My little sister and I have a very… delicate relationship. She has been the main topic of my counseling sessions ever since I started going a year ago. To me, the relationship with my sister is my biggest failure as a human.
We have never gotten along. I remember when I was 7 and she was 5, I was standing on the kid table making my mother sit through a rendition of The Lion King in all of its medley glory. My sister, Micky, crawled up onto the table and began trying to sing with me. Naturally I got annoyed and I told her to stop. So what did she do? She shoved me off of the table. I look back at that moment now and find it absolutely hilarious, but that has how our entire relationship has been. We fight, almost constantly. It would always get physical up until about the time I was 16 or so. Mickey has always been bigger than me and has always pinned me down. But now we are both older and we don’t throw punches, we throw words.
Mickey and I speak two completely different languages. I will try to compliment her, and she gets defensive because she hears an insult. I will try to give her advice from my years of wisdom, she takes it as me trying to control her life.
Speaking of her life, that is a complete mystery to me. My life has always been so public, whether I wanted it to or not. I went to middle school where my mom taught, so I was never able to hide from a watchful eye. All of the bullying I received in high school was always on large scale that I couldn’t pretend that it wasn’t a big deal or that it didn’t happen. But Mickey? God knows what happened in middle school, or what is happening in high school. I don’t know who her friends are (if she has any), I don’t know if she gets bullied, I don’t know how her classes are going, I don’t know who she likes, I don’t know what to get her for her birthday. She is a complete mystery to me, and I lived with her for 15 years. She is so secretive it hurts.
And about a month ago, something miraculous happened. She told me something personal. I think it was the first time ever she trusted me with a little piece of information. But remember when I said we speak two different languages? Yeah. When she told me this personal thing, to me it was very obvious that it was something negative and something she regretted and hated herself for, and that made me panic. I mean, just a few months ago she tried killing herself. The last thing that needed to happen was for her to regret something. After I flipped shit (something I now deeply regret, but I think I reacted appropriately), she clarified that it was actually something very positive to her and she didn’t regret it in the least bit. And after I flipped shit, she said she would never tell me anything ever again because of the way I reacted. Which absolutely broke my heart.
Since I didn’t know what to do about Michaela, I went to my big brother for guidance. So he could understand the situation, I told him what Michaela trusted me with (again, something I deeply regret) and asked him for both his promise he wouldn’t say anything and for his help. And he did help me. But he also called my uncle and told him, and then my uncle called me, and told me that Michaela needed to tell this secret to my father.
It has taken me months to work out and discover all of the various degrees of relationships within my family, so it will be impossible for me to spell out why this was so detrimental to me. But here is a summarized version: If my uncle tells my father then:
- my father will lose trust in my sister, and my sister will strengthen her hate for my father. Whatever small connection there was will be broken.
- It will eventually come out that I told my big brother, and Michaela will really never trust me again. Any hope of mending our relationship and making it better will be gone for good.
- My father will so upset at my mother for keeping it from him, and whatever little connection was between them will be severed.
- There really is no connection between my sister and my mother, so that isn’t even there.
So there you have it. An outline of how my family will break apart. And here is the kicker: the secret my sister told my mother and I? It isn’t even a big deal. It isn’t life or death, it isn’t an emergency. It is a step in her life that every girl will take, and that step is just something parents don’t want to know about, hence keeping my father in the dark.
And I am absolutely terrified of losing my sister for good.
I used to dream about what I wanted our relationship to be like. I wanted us to be like best friends. I wanted her to come to me with anything and everything. I wanted us to sit down for some lunch and bitch about the latest guys in our life. I used to dream all of this, and it would make me cry because I thought there was never a chance of that. And I still have that dream, and I still sometimes find it impossible. But my counselor and I talked about ways to mend the relationship and not have to be consumed by the impending doom.
He told me to come clean with her about my mistake and beg for forgiveness. That had never been an option for me before since I was so terrified of our relationship becoming worse, but them my wonderful counselor pointed out that, in all honestly, our relationship couldn’t get much worse than where it is at now. And that was a difficult thing to hear, and so heart breaking to realize he was right.
And so now I sit here, dreading the phone call I will have to make with my sister, wishing and dreaming for us to be sisters. And the only way that will happen is if she lets go of all thoughts that are negative against me and I do the same. A clean slate. A new beginning. Reintroducing ourselves. Because right now, we are just a thorn in each other’s lives.