As this is my first blog, I’m more than aware that my approach may come across a little off, bordering on the line of awkward and angry. I would be lying to you to suggest that I am neither right now. I write bluntly and honestly, I don’t use complicated words mainly because I can barely say them myself but nevertheless, I would like to get a following who can share my journey, I have stories from here and now and I kinda want to share that with you all.
I am deeply disappointed with my sister.
I am the youngest of 4, the closest gap being between me and Rubelle is 16 months. We are classic opposites and for me that is perfect, its expected, its normal, I couldn't think of anything worse than walking through life twinning another persons movements. Although my mum fell victim to comparing us two, she’d honor my sisters greats to highlight my faults, saying things such as “When Rubelle reads she is so enthusiastic I want to stay awake but when you read I sleep”. I think I was 8 or 9 when I sat on the bottom of the stairs reading to discover my mum sleeping in sheer boredom. I also wasn’t trusted to go out as I had not inherited her ‘street-wise’ ability. I admit I was not the loud sort, I was quiet and shy, I became this caricature of myself that was a grave shadow of who I was not, Rubelle.
I allowed the domination of her personality to dictate what I thought, should do and was entitled to. As young as I can remember she always spoke for me, what was mine was never really mine, it was also hers and then it was just hers. The doll from my Aunt was hers. The clothes on my back, were hers, why? Because ‘they'd look better’ on her. In many ways this is typical sibling relationship whereas one or both parties compete and once older becomes a closer, best friend…however, in the swing of our thirties, astonishingly, things have not changed.
I first dismissed the unreasonable behavior when I fell pregnant. I had been after the house phone for a couple of hours, Rubelle was hogging it and I pleasantly asked her for the phone when she had finished. I waited for an additional hour and asked again. I lost my patience and quipped that I just needed to make a quick phone call. What I got in return has still to this day, 9 years later never been addressed. She got up and belted the phone at my body yelling “I’m not the stupid one who got pregnant!”. It seemed like she felt I was blaming her for my unplanned pregnancy and me wanting to use the somehow held her responsible for it. This was a classic case of the dominant one losing all control of the power I have been so comfortable giving her although I have empathy — she must have felt like I was gravitating elsewhere away from her that somehow so much of her identity was formed around my inferiority that maybe she felt that without me there would be no stepping stone.
18 months ago I started to Harry, I formed a solid relationship that took a lot of energy and time. I prioritized the work that it entailed making a consecutive decision to keep my private life private for the sake of me and my daughter and for my family to finally have a decent man around after a succession of bad luck. I knew as we approached our first year milestone that it was the right time to announce this amazing man to my family. I was excited. However, 2 weeks before my 1 year anniversary with Harry, Rubelle called, she was extremely upset, she had been unsuccessful yet again with seeking a relationship when she asked me if I was seeing anyone. In all honesty, I near damn lied to avoid flaunting the one thing that she wanted. I told her about Harry to which she replied “I’m not going to lie it makes me feel worse that you can keep a man and I cant” and upon discovering I was dating outside our race she said “I’m happy for you but I will need time to adjust”. I value my family so much that the last thing I would ever want to do is do something that made them feel uncomfortable. I wanted my sister not to feel awful because I had something that she wanted. I purposely shrunk myself and did not volunteer additional information but she too never asked me a thing which after sometime came across as dismissive. I knew she felt uncomfortable but how uncomfortable can you be when you care about someone’s happines?
Meanwhile she would make very racial slurs, generalisations, gathering the family to fuel her fire whilst ignoring the fact that I was there. It was only 6 months later when she finally asked me a question whilst we watched my daughter paint with her friends. “Talking of Peach, when are you going to bring him to the house”. I was so shocked by her use of language that it didn't even register. I stumbled over my words as I tried not to rise whilst acknowledging that this was her attempt to talk about my boyfriend.
6 weeks later she announces she has a boyfriend, shes been with him since the month of the phone call and hes coming to meet the family in 7 days time. It was all very slap, dash and full frontal. She sounded and looked like a woman on a mission. All I could think was how delicately I handled her pain as a single woman and her passive-aggressiveness regarding me being in a relationship. I felt that I had never seen her like this, but I know that this was a lie that I was convincing myself of. My instincts pricked as it hit me she was competing.
I asked around if there was any happiness for my happiness. I heard a resounding no. My sister was not happy for me. She pretended that with all her best efforts my alleged avoidance led her to know nothing about him, cascading a wave of suspicion throughout the family, widening the gap between my relationship and the family for her relationship to slot into.
Its been 3 weeks since she brought the attention of her relationship and she has the budding son-in-law making regular visits. Talking of marriage and attempts of pregnancy like she is rushing through a commute. I am disappointed with her as there is no limit to the depths she will go to step on my toes. There is no acceptance that there is space for the both of us. She will always compete with me in a passive-aggressive, malicious manner in order to come up tops. Its sad and I will now need to take a huge step back.