Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sister Sister

My older sister and I don't get along that well. She's really, really conservative. I'm not. She's really religious. I'm a Christian, but I can't stand religion. She's super judgmental of my life and decisions, I couldn't care less what she chooses to do. I have tattoos, I like gay people and support gay marriage, I am pro-choice. She does not/is not. Plus, I have really good and open relationships with our younger siblings, whereas she does not (two of them are super liberal, tattooed all over, and atheist). She prefers the company of her in-laws and her friends, and makes this known by not reaching out to me, not returning texts or calls, not inviting me to things she thinks are important (her son's baby dedication at her church, her other son's school choir program), and not telling me about things that are important (when her son has special medical tests done). She basically only calls when she needs or wants something, and when we do spend time together, by ourselves, with our kids, or with the rest of our family, she tells stories about her friends or in-laws, even going so far as to compare my child and my child's development with that of the children of her friends or in-laws that are of a similar age.

She went so far as to tell me a story last time I saw her about "Grandma" being in the hospital, which freaked me out because I didn't know that Grandma was in the hospital and I thought my dad would tell me something like that about his mother, and then clarifying that it was her husband's grandma. Not ours. Not cool.

She wrote a guest post on a blog that I read today that talked about the relationship her two oldest children have, and how she combats a bad attitude from her oldest with a code word so he knows if he is getting out of hand/expressing exasperation, which lets him know to change his attitude or walk away from the situation. In the first paragraph of the post she expressed that she wants her children to know that they can be best friends. And that struck a chord in me.

It really upset me that she expresses that to her children while not making the same effort with her own siblings. One of her sisters-in-law is the one that told me about the guest post in the first place. Our younger siblings and I don't see eye-to-eye on everything, but they don't judge me and I don't judge them and we get along because we love each other. Our younger sister is one of my best friends. My older sister used to be. Until she realized that I wasn't the same as her anymore (I was until about 5 years ago, and I moved back to our hometown 2 years ago). I guess she liked me better long-distance.

Anyway, I guess I'm hoping that I can somehow build a relationship with her again. I want to be an example for my child and for her kids about how siblings really can be close friends. I want her to see that just because I'm not the same as her doesn't make me bad. I want her to remember where she came from and understand that her husband's family isn't perfect and she doesn't have to give this illusion of perfection and sever ties with her imperfect family. I want her to understand that I want to be a part of her life, but I will only reach out so many times, unanswered, and I'm reaching the end.

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