June 2, 2012

Sisters: We love each other as much as we resent each other….

I’m thinking of my sisters, sisters generally, and how we love each other in equal proportion to how much we resent each other. I have two sisters, and I love them terribly but also, at times, I can’t bear them, just as they can’t bear me.

I wish I were overstating this, but even at our age — all grown up, circling middle age — we are still trapped in these cycles, loving, carping, loving, rejecting, loving, judging, seeing versions of our parents in one another, good and bad, that we are like our mother who is as magical, accomplished, and caring as she is gone at times, into wine, into nerves and sorrow, into real and imagined slights, drama. That oblivion and, really, that unavailability she needs, that we need from one another, all of us, from the wounds we’ve contributed to, the tender spots, and from all the ways in which we fear the other sisters are blocking access to what love our mother has to give…

And that we are like are father, judging, competitive despite himself — he was always better, is even now, than most, and how we want that, too, to have that high ground. We learned to fight for him, for his approval, and somehow we’ve not stopped…. I have wanted my sisters to be there for me in a million ways that they could not be. They have surely wanted the same from me. I know I’ve failed them, though I’ve tried not to…. But I do love them, know their pains, share them, which is part of the problem, I suppose. I worry for them when worry is not what they require. (I can never tell what one’s rights are as a sister, what is my business, what is not – if she is hurting herself, am I allowed to speak? No. I’ve learned no. Love me on my terms or nothing. And what of my terms? And so on…) 

What’s true is that I’d do anything for them and their children, and what I regret is that there are far too many times that I lose sight of that or they do: we’d rather have the simplicity of distance, of silence, than forgive one another our faults. We’d rather be in the right, claim that high ground (my way or no way), than have peace between us. Sisters. Someday I hope we’ll be better guardians to ourselves and each other but somehow I doubt it. It’s just too nettled, it’s been going on too long. My way or no way.

Submitted by: Sister three

posted to Family

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