- 5 years ago
So, where do I start.
My sister (26) and I (28) could not be more different. She’s blonde and curvier*, I’m brunette and very athletic. I’m very outgoing, she likes to keep to herself. I’m very willful, she’s very dutiful, etc.
The competition began in high school (not that I think I was ever actively competing with her). In a nutshell, I was an A+ student with a good group of friends, a boyfriend, excelling in my sport of choice, and a Size 2. My sister, on the other hand, struggled. She’s just not a naturally good student, so often her poor grades kept her benched for much of her team’s season, and her weight became an issue. (She played water polo, so I know for a fact that it was not fun for her to be in a bathing suit all the time.)
We were different, sure, but I thought we got along fine. But it’s come out in recent years that she felt I always overshadowed her, that I went out of my way to be “perfect” to make her look bad by comparison, and that people would have noticed her more had I not also been in the picture.
(This is all a shock to me, because regardless of how “perfect” my life may have looked to her, I certainly had my issues, the big ones being an eating disorder and struggling with my own anxiety and bouts of depression. I manage it rather well with journaling, exercise, and the occasional therapy session these days, but in my teenage years my episodes were pretty debilitating.)
Anyways. My shy little sister lost the weight after high school, landed her dream job as a first responder, met a Marine, married young, bought a house, yadda yadda yadda. Things seemed great, her self-esteem was through the roof and when she was happier with her life we had a much better relationship…
And then he turned out to be a lying, scary, manipulative sex-freak who pushed her around. She divorced him, short-sold their house, moved home, gained all the weight back and then some, and now has hurt both her knees as a result of being so heavy while doing such a physically demanding job.
In short, she hates her life again and now seems to hate me again too.
I have tried every approach I can think of. I have tried being there for her. I have tried giving her space. I have tried letting our mother talk to her. I have tried inviting her out with my girlfriends and I for drinks or dancing or watching football. I have tried being 100% vulnerable with her, telling that I love her and that I’m here for her, whatever she needs from me, but all I get back from her is more resentment it seems.
I know it’s not me, and I am trying my best to be compassionate and not take her behavior personally, but it’s really frustrating being lashed-out at all the time. Every chance she gets she’s making a snide comment about me or trying to spin a situation to make me look like the bad guy and I am SO. OVER. IT.
Going over to my parents is like walking into a mine-field; I never know what’s going to irrationally hurt her feelings or upset her and make her come after me, so I’m constantly on edge.
I feel like I have to apologize to her for being happy-ish/healthy and living my life or something? I don’t know what to do. Mostly I’m just very sad we can’t be closer. Our youngest sister died in an accident when we were 6 & 8, so I feel very protective of my sister and would love for us to have a better relationship, but at this point maybe it’s just not possible?