Your sister is a part of your essential self, an eternal presence of your heart and soul and memory. Susan Cahill
Patricia, Jessica and Janice are my sisters and great ones at that but today I will be focusing on the rather volatile relationship that my sister Patricia and I have endured over the past nineteen years, mainly in the past nine years.
It is often said that a sibling relationship is based on that of genetic binding and a built in love like that of ones love for their parents,, Loving a sister is an unconditional, narcissistic, and complicated devotion that approximates a mothers love…sisters are inescapably connected, shaped by the same two parents, the same trove of memory and experience. (Bruno. M). With Patricia and I since we were children we have been the ones to fight the most and get along with each other the most, what I propose occurs within our relationship is that of a love/hate relationship, although more recently one based on contempt and anger.
I wish to examine the decline in the relationship in terms of changing ideologies and social patterns along with a separation of identities. As a child I being the younger sister was in awe of Patricia my elder sister and would follow her around just trying to imitate her as best I could. Throughout my early teens and to this day I tend to compare myself to her in terms of friends, intelligence etc. Our sisters hold up our mirrors: our images of who we are and of who we can dare to become. (Fishel. E)
But I no longer strive to imitate her every move, I have developed a life separate from her which is difficult to comprehend since through our entire lives we have shared the same room, gone to the same school even sharing the same birth month just one year and one week apart. With Patricias rather volatile temper and our evolving identities fights were inevitable. As Patricia once said to me , Rashell I feel like were drifting referring to me during the stages at university when my life began to take a different path away from my dependence on Patricia, as I gained a great deal more friends and a social life one Patricia and I couldnt relate on. But I did not leave her behind, as I gained a new lifestyle the time spent with Patricia did decrease she now had her friends and I had mine, this was a healthy occurrence, with slight negative aspects. It decreased if not eradicated our late night talks and simultaneously increased our arguments and disagreements. But when does a sibling fight overstep that line?
“We may fight, we may cry
But my love for you will never die
Ill care for you until the end
Because you are my bestest friend”
Can such a statement like this ring true in reality? The fights I share with Patricia have become a common occurrence, starting off with a simple comment leading to declarations of hate and at time physical violence. When words of hate are uttered between sister many would assume it to be a heat of the moment comment but what if such fights took place almost daily could a hate for ones sisterbe developed to eclipse sisterly love? Sisters by chance, Friends by choice!
If as Patricia has pointed out many a time you do not like your sister as a person could your love for your sister be constituted as a convention built into you by history and your parents or can it be said that a love for each other prevails over petty bickering, I must say I believe not in the latter for as my experience has shown, to love somebody you must love who they are, if that is not possible and your love is based on convention then the definition of love must be changed to more of an obligatory one.
One aspect of my relationship with Patricia as my elder sister is her ability to read me and talk to me as though she were inside my head, as though we were one in the same entity, sharing an unexplainable bond one that transcends love and convention one that leads to late night talks and feelings of warmth and happiness in Patricias presence, To have a loving relationship with a sister is not simply to have a buddy or confidanteit is to have a soul mate for life. ( Secunda V)
Patricia is more than a sister she is, to over use a clich,my best friend one that knows what shows make me laugh and what people make me cry a person who can tell my heart if breaking by simply looking at me, a person like Patricia or should I say a sister like Patricia is able to make things seem lighter upon your shoulders, things dont seem so scary or daunting once explained through her words and emotions, For there is no friend like a sister in calm or stormy weather, to cheer one on the tedious way, to fetch one if one goes astray, to lift one if one totters down, to strengthen whilst one stands. ( Rossetti C.).
But has Patricias temper and ability to truly scar me emotionally severed my love or emotions towards her as my big sis ? The answer to that would be yes but to a certain extent, there are times when she makes me question myself with her bitter words and turn me to really think about her as a person no longer a sister and then there are times like when I wake up in the morning she tells me she loves me and to be safe and when I got out she rings me constantly to check on me. Some may construe that as a lack of trust on her part but I see it as her being the ultimate and true older sister that she is. No one knows better than a sister how we grew up, and who our friends, teachers, and favorite toys were. No one knows better than she. (Atkins D. V. ).
There is a great respect for each other within our often unpredictable relationship even during our most vicious of fights when we compete as to whose words will inflict the most pain, which is a sadistic thing to engage in yet oddly commonplace in our fights. We know much about each other physically, mentally, emotionally, socially etc although Patricia doesnt tend to confide in me or share things with me as much as she does to her best friend Claudia. I on the other hand share everything from my daily activities to my inner most thought with Patricia because she is my confidant, one of few I would ever entrust my inner most thought with. You can not think how I depend on you, and when you are not there the colour goes out of my life… (Woolf V. )
I am not jealous of Claudia, as some may assume because I know that as much as I love and adore Patricia I know Claudia is better at helping her as I dont possess the empathy and warmth that Patricia does in dealing with other peoples emotions. Some may interpret that as cold whereas I interpret it as a gift of helping others which I dont possess but Patricia does, I can try and I do to offer my opinion and help her with her emotions but I rarely succeed in a positive way on Patricias behalf.
As I talk of Patricia and Is present relationship it takes me to the idea of our future one and how if ever it will come to be that of a healthy loving sibling relationship, personally I do not think for us that could be entirely healthy as fighting is a good way to express our emotions and thought although we do tend to cross the line. But I most definitely see a future for Patricia and I the true tragedy would be to not see one, It is said that when your parents die, you lose your past; when your spouse dies, you lose your present; and when your child dies, you lose your future. However, when your sibling dies, you lose your past, your present, and your future. After all, the relationship between siblings is potentially the longest of their lives. (http://www.geocities.com/tomthefreebird/siblingpage.html)
To conclude I would like to say that although fights, scars (emotional and physical) have occurred constantly for the past few years and we have uttered words of hate against each other, a sisterly bond is on to be fought for, to be held on to at any cost, one that will make us better and more tolerant people