My Sister, Not My Friend

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To say that my relationship with my younger sister has been less than perfect, would be the understatement of a lifetime. I would describe my relationship with my younger sister Tara Marie as turbulent, unstable and until very recently, upon the verge of eruption.

My sister and I have always treaded lightly around each other as if we were walking around on cracked glass. Over the last year our already fragile relationship has been slowly cracking, and last October during my stepmother's violent behavior my relationship with my younger sister, Tara Marie, finally shattered.

Sisters

Image: Ansel Edwards Photography via Flickr

Not exactly childhood friends

I am not sure if our sisterly bond never formed because we lived in separate households during my parents’ divorce or because we both decided to move away from home at a very young age. Regardless of the reason, the reality is that my younger sister and I aren’t close; that’s OK because that’s just the way it is.

Maybe our dislike of each other reaches way back into our early childhood, long before the divorce. My sister was the tiny, petite, cute, little angel child, and I was the chubby, mature tomboy who everyone treated like an adult. As a child and young teenager, I hated my younger sister for all of the attention that she attracted, and all of the wrong that she could not do.

I often imagined what my life would be like without her, and I even told her on a few occasions that my life would be better without her. I know that this is an awful thing for a big sister to say to her little sister, especially since it is not true. The older sister is supposed to be the protector of the younger sister, not the bully.

There are a lot of things that I regret about my childhood. I am sorry for being mean to my little sister, because a big sister should be someone to look up to -- not someone who makes your life a living hell. I regret not protecting my sister; I was definitely violent toward her out of hatred, and for that I will forever be sorry. I was not a very popular child in school and my peers were mean to me; in exchange I was mean to my little sister. I took my anger out on her and that is so wrong in so many ways.

Not friends as adults either

Unfortunately, my little sister and I have not outgrown the childhood hatred we had for each other. I hate Tara Marie because whenever there is conflict within my family my perfect little sister walks in with her perfect little (but unwanted) opinion. Somehow she always makes herself the good child and I end up being the bitch, even though I am just telling the truth and she is sugar-coating the situation.

Why can’t we just be friends?

If you ask my dad, my parents’ divorce is the reason Tara Marie and I both moved away from home at such a young age; it is also the reason we are not close. However, this is not true. Tara Marie and I are not close because, other than having the same parents, we really don’t have anything else in common.

There is no rule that says sisters must be friends. I wish that I could say Tara Marie and I are friends as well as sisters; but this, unfortunately, is not true. If we had gone to the same high school, we would not have hung out in the same circle of friends. If we had worked in the same office, we wouldn’t have been friends outside of work. So why should we pretend to be friends just because we are sisters?

~Tahnya

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