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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Challenging Conversations

It is no secret in my family that my sister Dana and I do NOT get along at ALL anymore, it's rather sad for me but also rather freeing to not be around her confident rudeness or constant dramas. This has been a struggle saga for my whole life actually, we grew up a year and half apart. She was a tom boy kid and I was the lacy flowers in my hair child. My sister was never afraid of anything even rolling snakes around her arms while I screamed bloody murder and hid from such things....
I liked how strong and brave she was in those years as kids, then as teenagers she would protect me from pervy men or inappropriate boys. I stayed sheltered and often personally choosing not to investigate more on these sexual topics or worldly ways around me with the help of my already knowing everything sister. At 17 I remember watching my sister smoke a hidden cigarette cussing up a storm while I awkwardly wondered if I should correct this behavior or simply accept her for trusting me enough in this moment. Our parents were already much harder on her then me, because I never talked back in those years. I would noticed growing up when we got the belt or lined up for questioning I would look down at my feet in shame while she lifted her chin in daring glaring challenge to our parents. I was always quick to cry in any kind of drama while she would snap out angrily "STOP being such a cry baby!" The fact that as kids we were clearly so different should not leave me wondering why now in our 30's we don't talk to each other not even a quick phone call anymore....not in any emails or any facebook sharing family photos....all of that is gone. We are truly just done with each other, if we didn't have parents or young brothers bringing us all together for Christmas and birthdays then Dana and I would never see each other again.  
I saw her at the family reunion last summer for the first time since the holidays, It's so sad to me how we will never be good sisters like other people I've known share in their fun sisterhood. The damage is done even if I am not quite sure what that actually IS......I lost complete connection with my sister during our mother's huge stroke, at that time it had us all coming and going in the hospital over 4 months in stressful misunderstandings. During that time something in my sister snapped she made up her mind that she really hated me. I made up my mind never to get hit or yelled at by her ever again.....In fact I learned how to stand up to her in ways she wasn't expecting so I challenged her. Not only am I not afraid of her screaming craziness at me anymore but I can see right through her to the real stories of her life, this makes her feel venerable with me as I know much more with all she is dealing with or is not dealing with from our childhood, from our rough teenaged years. By the 3rd time (when my sister was 17) that she had ran away from home only to be returned by her friend's parents saying she isn't 18 yet so she can't live on her own. I hugged her in relief to see her again and she shoved me to the ground half crying and half screaming in such deep raw anger I'll never forget looking up at her in surprise from the ground as she yelled "What the hell is WRONG with YOU? Why are you still living HERE you are 18!?!? If I was your age I would be gone and NEVER come back, You are an idiot!" I snapped back just as betrayed as she felt explaining "Every time you run away from home I cry myself to sleep wondering if you are homeless or cold and hungry! So don't get mad at me staying on where it's SAFE! and for God's sake STOP running away from home it drives us all crazy!" My sister looked at me in shock that I didn't just coward away from her wrath. THIS is how we lived, we fought badly only to make up and be kinda friends again. As I grew older I grew better at talking with my sister, it didn't have to come in the form of yelling or swinging at each other anymore. I will always be like the sunshine, the one looking for the best positive thing to say while she will always be like the moon never wanting to be in the same room as me always negative and sarcastic. I grew up with her so nothing she says or does shocks me like it does others around us, I wish I had a code word to help bring her into focus on what loudness she is creating, or how most people step out of her way less they get actually step on. When I tried to explain that she had such a hard life, it made her into a hard person everyone just rolls their eyes but as her sister I will always want to protect her in some way and never shut the door to her. I am simply not stupid in trying to make us be friends when clearly that is not what she wants right now.....
This last weekend we all went out to eat and Dana join us sitting across the table from me, as we both shared the very same joke at the very same time to the long table of our family, I burst out laughing at the perfect timing while Dana frowned butchering our joke midway through our brother Derek said "Well you and Dana do have a lot in common." I nodded joking replying "Well of course we do we grew up together so naturally." while Dana exclaimed "Take that back! Derek, you'll be sorry for saying THAT! That is NOT funny, I am NOTHING like Debby." I got up from the table while thinking "Oh god not again, I don't want to hear why she hates me so much. She can't seem to talk to me but she will tell everyone else how stupid and horrible I am." I went for some ice cream only to return to an awkward looking group for Dana's hissy fit seemed to make everyone joke around more about how weird I am to all of them. My husband commented when we drove away "Your sister is so mean, I have never met anyone so blatantly mean and not embarrassed to show it." I laughed and shrugged helplessly explaining "I wish I knew whatever I did but it's been over 3 years now she is still steaming mad at me for will ya believe me whenever I share how as kids we put each other in choke holds all the time, she never liked being challenged EVER. In fact even now as adults she still can't handle it and I really would love to have that challenging conversation with her to finally get to the bottom of all her hatred towards me...." Tony reply back "She hates you for being happy, it's like what my mother said the other night most people don't like happy people and that's what it all comes down to." 
I chuckled shaking my head in such bewilderment "I can't relate, I have no idea what that is about because the more happy people I know the more perfect my life becomes....the more I can handle the stress of meeting up with my old family all the better because I am happy and healthy!?!" My husband rubbed his forehead sighing as he said "I guess that's why I can't stand it, I am NEVER happy to see your sister." 
I sadly sighed back in agreement saying "I don't mind it, she can hate me all she wants for I still love day I might never see her again so for what it's worth I will cherish these times that she keeps me on my toes in trying to understand all the more our challenging conversations indeed!"

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