11 February 2014

Sister Act

They say that you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family.  They also say that blood is thicker than water.  Both of those sayings are equally true.

The difference between friends and family however is that you can break off a friendship, but the breakdown of a relationship with a family member will take a little piece of your soul with it.  Grudges are held in the heart rather than in the head and something you can forgive in a friend, hurts ten times more when it’s family.

I have a sister.  She is twelve years older than me and we haven’t lived in the same house together since I was seven and she was nineteen. 

We have always had complicated lives.  A combination of a twelve year age gap, misinformation, misconceptions and a lack of proper communication between the both of us led to a fractured relationship.

Each thought the incorrect things about the other and with each passing year, a wall was built between us that was so thick and high that it was starting to resemble Fort Knox.  Impenetrable.  The thing with families though is that with a friend you would have abandoned the relationship long ago, but blood ties keep you in the relationship because you “have to”, except you are both still hurting and it gets worse all the time.

Why am I telling you this?  Because that wall has been destroyed.  It took twenty years to build it and a conversation to demolish it.  I’m telling you because it might spur you on to fix what you thought was irretrievable too.

So what do you do?  You start by honesty; brutal honesty.  The kind of honesty that you can really only have with your family.  You each tell the other what you don’t like about them, what you don’t understand and what hurts the most.  You hold nothing back.  You each admit your faults.  You discover that they are hurting just as much as you are.

The good thing about families is that you might sometimes be on different paths, far away from where you started, but somewhere along that path is always a bridge that leads you back to one another. 

I have my big sister back and it has made me so happy.  The gap in my heart I wouldn’t admit to is filled again.

Build those bridges!  The gap between isn’t as far as you think xx

6 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you managed to have that conversation and that you have a relationship again. Great blog post.

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  2. Great blog post and one I really relate to.

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  3. Well done. I'm glad you have your sister back. My family is the scream it out then be fine 5 minutes later type. It's a bit full on but you know where you are. Wishing you and your sis many happy times & lots of catching up. X

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  4. This makes your other sister (not Big but Bigger) very happy xxxx

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  5. It's great that you've been able to start bridging the gap between you, and I wish you all the best with your sister! I'm sure it wasn't easy to make the first steps in talking, but I hope it's the start of a brighter future for you both!

    My older sister is six years older than me, and we never got on well in my tween/teen years. I think our ages made us so different. We lived in the same house, but our paths didn't cross too often and when they did, it would usually result in a fight. (I got slapped in the face a fair few times). Luckily we've both done a lot of growing up, and somewhere along the line over the last decade we became really good friends. We still fight, of course, and she still drives me mad at times, but it's nice to have a sister there when it feels like there's nobody else to talk to. xx

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  6. Thanks for the reminder.

    There is almost a 19-year gap between me and my brother.

    For a while we were breaking down walls and about three years ago I put the wall back up. I got tried of his negative behavior and just being mean.

    The hard thing is that he was gone for most my childhood (I have no memories of him being around until I was 20) and he still really harbors a lot of bad feelings toward our mother. I have found programs and other things to deal with how I grew up but he refuses to acknowledge that he needs help.

    About a year ago, I went to my son's high school basketball game and he was there. I said hi and put my hand out for him to shake. He didn't shake it. For me, that was a sign that the wall between us will always be there.

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