Sunday, 20 May 2018

Let's Talk About... Siblings



This is now the third instalment of this little Let's Talk About series, so you know how it works by now. Today I'm going to be talking to you about my relationship with my sister. She reads my blog so I have to be careful what I say here. Or maybe I don't. We'll see how I'm feeling. I'm going to split this post up in to three sections - the early days, the teen days and the now. This is actually going to be the most enjoyable one to write, I can just tell. And I'm sure you will see why!



The Early Days 

So growing up, it was always just myself, my mum and my sister. Our dad was in and out and so we spent a lot of time bonding together as a little threesome. There is something really special in it just being three girls and my mum always put a lot of emphasis on the fact that we were all a team. There was a huge collective consciousness, a really big us if you will. If you come from a single parent family then I'm sure (or I hope) that you can relate to this. There isn't necessarily a tangible absence of something when your mum makes up for it by pulling you all really close together.

Having said this, when I was younger, I did sometimes feel like my mum and my sister were a little duo and I was the odd one out. There are loads of factors that go into this, some of them down to childish thought. Like whenever the three of us would go out and bump into friends of my mum, they would always comment on how similar my sister and my mum looked. And I would just stand there awkwardly while everybody gushed about the two of them. My mum never did anything to exclude either of us, as I've said, so this was literally just me being silly. And then in my head, from deciding that they were very similar and had some kind of special bond, I would just feel like they were out to get me. Like one birthday, they both went into my mum's room and they were in there giggling and talking for like forty minutes while I just sat in the living room trying to eavesdrop. I remember kicking up this huge fuss about it, only to find out that they were talking about my birthday present. Which had basically been them trying to get me to be an extra in one of the Harry Potter movies. So cute! 

So anyway, this was the atmosphere in my house. Even though we were a strong team of three for a lot of the time, there was also a lot of the time where my sister and I did not get along at all. She used to be very hot headed and get very angry about things. It got to that point that I think all siblings get to, where the older one just thinks the younger one is embarrassing and annoying and doesn't want them around. Whereas for me, who demands attention constantly, I wanted to be noticed all the time. This would just cause lots of little arguments and I would push the right buttons to make my sister snap and then she would get in trouble and I would cry. You know, just the typical set up really - younger sister is annoying, older sister has had enough of the annoying one, little sister cries and then the older sister looks bad. 

But then there is a difference between these little arguments and the stuff that actually really pushed us away from each other. For many years of my life, my sister and I were not close. Loads of you will be surprised to hear this because I speak so highly of my sister all the time now. But trust me, she used to be horrible to me. Like we would be at play centre while my mum was at work and I would have to be by myself all day and eat lunch by myself because she didn't want me anywhere near her. She threw a bucket of water over my head in the bathroom for god knows what reason. She completely talked down to me in front of her friends. She called me all sorts of horrible names. I genuinely used to believe that she hated me. And then one day, she pushed me off the ladder of our bunk bed and all hell broke loose. Obviously my mum went mental. And that was that, it didn't seem like we were ever going to be friends. 


The Teen Days

By this time, we were both now going to the same secondary school. I don't remember seeing much of my sister at school. I was always off doing my own thing with my friends and I feel like we tried to avoid seeing each other. 

Why? Because my sister had started snitching. So she'd left the argumentative tendencies behind and had resorted to a new form of punishing me. She would just watch everything I was doing or get her friends to watch what I was doing and then when I came home after school, I would be confronted by my mum about the lies my sister had been telling her. That I'd been kissing boys in the playground and rolling my skirt up and doing this and that. Which, yes, I rolled my skirt up - didn't we all? But I did not kiss any boys in the playground.

As you may know from my previous boys post, this is not something that is taken lightly in my house. My mum doesn't play these sort of games. You go to school, you study. She didn't even really let me hang out with my friends outside of school. I had one friend I hung out with and we would do the same thing every weekend which was go shopping in Westfield and I would always have to be home by some ridiculous time like 4pm. 

So as you can imagine, these lies and rumours caused a lot of friction in the house. I was annoyed with my mum for constantly being on my case and I resented my sister for repeatedly telling on me if you will, to my mum. I just wondered why she couldn't have her own life, get on with it and stay out of mine. 

This pretty much sums up the teenage relationship with my sister. I didn't trust her with anything at all. I told her nothing, I told my mum nothing and that was that. It's not a very good way to be as a teenager, because so much happens in secondary school that you really do need someone to talk to. An older sister is the perfect example of that, but because mine was being so ridiculous, I just couldn't. It made me feel quite alone really. It made me feel like my mum and my sister were now bonding over my seemingly rebellious behaviour, again, pushing me further out of the little trio we were supposed to be.


The Now

I think it must have been by about year eleven/sixth form that all of this started to change.  Admittedly, I had been going through a phase in secondary school that I really frown upon in retrospect now. I was just being silly, not being myself (as I've said before) and by about year ten I just sort of took a step back and decided to pull my finger out. I think it was around this time that me and my sister started to get closer. Obviously, with us both having matured with age a little, it became easy for us to talk to each other. 

My sister started coming to me about things instead of going straight to my mum and that's when we sort of built that relationship of her guiding me rather than trying to get me into trouble. The thing is, when you're young, you need someone to listen to that isn't a parent. Your parents don't always get you, right? They don't see things from a teenager's perspective. Well I think that my sister started putting herself into my shoes, talking to me on a level and in that way we were really able to connect. 

I respected that she would speak to me directly and it made me feel like I could ask her for advice with things. Like boys or friendships or make-up. I think I even asked her how far I should roll my skirt up once and instead of being a mum and saying not at all, she just advised me on how high was high enough and how high was too high. Fabulous bonding I'm sure you can tell.

I realised that she did actually have my best interests at heart. As her little sister, she wanted to protect me and my reputation. She wanted me to be seen as the person she knew I was and she started to help me. So through the end of secondary school and sixth form, we became not just sisters, but friends. 

Around this time, a lot of changes were happening too. My mum had started dating (ew) and we didn't really know how to feel about that because it had always been just the three of us. It's a very strange thing to experience. This is really where the trio became a duo. If my mum started seeing people, spending time with them instead of us, then we realised that we would only have each other. Which, for a lot of the time we did. 

It's strange because we are actually very dissimilar. I am very confident and sociable and I put myself out there. I like meeting new people and doing new things that are maybe out of my comfort zone (not too much mind you, I didn't say I was wildly adventurous). Whereas my sister is a complete introvert, keeps herself to herself, keeps her circle of friends small and only does the things that she is comfortable with. Sometimes this is so annoying. Like I want us to swap bodies for a week or something so that she can live life the way I do and go and do exciting things. Because if I was her, there is just so much that I would be doing and I know she feels the same! Yet at the same time, our personalities just balance each other. We can be in each other's company so often because everything is levelled. We're not both excitedly screaming at each other, that's just me screaming all kinds of shit at her. Basically, we both just get to be unashamedly who we are. 

And we will do the most random things together. Like start singing made up songs and the other person just goes along with it and it just works. Or I'll be playing the guitar or the piano and we'll both be singing along. Or we'll start speaking in accents randomly. We'll draw together. Or we can literally just be sat there doing nothing and it's still a vibe. 

As I'm sure you can tell, my sister is now literally my best friend. She is the one person that I know I can rely on in absolutely any situation. Whenever anything happens in my life, big or small, she is the first person I call and I am the only person she ever answers the phone to. We spend pretty much all of our free time together if we can. She'll come into my room and we'll watch  TV, we'll go to the cinema, go shopping, go out to eat. I remember that very recently she had been working so many shifts that I actually started to feel quite sad that I wasn't really seeing her. The first thing I do when I come home is open her door and say hello, drop my bags down and start going on and on about everything that's happened in my day and she always listens.

I can talk for hours people. In the right company, I will not shut up. Even I hear my voice sometimes and find it annoying. Imagine how annoying it is when someone is just telling story after story, without even taking a breath, moving on to completely unrelated things and expecting you to follow. That's me and she still listens without fail.  

Every single photograph on this blog is taken by her. She'll come out and shoot me in the cold, in the sunshine, randomly whenever we go out. She is the first person to tell me I look amazing, constantly. She reads all of my blog posts, she buys me food when I'm hungry, she's even given me her own food plenty of times and if you know my sister, you'd know how rare that is. She is my biggest fan, my most loyal supporter and probably the most constant figure in my life.

I trust her opinion (and so I ask for it) on almost everything. If my mum says I shouldn't be doing something, I just sort of roll my eyes sometimes and ask myself why she has to be so dramatic and protective. If my sister says I shouldn't be doing it, I actually think to myself oh shit, you need to fix up. I honestly can't remember how I went from not telling her anything because she would constantly snitch on me, to trusting her opinion like it's God's word, but yeah, that happened.

Even though these days I am still a really annoying sister - I'm demanding, childish, attention-seeking, selfish sometimes - she takes everything in her stride and she always does what she can to make sure I'm okay. And if it wasn't obvious, because not everybody who is reading this blog actually knows me, I would literally do anything for her. Anything in the world and I am not kidding.

So, it's really crazy to think sometimes, that we can go from fighting and her acting like she doesn't know me in public, to literally spending so much time together we should be sick of each other. I honestly couldn't wish for a better sister. In fact, a lot of the time I'm probably too lucky to have a sister as amazing as mine. Even though we never used to get along and couldn't bear the thought of having to spend any time together, I think everything has worked out perfectly. I know that we will be best friends forever . So cute little appreciation moment here, but I absolutely adore my sister.

If you haven't already guessed, that's why this is my favourite post to write. I can just say so many nice things and it actually makes me happy writing this. I don't have anything negative to say and nothing has been lost between us, like the relationships I've talked about in my other posts. Which is why I say I adore her. Friendships and romantic relationships just do not compare to the relationship you can have with your sibling. I think it helps that we're so close in age (just over a year apart), but just because someone is your family, doesn't mean you get along with them right? Sibling relationships are about being selfless and supportive and basically just being that one person that you know the other one can rely on. 

If you have a sibling that you don't get along that well with, then I hope that one day that changes for you. Literally, my relationship with my sister is absolutely priceless and I wouldn't change a single part of it. 



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