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My Cousin Dylann

By , Tomball, TX
My older cousin Dylann is Bipolar. Looking at her is like looking at my sister. It's not because we are close at heart, because I wouldn't say that we are. Rather, the reason she is like my older sister is because she is close in distance. I live with her and her family. I live in her house. I live in her world. I live in her way. The other reason she is like my sister is because she likes to boss me around...a lot! Dylann has a way of walking and talking so that she looks like she knows what she is talking about. So I follow her sometimes. The rest of the time, I am being pulled along against the current.

My cousin Dylann has one of the prettiest voices I have ever heard. Sometimes she will be downstairs on the computer listening to music. Sometimes she will turn on one of my favorite Norah Jones songs. Whenever I hear it, no matter what I am doing I will stop everything and gallop downstairs and plop myself down beside her. And sometimes she will sing along with the music. I float away on peace and am wrapped up in happiness. I have tears in my eyes but I try to hide them from her. I look up at her and she smiles down at me. She pats me on the head. The song ends and the memory dissolves.

SLAM! "I GAVE YOU FIVE MINUTES! FIVE MINUTES TO OPEN THE DOOR!" THWACK! I'm laying on the bathroom floor as Dylann roars in my ear. She rips the clip out of my hair that she had so tenderly placed there earlier, and throws it across the room. It clatters across the floor and I cover my ears. She grabs a hand full of my hair and yanks my head up to her. I hit her arm away from me and it was a big mistake. She slaps my face again and grabs my hair again that now hangs down in my face. Now she is dragging me out of the bathroom. My body slides across the floor as I try not to scream. It doesn't take long before I get smart and grab her hand to yank myself up towards her to take the pressure off of my scalp. Finally we are in the other room. She lets go of me and I crawl away from her, collapsing onto the carpet in a mess of tears as my thoughts swirl backwards into the past. Now she is curious. Now she wants to know. She wants to help me. The door closes in on our chat.

Dylann looks perfect. She has porcelain skin. She has pretty dark eyes, a small nose, dark long wild hair, and the perfect body. I wish I could be like her. She helps me get ready in the mornings. She hates having to because I always take so much work to look like her, but her mother won't let me leave the house without my hair being fixed and Dylann certainly won't let me go ANYWHERE without makeup on. One thing you should know about Dylann is that she is NOT a morning person. So having to deal with me every day is definitely a recipe for disastor. I try my best not to speak and to just do what she says. If I talk back she will get mad, yell, hit me, or just refuse to finish helping me get ready. She pulls the straightener through my hair. I watch the steam rise and swirl away. I peer at the me that is in the mirror when she steps away. I touch my face. Dylann smiles at me through the mirror.
"Well, what do you think? You're my Doppelganger!" She says in a perfect accent. I smile back. Now it is time to leave for school. We disappear into the day.

Sometimes I feel empty and very much alone. At these times I cry when I can. But usually, I just hold it in. Dylann is very useful to me then. While helping her clean her room, I bring the wrong hangers to her. I lazily fold her clothes. I whine about having to help hang her clothes. This is more than she can take. Before any of us can really think, her hand pulls back and slams across my face. Then she rips the metal hanger out of my hand and hits my across the back. The sting is with me as I run out of her room, out the door and across the field. Her screams trail after me. Finally, I make it to the wooden bridge that is over the creek. I sit down and let me feet dangle off the side of the bridge and over the water. I. feel. better. now.

Sometimes I think I hate her. Sometimes I wish I could, because that would make things so much easier. She wouldn't be on my mind all the time. And I wouldn't have to write about her during class. Loving her wasn't easy at all. Loving her was work. But at the end of the day, what was the most hard was loving myself. The makeup was piled on each day and more and more as I looked into the mirror, I couldn't find myself. I couldn't find any good in the self that was left.
"STUPID! WORTHLESS! UGLY! FAT!" I screamed as my hand flashed against my face. The pain shot through me, reminding me of her. I was her now. And no matter how hard I searched, I could no longer find the perfection that I had once seen in her. All I could see was the jealousy, the anger. The uncontrollable rage was unleashed and soon became a part of me too. Somewhere inside there is strength enough to look and strength enough to see. There is strength to love. To love myself.

My older sister Dylann is Bipolar, and so am I. But, we're getting better.





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