Saturday, 6 June 2009
That there is a picture of my sister and I. I am on the left, my sister is sitting on my lap. I ADORE this picture. It is one of the few where we both look happy, and - even better - happy to be together.
Tonight she came to my house for tortillas. We had a wonderful, cava-fuelled time. She's recently been crocheting around pictures she loves (as seen in the picture above). We were talking about the time that picture was taken. Both of us had to dig around in our brains to find a time when we actually got on. In the end, we decided that we did present a unified front to the outer world, it's just that in private, we made each other's lives hell. I used to think what she did was much worse: she used to kick me and mess with my mind. Now, I realise what I did was at least as bad. I used to just ignore her and treat her like a lower life form. (And kick her, too.) For a little sister, that kind of treatment cannot be good.
When we were around eighteen years old (she's only sixteen months younger), we went on a family holiday to France. There, somehow, we started to fight first, and then to talk, and all the old hurts came out. I still love the memory of that holiday, even though I've never had a holiday that involved so much crying and so many upsets. Since then, she has become simply the best friend I could have in the world, and there is nothing I don't share with her. It's such a waste that we couldn't be each other's allies growing up. Especially in the tougher times we could have helped each other through.
When we visit our parents, we still sometimes fall into our old patterns - get annoyed with each other, stop trusting each other to be kind. I do the same when I go there on my own: I revert to my eight year old self and get hurt by small comments, feel unable to stand up for myself, get too vulnerable. I suppose as long as I can't fix that for myself (and she for herself), we will keep having the same problem. Until then, maybe we should see each other all the time on our own, and be more careful with each other when we go to see the folks.
Don't you just love that photo?