My little sister called me, I usually hesitate because she only calls to ask for something, because I’ll straight act like I didn’t see her text or tweets. I’m a sucky brother sometimes. She called to ask what I was getting our nephew for his birthday to make sure she didn’t get the same thing, which is highly unlikely, not only that my nephew knows to ask each of us for different things. 5 years old today, the kid is brilliant. What my little sister really wanted wasn’t just that she wanted it to be known she would not be attending Thanksgiving dinner Thursday on account that her and my eldest sister are still butting heads. This was my cue to talk sense into her, I really had nothing. This has been going on for a while I force the issue everyone plays nice but once you add alcohol to a small flame, an inferno erupts. She went on and on about how my sister is now, I listened (ironically enough she called me days prior to tell me the same about her, I hate being in the middle of things). I thought back to a couple years ago I was in that same position with my oldest sister, I even skipped Thanksgiving. As chance would have it be my mother’s last Thankgiving as you know she lost her battle with cancer that September. In fact, it was my mother’s passing that ultimately buried the hatchet between us, I really wanted nothing to do with her. Our relationship had strained way worse than me and my brother‘s did…
Around the time my father and brother moved out, I was given the title of “man of the house”. But in truth that distinction fell to my oldest sister who pretty much ran the household with my mother. She cooked, she cleaned, picked us up from school, bought Christmas/birthday presents, never really had the freedom the rest of us would later have in our teen years. I admired my sister, she was gifted like I was but still managed to be cool, a distinction I never could claim. Me and her were the closest, I didn’t borrow her stuff like my other sisters did and I always listened to her stories. She always had plans to move away from school but ultimately ended up at Suffolk University and eventually moved out. I would visit here and there but it’s different when we shared a roof, I was a 12 year old boy she had her own life now. I understood.
Fast forward a couple years, now I’m off to college. My father didn’t bother to see me off, my mother was starting to drink more and more so again that left my oldest sister to step up. She was the one sending me money for
alcohol and parties food and books, dropping me off, eventually I just moved in with her on breaks. Then things started to change when faced with the prospect of taking a year off. It was like I was 12 years old again, she didn’t want me around. This time I didn’t understand, I had my own life, what was so special that I couldn’t be around, she was oblivious to the feelings of rejection and worthlessness I was feeling at college, but the way I saw it she was just another person in the long line of people who didn’t care about me anymore. I went back that semester, I’d much rather be unaccepted there than by my own blood, that spring break I crashed at a cousin’s and ended up back in my old neighborhood, got caught up in something I had no business being in, next thing you know I’m in a hospital with multiple stab wounds and a collapsed lung. My only visitor, my sister. (My father had just moved out of state and with my mother’s health we decided it was best she didn’t know, to be honest I’m not sure if she ever found out)
Now it was the summer again and I once again wasn’t sure where to go, went back with my sister much to her dismay. Once again, I’m faced with debt and have no idea how I’m going to pay for the upcoming year, all she knows is she wants me out soon. I didn’t need that stress and pretty much crashed where ever I could that summer. Upon finding out that it was all over a boyfriend, I became angry and let her know how I felt. It was weird really, 20 years of my life I don’t think we ever so much but disagreed but so much came out at that moment. The way I saw it he came before me, and given what happened that spring I felt even more betrayed. Me and her were done. That Thanksgiving I didn’t want to see her, that Christmas we didn’t speak, we both went all out with our gifts for everyone but each other, the irony we didn’t get anything back. This would continue for months, until that fateful day, I was too drunk to remember who said what or if maybe I was just so drunk to remember I wasn’t speaking to her but since then it was like that past year never happened.
Looking back, I see where she was coming from. A girl who pretty much played the mother role my whole life and at the first hint of tough love I snapped. I look at the fact that I’m not even her only sibling, she did just as much for my older brother and my little sisters, not to mention two half brothers. She wore herself out, and every time she chose to be selfish it backfired. My mother was the same way, so much she pretty much ran away from her family when she was my sister’s age, when it came to raising her own she struggled to hold on. Now I’m pretty much at the helm, trying to control the family now. Can I actually drive this thing, I thought about the post I wrote about my brother, I thought about how I ignore my little sister and brothers texts sometimes, is it already starting? If I try to be more selfish will they understand or will I just be someone who puts their job or girlfriend before them. Selfishness is something that comes up a lot when I write, maybe that’s the INFJ in me, always thinking about other’s feelings. I was able to look at both sides of the coin and see part of it was tough love on the part of my sister, but maybe others don’t see it that way. My little sister sure doesn’t. But that’s another post entirely. This already passed 1100 words.