My sister, Robyn, and I have never had an easy relationship. Robyn is 3 1/2 years younger than me and as young children we loved to play together but always fought. My parents played it off as sibling rivalry but to be honest, I think it may have been more than that. When I was in high school and Robyn was still in middle school, we got a long pretty well. She always wanted to be around my friends and I didn’t mind it. When we both were in high school, she was “too cool” for me which I figured would happen so I brushed it off. We went through high school coexisting. I was okay with that because we needed to have our own groups of friends. When I left for college things changed…and not for the better.
I didn’t do well academically while I attended college. My grades suffered and my parents didn’t know what to do with me. Robyn was still living at home because she was still in high school and she constantly heard my parents arguing because of me. They didn’t know if they should let me give another quarter a try or have me come home, pay my credit card debt or let me repay it, take away my car (that I got because my parents were tired of driving me back and forth), make me get a job to pay for school and so much more. Robyn had a lot of resentment towards me. My parents would take out their frustrations on her and it wasn’t fair. She wasn’t the one who screwed up, however she had to listen to them argue and get yelled at for no reason.
When my parents finally decided to pull me out of Ohio University in 2005, my sister wouldn’t talk to me and I felt like she hated me. This was heartbreaking but I completely understood why she was acting the way she was. I tried apologizing, giving her space, giving her time to yell at me if she needed to…nothing seemed to work. We decided to try to go to therapy together and Robyn still couldn’t or wouldn’t let it go. I was getting frustrated because I was doing all of the work I was supposed to and she wasn’t. When we decided that therapy wasn’t going to work, I gave up trying to make things better with her. We went years having a miserable sister-sister relationship. Once again, we coexisted…but not really.
FINALLY, within the past two years, Robyn and I have started to heal. I’m not sure if her husband talked to her about how she was acting (he saw how hard I always tried with her), if she matured or just decided to let it go. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t matter. Life is to short and you never know what’s going to happen. I love my sister more than anything in this world. She’s my friend and person I go to for just about everything. My sister is my rock.
To my new followers, welcome to Smiling Through Tears. This blog is a daily account of my struggle with mental health disorders. To all of my returning followers, thank you for supporting me and following my journey.