew worse hitting a high or low point depending upon your perspective when she was throwing my things down the basement stairs and I said "one more thing goes down those stairs and you will follow."

That was the turning point for us and she stopped trying to pull rank on me. I was young and never understood why she hated me so much. After moms death there was just the three of us and my dad was checked out with grief. He wasn't paying the bills. She assumed head of household and her desire for control escalated to a point that called for war.

We did join together once briefly when my stepmother started her own special ops campaign which made Cinderella's stepmother seem compassionate. That was her last summer home and we have never been close since.

It hasn't been easy for her and after my mothers death she had a breakdown of sorts herself. She lost the desire to be perfect without my mothers expectations. She really went the opposite. I once tried to get in her car and couldn't find the seat. I ended up just sitting on the trash and papers. She doesn't iron and puts her makeup on without a mirror.

Loss changed us all. I remember going into my childhood room one day and raking everything into the trash. The person I had been was gone at ten I was all grown up and needed a change.

I love my sister and she loves me. We have both found our own successes in life and a place in the middle of extremes. She accepts me and my liberal spiritual beliefs and I accept her need to keep me at a distance. She has a lot of fear about the future and is concerned that something terrible is going to happen. She is right but that is true whether we worry or not.

I can see now that she has had her own suffering the same as me.  I couldn't really have compassion for anyone while I was lost in my own hurt. A child's hurt. It is clear to me now and I am seeing the truth of my life for the first time. I have been lost but now I am found.

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful post. I can relate to this a lot. I have a sister who is 17 years older than me and has never really liked me very much. There are a lifetime of stories I could tell.....but wont, but I love your last line. I was lost in my crazy family, but now I am found. And so are you.