Sister Sadness

A to Z Challenge

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   I can’t stand my sister and, luckily, she can’t stand me.  We are not the kind of sisters they make movies about; unless there’s blood, some knives, and a lot of crying in these movies.  I’m not really sure why she dislikes me so much. I know why, as adults, but there was no reason when we were kids.  I was the baby of the family but it got me no extra attention.  I was not treated like a precious final gift mom knew would be her last.  There was nothing to be jealous of as babies. At 16 months apart, everything I had was from her, everything new went to her.

   One of my first memories of Stilla is of her slapping me in the face.  All I remember is crying from the hit, mom asking Stilla what happened, and then mom nodding.  And that’s how it was until I was almost in double digits so I don’t think she was jealous of any attention I was getting, because I wasn’t getting any (positive or negative).

   I remember the first friend she “stole” from me.  I was around first grade age.  Our neighbor next door played with both of us but we were in the same grade, Stilla one up.  When we became closer friends, Stilla learned the power of rumor sharing.  Suddenly I was the nose picker and skid mark maker of the neighborhood.

   She loves to read.  I was so jealous of her affinity for books; I had no interest in reading.  I had no patience for it and I lacked certain comprehension skills.  Because of this I always looked up to her as someone brimming with intelligence.   She knew words I didn’t, historical figures I didn’t learn of in school, and she could hold conversations with adults while I was still asking how people knew how to tell time.  She was always above me.

  She continued to spread rumors about me but protected me when those same rumors made others bully me.  I looked to her for help and expressed gratitude when she came to my rescue.  She turned all of my friends against me when her friends got tired of her (pick a reason, there are dozens).  I was in the sixth grade when I finally stopped considering those people friends and in middle school when I finally started to make my own, very separate friendships.

   Stilla became really mean around eighth grade. We fought fist to fist all the time because I had fully grown out of submission and into a stance of attempting to hold my own ground.  She used my body against me physically and mentally. She’s always grown proportionally with her body while I was behind even the late bloomers.  It was easy to physically overtake me. My training bra boobs, extremely slender and shapeless figure made me an easy target for verbal and mental abuse.  The fact that one lifting of her shirt got me dumped more than once only compounded my growing self esteem issues.  It was easy to believe her claims that I was ugly and unattractive when she made sure I knew her boobs and booty were always around.  I was reaching twenty before I realized that it wasn’t my lacking curves that deterred boys or made boyfriends drift towards Stilla but my ability to let her shame me at every turn, sometimes without her being there.  She created a lot of doubt in me and I’m still not sure why.

   These are just a few of the examples of the role model of a sister I have.  But I fail to mark the times we laughed, cried and supported each other.  Those times are so very rare but they are there.  She challenged and pushed me a lot simply by being present.  She took everything I had, did everything I did better, and as a result I was always on the hunt for something else, trying to achieve a new something that was my own.  It’s a shame I can never explain to her how she had helped me become who I am despite her knocking me at every opportunity and how I’m not bitter because of how it helped me.

   No one has ever made me laugh the way Stilla can.  No one has ever made me confide in them with one simple look like her.  There is no one I take advice from quicker even though I know it will somehow go wrong for me.  Even if her intentions are good she will put me on a path to destruction or completely destroy my path for me; I don’t think it’s always on purpose though.  I think her head may just be bigger than her foresight.

      I wonder if she knew how little of our past I held against her, would she stop being so destructively aggressive in our present?  Because it is not the past the hurts me most but our present.  I’ve taken a lot of abuse, I’ve dismissed a lot of unnecessary drama created or prolonged by her but one thing that still stings is the wounds left from her most recent bites.  She’s my sister and I will always love her but as it stands it has to be from a very safe distance and I think that hurts me most as her sister, her children’s aunt, and as the mother of her nephews.

I’m forever jealous of sisters that know each other’s worth and the value of their unity




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