Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Happy Families

I speak to one of my parents everyday. And I email my brothers on a daily basis. But me & my sister ignore each other.

Sometimes, I ask my mother how my sister is. Mama will ask her to come to the phone & speak to me. She'll almost always say something mean like that she doesn't feel like it or she's busy etc...loud enough so she's sure I can hear. Upon which my mother will tell her off & she'll come to the phone. You can imagine the conversations we then have.

It drives me crazy. This feeling that someone is mad at you for no reason. That you're being punished/stonewalled permanently. I can't leave it alone. So I launch a charm campaign. Phone calls, SMS, cards, funny emails and presents. Lots of presents.

Little by little, she begins to thaw. She's never demonstrative. The best I can hope for is this grudging acceptance, that if someone says she should speak to me or asks her about me, I don't need to be afraid of her answer.

And that she will occasionally refer to me as her sister. She hardly ever does that. I remember that when her friends would come over to our house growing up, she would introduce us to them as 'my brothers & L'. Like I was another guest or something.

So now I know that when she uses the term 'my sister', it means we're in good shape.

But the thing is, as hard as I try to stay on speaking terms, it never lasts. She'll let it go on long enough that I'll start to hope for more. Then she'll do something that will ruin it.

Like now, I thought things were going so well between us that at her request, I flew her over her to stay with me for 2 weeks so she can see her friends & do some shopping.

In the few days since she arrived, she has created so much mayhem that I'm forced to think it is a bit more than teenage rebellion. There really is something very wrong with her. It's not natural for a kid her age to be so cruel & manipulative.

I feel so torn. One minute, I want to send her home & never see her again. The next, I can't bear for her to go away on bad terms. I want to keep her here until somehow it's all fixed. Sometimes, I'm asking myself, is it my fault? After all, I WAS jealous of her. I did have trouble accepting her. I did ignore her for years. But I never hated her the way she seems to hate me. NEVER.

It's like she keeps setting me up for this. Leading me on to think we can be close & then slapping me down with so much hostility. I feel stupid, used.

And I'm ashamed of it. For God's sake, I am 30 years old & she's 16. She's a kid. I should know how to deal with her.

My worst fear is that if she doesn't grow out of this soon, she's going to wear me out. She'll make me give up. I don't want to but this is so painful. I can't keep going through it over & over & over again. And if I stop trying, I know she won't try. So that means what? That we'll stop speaking forever? That we won't be part of each other's lives? That one day I'll be saying 'my brothers & L' too?

That seems so bleak.

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7 Comments:

Blogger Zed-tastic said...

have you had a major heart-to-heart session with her? told her that you USED to be jealous of her but have now stopped?

she's probably punishing you for the time that you didn't talk to her. it probably cut her more than you realize.

6/13/2007 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

maybe she just needs more time...does she know how u feel?? talk to her like you would to a friend not like a baby sister...it sucks not having a good relationship with your sister:(

6/13/2007 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger roora said...

oh dear ! It must be extreemly hard but what can I say .. you have to keep tying and bear what she does over and over until you break the barriers between you and her. 16 years old is usually an age where we would like to object for everything .. it is a hard age

by the way is she like that with only you or with others too ?

anyways Rabena m3aki ya rab and jazaki Allah khayran for your continious trials.
:)

6/14/2007 09:44:00 PM  
Blogger Jane said...

My eldest sister treated me very much the same way for years. She was cold, cruel and distant. It's only been in the past two years that we've had a semi-friendly relationship and I think that only happened because we both have kids. She finally told me how jealous she was of me when we were young and how she hated the attention I used to get.

As for your sister, most teenagers are monsters. They are moody and hormonal and their brains are not fully developed. She may be a bit worse than some but I can assure you that she will very likely grow out of it. You may have to wait for a few years. I'm betting by the time she's 25 your relationship will be much better. Good luck.

6/15/2007 07:22:00 PM  
Blogger Um Naief said...

i agree w/ jane.... don't give up, and she's right about her brain not being fully developed... so that has a lot to do w/ what she does.

my younger sister and i didn't have a fabulous relationship when we were younger. i was jealous of her and she of me.... sometimes, even now, it will still happen. we get into big arguments... but it's a part of life. i'm honest and she's honest w/ me, and we disagree. but i feel good in that we can have that w/ each other and still be there like no one else and we're sisters. there's a special bond between sisters....

and i also think that she's punishing you for the way you were. i get that, but my sister likes to remind me of the things that she feels were wrong.... over and over again i listen. i have finally gotten to the point that i just say, "enough's enough... how many times have i heard this - this is the last time".

aaaahhhh, sisters. at least she has spunk.... being strong willed isn't such a bad quality.

and my last thing... just be real w/ her. don't try to buy your way into her life. talk to her.

6/15/2007 10:40:00 PM  
Blogger Will E. said...

You try your best, but sometimes it just doesn't work out... aside from the fact that you're sisters, you're individual people and sometimes being family is not enough to hold both individuals together..

It's bleak but sometimes that's just the way it is.

6/16/2007 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger Carmen said...

Teenage years are the worst absolute years. I know we were there and we DEFINITELY weren't like that, but it's such a different Britney Spears time. It'll get better as time passes and she matures.

6/23/2007 03:41:00 PM  

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