The Sister I've Lost

When my step-sister and I met about 20 years ago, I wanted to be her friend so badly.  She was a girl on my street, who was my age, and she had a pretty cool house, and fun stuff to do.  I was new on the block, and didn’t have the luxury of growing up with all the kids in the neighbourhood, so I was someone to be picked on and teased a little bit.  When we would play cops and robbers, I was usually the loser – not one would help me, and I just wasn’t cut out for that game.  I was an indoor kid, to be sure.

When my parents divorced, and I moved away with my mom, I thought that I wouldn’t have to deal with my step-sister any more.  My dad still lived in our old house, so we would see the old neighbourhood kids, but it was no big deal if I decided to stay inside and play with my dad, rather than run wild with the other kids.

Imagine my surprise when my dad, and my (now) step-mom started to date, and eventually got married.  I ended up being quite surprised. I liked my step-mom, and I had high hopes for my step-sister and I becoming fast friends.  It didn’t really work like that.  I think, at first, that my step-sister was mad that our parents were getting married.  She was upset and crying on their wedding day, then continued to act out after.  I don’t know if I had just accepted my parents divorce faster than she did (her parents divorced two or three years before mine did), or if she just didn’t want her family situation to change again. 

We fought for about three years.  Somewhere in there, we decided to actually be friends, and it kind of worked.  We would often make each other mad, but we would end up getting along again, as we shared a room… there wasn’t any room for anger and dislike.  We had a great time for three or so years, through our high school days.  We had so much fun, we shared the same group of friends, we had parties all the time, and just really enjoyed being sisters.  I thought that maybe even though I didn’t get along with my real sister, that I would always have a sister in my step-sister (understand – I love my sister with all my heart, but as kids and young teens we didn’t get along… as most sister’s don’t.  This improved when I lived with my dad and my sister lived with my mom, but it wasn’t until we were both married adults that we were really able to share a friendship rather than just a family bond).  I even dropped the “step” and just called her my sister.  It was fantastic. 

Then we graduated college and while we lived in the same room, still, we went seperate ways.  I went to technical school and made some pretty bad choices.  I unfortunately picked up with the “wrong” crowd, going out on the weekends to drink and party.  She went to bible school and just became more of herself, I think.  I found her hard to relate to, and difficult to deal with.  When I was going through it, I maintained that I went to tech school and got drunk, she went to bible school and got religion (we’re both Christians to this day, but I guess I just saw a difference in her “religion” during that time).  In my second year of tech school, I really calmed down, and ended up doing a lot of homework while maintaining a few relationships and friendships.  It was a very stressful time for me, but I got through it.  Unfortunately, the friendship with my step-sister didn’t.

I was doing some things that weren’t wholesome and that I’m not proud of, but I felt betrayed that my step-sister would take her speculations (as that is what they were – I was not about to confide in her any longer) and spread them around my church friends, as well as my old high school friends.  At this point, I shut down towards her.  I didn’t care what she thought of me, and would say very little to her.  At the end of my school year, I ended up moving out, about the same time that I got kicked out.  I think that the conversation was “You are to be out by the end of the month” and I said “Don’t worry, I’ve got a place and will be out before then”. 

At this point, I wanted to get back on track.  I wanted my high school friends back, I wanted my family back and I wanted my happy, fun life from high school back.  But I was too proud to tell anyone that, and even when I did tell some people that, they didn’t believe me, and I shut down towards my family even more.  After living on my own for two or three years, I came into contact with my old best friend from high school.  We ended up going out for dinner, and we had such a good time, until he let the bomb slip.  “[My step-sister] would be so mad if she found out I was meeting you for dinner”.  What. The. Heck.  I was so mad at this point that I pretty much wrote my step-sister, and all of my friends from high school off.  I didn’t need them.  If I was to see my dad, I would not be seeing him any time that my step-sister was to be there, I avoided her as much as humanly possible, and if she showed up somewhere that I was, I would stay until it was polite to leave, and make tracks.

While things have calmed down and it seems like she doesn’t hold as much dislike for me, I still have no desire to be around her at all.  I am fully aware that I have wounded her so many years ago, and I have apologized for it, on more than one occasion.  I know that it was her decision to forgive me, and in her own time, and maybe she has done so – I don’t know if she has, as she’s never said anything.  I’m exceptionally uncomfortable around her because I don’t believe that I have forgiven her yet, for talking about me behind my back and tell our friends that they weren’t allowed to see me (and?  I was kind of mad that they listened).  I just wanted an apology from her, so many years ago.

I don’t think that I’ll ever get it.  I know that forgiveness comes from my desire, and not her apology, but very selfishly?  I don’t want to let it go until she knows that she’s done something wrong and will acknowledge it.  I know it’s petty of me, and that I should grow up a bit.  But until I do, I guess that I will continue to dream about her, and I will continue to mistrust her, and I will continue to desire to not see her.  And all of this?  Kind of breaks my heart a little bit.

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