My half-sister is getting married this Saturday. I find myself trapped in a myriad of emotions; she and I don’t get along.
She was born during my parents’ marriage and not of my mother. I knew that as a child and placed this “fuck you” label on her from the get. How dare you be born and ruin my parents’ marriage! It wasn’t until I was in my teens that I realized their relationship was over before she was even in the picture; this is also when it dawned on me that no one asks to be born – it’s all about the stars aligning for just one brief moment.
Throughout the years while we were both in college, we became close. I visited her, she visited me; things were ok. It wasn’t until I snapped that things spiraled downward.
It takes two to be in a relationship- I am well aware. I stopped reaching out. I shut down and the feelings returned. I’d love to blame this all on my illness, but that’s a cop out.
Things got a bit nasty. We were able to stab each other in the back without ever talking. Messages through her mother, my father, and Mom. She’d tell her mother all the things that were shared in confidence. Her mother, forever trying to lift her daughter up while tearing me down, would share this confidential information with my father who complained to my mother, who brought it back to me. My father never would have known my extreme distaste for his ability to breathe (not anymore however), when I lost my virginity, and when I failed a class. I felt I couldn’t trust her anymore; I started only telling her about things I wanted my father to know. Eventually I revealed to my father a dark secret of hers; one that I was sworn to secrecy because it would tear the family apart.
And it did. And everyone began playing Telephone all over again.
It wasn’t until she announced her engagement that I started thinking. As children, we bonded in hatred. We both loathed my father for his behaviors. As adults, we bonded in loneliness. We were both outcasts in our college years and needed support. None of these bonds were meant to last. You can’t feed a relationship with hatred and loneliness.
So I reached out. I apologized for all I’ve done to upset her. I told her I’d like to mend fences. And I do.
I’m too fucking old to stay angry and bitter about anything. And I gathered that if she feels ready enough to make a lifetime commitment to another human being, she was to old for this shit either.
It took her a week to respond, but she did. I question whether her mother wrote it for her; the message was so dry. Regardless of how it sounded, it made me feel like there’s hope. I know we’ll never be able to have that close relationship back – we’ve both found other sources of support since then. But I am sick to death of the back and forth of our parents (still) and believe we can work toward a healthy relationship.
I saw a picture of her in her wedding gown. My eyes welled up with tears; she was so beautiful – she finally looked happy. And that made me feel happy. She’s a good person – and one day I hope she feels the same about me.