• Queen Shae

Sibling Rivalry

Siblings… Expectations lead to disappointments.

A sibling is the lens through which you see your childhood. - Ann Hood

Growing up I looked up to my sister and I looked at her like she was one of the best extensions of my father. My brother was always my hero, no matter what he did he was always amazing to me. I think I really wanted a relationship with them especially because I didn’t have any siblings from my mother, I was an only child so honestly growing up I felt like I had the best of both worlds because although I didn’t have the experience of having siblings around all of the time I still had them and when I had the chance to see them I was always happy.

I was the youngest of my father’s three children and he made it a point to be very active in my life. I spent a lot of time with him. I didn’t always see my siblings as much because my sister lived in San Bernardino and my brother was in and out of trouble as a teen. He is nine years older than me and my sister is actually two years older than me. As I look back on things I realize that my expectations were an extension of what my father envisioned for us. Meaning he wanted us to be close, to be there for each other and I think as a kid there was a lot of him attempting to make that happen. I can remember my sister coming to spend the weekends or her vacations when she had the chance and knowing what it was like to have a big sister. A protector, a person that I could lean on.

I remember one time when our dad was still married and we had a step sister she would always find reasons to tease, pick on, and treat me badly in secret. I wouldn’t tell my dad or her mom. I don’t know, I guess I was afraid just being much younger than her of what would happen. Well one time my sister was visiting and my step sister thought because they were closer in age that she could actually bond in picking on me. I had scratched my sister because she was swinging me around and I got too afraid. Our step sister took the opportunity to let her know about her turmoil on me and asked her to join her. To her surprise my sister was not at all amused in fact she actually beat her up and threatened that if she ever messed with me again the same thing would happen but worse. Needless to say my sister stopped her constant picking on me that day and actually made sure my dad knew what was going on. I thought my sister was the best ever before that. She was always really pretty and feisty, very no nonsense. After seeing how she stood up and defended me, I was so proud to be her little sister.

After our father was killed I did my best to maintain our relationship. I would invite her to my house and wanted to see her however we could. It really didn’t happen. The few times her phone number would change I used to call 411 and get the number to stay in contact with her. I know the effort was very one sided for most of my life. I saw my sister a handful of times after our father died once when I was twelve, twenty one, twenty three, and when I was really sick and pregnant she came and visited me. I saw her one time after I got out of the hospital and after that our relationship got very spotty. I mean I guess I got to a point of frustration with her because if I didn’t call her we wouldn’t speak and I am the type of person that when I have an issue with someone I want to talk about it honestly. I approached her by message with my feelings and she dismissed them saying that wasn’t the case at all. She totally gaslit me. I mean I think I would have taken it better if she had said she acknowledges that is a flaw in our relationship and she would try to do better. No, that wasn’t it at all. Naturally I felt like we couldn’t have the type of sisterhood I always wanted with her.

Six months later after I had my daughter my sister wanted me to move with her and her daughter. She needed help because she was in a new city and for the first time I saw the possibilities for the change in dynamics of our relationship. After more time thinking about it. At the time it wasn’t right for me. I then put her in the position to experience the same type of disappointment that I had most of my life when it came to our relationship. It wasn’t on purpose but regardless from that point she stopped talking to me, I mean completely. It was like I didn’t even exist in her world. So naturally me being the stubborn person I am it made me feel like; fine, if she doesn’t make the efforts towards a relationship neither will I. A good amount of that time I spent angry and hurt with her. I didn’t feel like it was even worth reconciling especially feeling like I didn’t matter to her enough for there to be a real conversation had, and something to come from it. So now I just see her from time to time on Instagram and she doesn’t know my daughter, my child doesn’t know her or her daughter. It is a very hard pill of disappointment to swallow sometimes knowing that you have blood that isn’t at all concerned with being a part of your life. I actually dealt with those feelings so they don’t hurt or sting as much, she is no longer a trigger when I think of her but I guess I don’t know how to reconcile the relationship or honestly even find it in myself to want to do it.

The type of relationship I had with my brother actually led to a different type of disappointment for a different reason. Here is a man who actually made the effort to be in my life; he just couldn’t get out of his own way and had a troubled past. I mean he is literally one of the best men I know. In the sense of if I had him in my life more I know it would probably have turned out a lot different because he was so protective and always with the best intentions. I mean if a man who is in prison can still make a valid effort to be in my life and know me more as his baby sister. He has always encouraged me to forgive and love everyone our sister and step sister included. I mean he of course has his flaws being in prison since I was eleven serving a life sentence. I never felt like our relationship was forced or I was sometimes a sister. The disappointment came from losing him to the system not being able to hug him or be around him or my child not knowing how amazing my brother truly is. He has always been so unapologetically himself. I mean flaws and all he gave you all of him. He still sees me as his baby sister who he has to protect and love so it was a task to get him to understand that I am grown. I guess he understands more now.

My relationship with either of my siblings has led to disappointment in one way or the other, but I am still blessed to be able to experience them at all. No matter what the end result looked like. I guess that is why I always overcompensated for their lack of presence in my life by having play brothers and sisters especially gravitated to those who tend to be a bit older than me and I maintained those relationships for the sake of filling in what was missing. It’s God’s way of giving me something I always wanted in people who have come into my life and stayed. No matter what.

Dorian Archie Guest of the episode:

Dorian’s Thoughts

My sister have an almost gross lack of empathy for me and the disease that I have to live with and that is slowly killing me from the inside out and it has taken the lives of many of my close friends

My sisters also seem to have a huge lack of understanding of what my illness actually is what it entails How it affects me my mind my body physically mentally and emotionally

This is made evident to me and the lack of empathy and in the fact that they called my parents enablers simply for taking care of a sick child the best way they could and knew how

My sister is also never offered to stay in the hospital even with my mom and spent days and weeks in the hospital not sleeping in a bed not getting to shower regularly they never once said hey mom, I will stay the night with Dorian so you can go home and get some rest

My sister is also never took the time to visit with me in the hospital on their own accord their visits only came with the family visits with my aunts my uncles or my mom and dad

My sisters when confronted further justified their lack of empathy and sympathy even around the death of my friends that they saw greatly affected me and hurt me and depressed to me their justification and their lack of empathy because of how I had coped with my illness in the past during my adolescence and teenage in early adult years when I was having a come to terms with living with a chronic illness for the rest of my life justified their lack of empathy sympathy and understanding because of past situations where I did not deal with my pain very well I was not coping with having to live with chronic illness.

I believe this is because they don’t recognize the difference between me and who I am as a person and my illness they for some reason are unable to separate the two No matter my kindness my generosity my love affection they are still unable to separate the difference between me and who I am and my illness and the fact that my illness can place a great deal of strain on me ranging from the pain to the treatment for that pain and having to take large amounts of opioids and narcotics.

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