Monday, December 20, 2010

My Sister and I

There's been distance between my sister and me. I've always felt she has a hard time communicating about the deep stuff. We get along on a nice, surfacey level, but i never thought she wanted to or could handle the dark side.

My sister is getting some cosmetic surgery today. I've been in more frequent touch, as today grew closer. I wanted her to know how much i support her in her choice and how brave i think she is for having the courage to get up on the operating table. she's so excited about the procedure -- i'm very happy for her.

During a conversation last night, my sister shared some personal issues that are troubling her. She's my very big sister and has always felt more like a mother to me, so this was new. I did my best to be supportive. At one point, I said "M. I love you so much". she paused. we don't say "I love you to each other". She said, "I love you too, Mel". We continued talking and as we ended the conversation she said, "I love you" again.

Wow. I felt closer to her than I've felt in my 46 years. My sister and I have had our issues, particularly through my crazy years. She didn't understand eating disorders, drugs and alcohol and all my other issues. She didn't understand why i couldn't just "get better", as she always has.

When i was in the deepest depths of my drug use, she shut me out and we didn't speak. This has stuck with me for years. The other day, i was bemoaning this, once again, to my sponsor who said, "Good for her". "She has children and her family to protect, and she did you a favor for not enabling you."

Oh. i NEVER saw it like that. My sponsor was right. I've felt much kinder and gentler toward my sister ever since.

I always put her on such a pedestal. She was so pretty, naturally thin, popular and such a hard worker. she married a smart, handsome doctor and raised the loveliest children. My sister hasn't worked in 20 years and never has to.

Now, I begin to see her humanity -- she's becoming a whole living, breathing woman to me.

My parents are gone, my brother and family don't speak to me. I am thrilled beyond words to be developing this new closeness with my sister.

My heart is all filled up.


  1. Good for you. My sister and I didn't speak for a long time, well the ED kept me isolated, but she's been there for me since I've started fighting. And before that there was her drinking, what a pair we are.

  2. I'm so glad to hear that you are developing more of a bond with her, and that you both are opening up more. I know how good it feels to have family on your side. You are fighting so hard and deserve everyone's support.

  3. I'm so happy for you. You deserve everything; happiness, family support and love. You seem to be working really hard at recovery, and I so admire you.


  4. Eat for fun:thank you for sharing about you and your sister. isn't it the best to be back in touch? so glad you're "fighting", as you say.

    Angela: it's wonderful to have re-connected and gotten closer with my sister. i haven't spoken with my brother since july. i just reached to ask if we could speak. i have many amends to make. keep your fingers crossed

    Angela: it's nice to know it's doable. i wasn't in this place ever before. it's really doable

    i think about you often, quite often in fact. take really good care.

  5. What an absolutely beautiful post. Thank you for sharing this! As an only child, I can't imagine what it's like to have a sister... but you've helped me to see it. And how wonderful that your sponsor cares so much that s/he was willing to tell it to you like it is. And how brave and mature and enlightened of you to hear it.

  6. wow, this is awesome! I can really relate. I have a strained relationship with my sister but have been praying lately that we can be closer. Like your sister, she doesn't understand mental illness very well and it had come between us. But you are right, family is important. I am happy for you that your relationship is improving!

  7. It is wonderful that you and your sister are developing a new relationship. I'm really happy that you'll have someone else to feel close to.

    It's always lovely to see someone as an individual when we can place them off the pedestal. After all, we are all human.
    Hope your sister's surgery went okay.

  8. I think it's great that you and your sister have reconnected. I hope her surgery went well. My sister and I currently aren't speaking, as a matter of fact a number of people in my family aren't speaking to her. She is my only sibling, so I am sorry that we don't get along, but we really never have. I hope your relationship with your sister continues to grow and get closer.

  9. Danielle Mari; my brother and sister are ten years older than i, so I often felt like an only child. it IS nice to have my sister REALLY feeling like family now. my brother's still not talking to me and hasn't returned my attempt to reach out. it's sad, but he has a right to his own feelings.

    lisalisa; it's so odd to me that people don't have any idea of mental illness, addiction, etc. what's it like to be in a "normal" person's head. THAT'S something i don't understand!

    Tiptoe; my sister is healing nicely, thank you. yes, it is good to see the real person under the "perfect" exterior. i have a habit of putting people on pedestals, but it doesn't allow them to be human. it's good to learn. thanks so much for your comment.

    Harriet: my brother and i aren't speaking and my brother and sister don't get along at all. i have a feeling that my brother is not going to speak to me again. he holds a real grudge plus i know his wife won't let him. and she is the boss. period. i have to watch my feelings about her -- they're no good for me.

    hope you and your sister re-connect. family gets so... i don't really know the word, but it's not "easy"!

  10. I wonder why it's so hard to communicate and say what we feel? I often don't know what I feel so it's hard! I'm also embarrassed to open up to...mostly family! Perhaps a lot of what I say is really coming from ED and not me. Always saying "I'm good! I'm ok!" Well I kind of am, but I DO have ED and that's not really ok, is it? I'm so happy for you and your sister! I wish I had one! I'm so lucky I have a beautiful 18 year old daughter though.