You’ve been my sister for 15 years, 6 months, and 20 days, and I still struggle to say that we are related. I still struggle to say that I love you, because right now, I don’t. Looking back, I can’t remember a time when you didn’t cause pain in my life.
Let’s start when I was just a little kid, about 7 years old. You were 14 at the time, and you didn’t even talk to me. When you had friends over, you wouldn’t even acknowledge me. I was a nobody to you. On my 8th birthday you and grandma made me that bright green guitar cake, with pink fondant strings and sparkles all over. When I turned to thank you for the cake, you blurted out, “I wish you were never born.”
“But I’m your sister”
“You’re adopted,” you yelled, “I hate you.” I didn’t know why you were even mad, but you stormed off as I started bawling. Do you remember what you did next? You came back into the dining room after dad went and yelled at you for being so rude to me, and you smashed my cake. With all the fury and anger in you, in 2 seconds those hours you put into my cake were demolished. Just like our relationship.
That was just the beginning though. We had our differences, many, many differences. Most people described us as polar opposites. You were the good child; honor roll, no drugs or drinking, dancer, modest, classy. I was the bad kid; too aggressive in sports, couldn’t hold my tongue, embarrassing for the family, always failing. You were always the best at reminding me that I would live in your shadow. I wish I knew what went through your head. I wish I knew why you thought it was okay to hurt me and our family. We did nothing but love you. I did nothing but love you.
When I tried to take my life for the first time, you didn’t even show up to the hospital. For months on end you made fun of me for being in such a bad place. One Sunday, as you drove me home from watching the Patriots vs Broncos playoff game, you just ripped into me.
“This is all your fault, you know that right?”
“What do you mean? What is my fault?” I asked in return.
“This. You. Mom and Dad. You’re the reason they are stressed. You messed up your own life, you will never be anything more than a trash kid. A mistake.”
“Jordan please stop,” I begged with tears in my eyes, “That’s not true…”
“Maybe you don’t see it yet, but no one wants you here anymore.”
“Mom and Dad do.”
“There’s a reason why they never come to any of your soccer or volleyball games. S***.”
S***. There was that word again. The word you always used, that you knew broke me every time. Why couldn’t you be nice? What did I do to you?
Fast forward about a year. I was shipped to my new school in Texas and you didn’t even say goodbye. I missed you a lot. I would listen to the other kids talk about how close they were with their siblings, how they had a bond with them that would never break. I couldn’t help but dream about what that might have been like. It got to the point where I stopped telling people that I had a sister, because I don’t even think you acted like I existed. I needed you so much. I needed a sister, a best friend, but like you would always tell me, The world doesn’t revolve around you Paige. I got over it.
On October 30th, I missed the biggest day of your life. Our entire family missed it. You punished all of us because of a small fight with Mom and Dad. You got married, and didn’t tell us. Married.. I will never be able to watch you walk down the aisle, say your vows, commit your life to someone. I will never experience your bridal shower, first dance, or wedding ceremony. How could you do that to us? To me? I felt like I had been shot. But this isn’t a letter to tell you about how I sad I am that I never got to see you get married.
This is a letter to say thank you.
Thank you for pushing me with your constant insults and comebacks. I learned how to be resilient and realize that other people's’ words do not define me. Thank you for treating me like nothing, because it taught me to never find my self worth in somebody else’s opinion. Thank you for never acknowledging me, because I learned that I don’t always need everyone’s attention to feel happy. You shamed me into learning how to struggle; most importantly, how to struggle well. How to destroy negative thoughts. Destroy them like you did with my 8th grade birthday cake.
Yesterday I watched you sit in front of me and sob. You begged for my forgiveness for everything. You apologized for everything you did to me in my entire life. You told me that no matter what, through thick and thin, we will always be sisters. Key word: Sisters. If I’m being honest though Jordan, I don’t want you as my sister. Yesterday you asked me if I loved you, I don’t. In the 15 years that I’ve had with you, I’ve never seen you cry. You’ve never apologized.
So here’s to maybe getting my sister back.
I forgive you.