My Big Sister & Me

Oil, Meet Water

My big sister claims I had a lying problem when we were younger and so her way of getting “the truth” from me would be to ask “GOD believe yuh?”. It sounds funny now but that question always worried me…I guess she was right.

Of course, I don’t remember concocting stories- with the exception of one- but I do remember my sister seeing to it that “justice” prevailed even if she had to institute it herself. And since our parents didn’t get in the middle of our many argumentative exchanges…the ultimate test was: “God believe yuh?”.

Most days, I’m sure I would rather have been left to wallow in and sob about our “misunderstandings” but that was never to be. My sister was and is still a lot more confrontational than I am. So we would quarrel, she’d find the meanest thing to say to me, I would make an attempt to do the same and then I would run off crying for having been equally mean to her. She’d have slammed her door and maybe gotten on the phone, perhaps in search of a friend to confide in. In an hour or so, I’d still be ruminating about where we went wrong, how angry she seemed and how I might make up for damage done. By then, she’d have seemingly long forgotten that we’d even had a disagreement.

Nevertheless, its clear from our individual recollections of our past as sisters “living under the same roof” and from the rare occurrences that we do still argue, that we both only remember our individual sides; and then, there was the truth.

My sister is very direct; she finds a way to honestly state her opinion or express thoughts that even have the potential to ignite controversy. I will over-cushion my words and even choose to put off dealing with hard conversations or situations; i.e. until I am sure I can communicate in what I think to be the least offensive manner.

I admire my sister’s disposition which is to get everything on the table and flesh out each issue here and now, although I am not sure her timing is always appropriate. I on the other hand will put off addressing issues I am uncomfortable with even to the point of completely inconveniencing myself and suffering pent up anger and resentment. This strategy has the potential to smother otherwise healthy relationships as conflict (believe it or not) can actually be constructive.

I think we get along well now (most of the time) because maturity brings wisdom but also because I know I can count on her to inspire me to be myself no matter what.

 

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