Once upon a time in a land called the 80’s, I was friends with my next oldest sister. We had always had a tenuous relationship up until our 20’s, but I welcomed being included (embraced even?) by my next oldest sister.
My oldest sister and I had a good relationship then. She was still my oldest sister so I wasn’t exactly a priority in her life, but at least we got along well.
It felt like an honor for my middle sister to accept me as what I thought, an equal, and for several years we related on a level that my oldest sister did not care to dwell. My next oldest sister was rough where my oldest sister was more refined. My oldest sister was more ‘white collar’ whereas my other sister was thoroughly ‘blue collar’. I have no idea what collar I would have been given, but ‘blue’ was more relatable.
Pretty much I just wanted to be accepted. I’m sure I overlooked a lot back then, or was simply clueless, or my next oldest sister really did appreciate my friendship.
It’s hindsight that helps me see what changed so drastically.
I had a child in 1990, and although my relationship with my next oldest sister was still solid for those first few years, it soon changed for her. It was subtle at first, and then I just started making excuses for her behavior toward me.
I didn’t know that it was against the laws of her ordered mind for the youngest sister to have a child before the older ones. It wasn’t like I tried.
It turns out that she was trying to have a child and couldn’t, while my oldest sister saw what a horror she might be as a parent and consciously chose not to procreate – a decision her dive into evangelicalism would come to haunt her – but that’s her story.
So, once again, I became the scapegoat. I didn’t know the rules had changed. I was so clueless.
Didn’t my sister know that being a single parent with a motherfucking asshole absent father was torturous?! Didn’t she know that living on welfare, getting no child support, and constantly being harassed and told I didn’t deserve to live was difficult at best and often terrifying?
No, apparently I had it really good – and she should have been the one to have a child, not me. I didn’t work my ass to the bone like her. That was true. She’s an amazing worker. So am I when working at something I can cope with.
She sucks, however, as a sister.
I just wanted to be included. I wanted to belong. Once she found out that belonging was important to me, she found her super weapon and my Achilles Heel.
I finally learned to let go – mostly. I still hold out hope that one day she will see that I was true. She will see I was real and I cared. It cannot come at my expense though. Life truly is hard enough.
It’s painful. The Buddhists say to not be attached. Attachment causes pain. Good for them, I say. I’m human. I might reach that kind of detachment in another realm, but I suffer here.
It hurts to no longer be invited into my sister’s life in a real way. It sucks to be surface with people I used to believe had depth with me. Or maybe I didn’t need depth then and depth is important to me now?
I hope her birthday is a happy one. I hope she gets all that she needs to carry her through her life. I also hope that her indifference to me will stop mattering someday.
I know I am not what my sister – or anyone really – thinks of me. I am mostly kind, and I am worth knowing. I am a valuable friend. But I cannot keep throwing pearls before swine. That’s on me, and I am strong enough to know and honor my worth. (repeat ad infinitum)
© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh), Making A Way Blog, 2010 – current