My sister and I had our first post-mental-breakdown conversation.
She and I have gone through times where we were really close and times when we were really distant. As kids, we loved each other dearly and the next minute we hated each other ferociously. We’ve experimented with mushrooms together, and traveled to Kuwait and back together, we even skipped school one time together. We played pretend as Power Rangers, and made lots and lots of movies when we were kids. From the day I was born, my sister was around or not really all that far.
It occurred to me, while writing this introduction, just how many moments we share with our siblings. We watch each other go through all the terrible and wonderful times. A constant observer, progressing at a relatively similar rate, even if very different in age. In my case, I got really lucky because I have a sister that is 15 months older than me, and another sister that is 11 years older (my half sister). One would watch us when we got off the school bus and keep us doing what would make the adults happy with her. The other was my mirror to visit with while we played barbies and argued. Nobody but my oldEST sister knows what I was like during certain moments of my infancy. Nobody but my oldER sister knows what I went through by being pulled out of a small town with one red-light into a foreign country with prayer call five times a day.
My oldER sister and I got really swept up by the Saturn-Uranus square over the past couple of years. She’s a double Aquarius and I have an Aquarius moon. It was essentially a personality crisis and total melt-down for both of us. I personally felt the tension internally. I didn’t want to talk to her, I thought she was being very immature, and I thought her problems were a burden on me even though I was completely removed from them. We were projecting the things we didn’t like about ourselves onto each other, so there’s no telling what she thought of me, but I imagine it was not that great either. Its easy to cast judgement because that is us just recognizing something we don’t like about ourself onto another person.
For almost a year, there was no connecting, because my sister and I were too stubborn to come off our high horse. We were both fueled by our egos, which were feeling unworthy for several reasons and due to various problems. We still weren’t ready to simultaneously be vulnerable about the mental breakdowns we’d both just suffered. After a lot of time recovering and exploring our respective shadows in different ways, we’ve both discovered: all we had to do was move toward ease. Our family, while not the most communicative all the time, performs best as a full-functioning unit. That may sound obvious, but the reason why became clear last night for us. When you can spread your time out, in the company of many different people, and many different perspectives, it makes everyone feel like things are a little less certain, while becoming more solid. That drop of possibility is fuel for imagination, which is the elixir of life. Having validation from other living beings is a sprinkle of sanity on what is a chaotic mental space for most of us.
How lucky am I to have with me someone that can go to Hell and back, and live to tell the tale? Its true, we lose a lot of friends during the hard times, because we have to shed our older life. By that I mean, the layers we pile on, and the various titles and personas we embody. We do this several times, but there is a deep layer of us in there from childhood that remains a fountain of new life. Its a little more pure, a little more innocent, and a little more embedded, so it is really difficult to excavate by our self. In order to feel good, we have to project good and its really nice to have someone I can do that with that has gone through it all with me, because no one will ever know me better.
Originally written in Collective Journaling at The Stoa