People say that sisters who are close in age often have a love-and-hate relationship with each other. But when they get older, they would find a way to get rid of that hate and keep the love.
In my case, though, I love my little sister when we were both younger. No one had to ask me twice to share my toys with her because I would give them to her immediately. I also loved knowing that I was her big sister and boasted about it to my playmates. However, the more we grew up, the more I found it hard to love her.
The reason was that it always seemed so challenging for my sister to own up to her mistakes or accept any responsibility. For example, when we were both in high school, our parents got us to nail care sets since we constantly changed our nail polish every week. My sister broke hers almost after two months, and my parents refused to buy her another set, so she decided to borrow mine. She went to my room and got it herself, promising to clean and return the kit as soon as possible.
I got busy with school, so I only remembered it a month later. When I asked my sister where my nail care set was, she said, “Oh, did you not get it already?”
“Well, no, I was under the impression that you would return it to me right after you finish using it because that’s what you told me,” I shot back.
“You should have taken it in the living room upstairs. It was just there.”
My sister’s tone and nonchalance pissed me off, but I reigned it in. Once I reached the living room and saw my kit, though, I was horrified. Not only was it open, but there were nails and dried cuticles in it. Confronting my sister about it was futile, given that she said she did not see them. It was so ridiculous at that point, but I chose to forgive her.
Unfortunately, my sister continued to act like that, even when it came to household chores. You see, we had a shared bathroom. Since she saw me clean it once, I told her to do it the following week. After all, she had longer hair than me, and it would always get stuck on the walls and in the drain. After six weeks of leaving the cleaning to me, I decided to talk to her about it again.
I calmly asked, “Can you please clean the bathroom next time?”
My sister scrunched up her nose and countered, “Why would I? I’m so busy with cheer and school and all that.”
At that instant, I believed my sister had a God complex. Even if I never cursed in my life, I yelled, “What the hell?! We both use that bathroom, but I’m the only one cleaning it. Get over yourself!”
Since then, my relationship with my sister had been strained. She continued to borrow things from me, and I would say no, and then she would tattle on our parents that I was selfish. Talk about calling the kettle black.
Realizations After Becoming A Counselor
Once I went to college, I finally had an excuse only to see my sister once a year. When I started practicing as a counselor, I even managed to excuse myself from Christmas or Thanksgiving dinners with a promise to my mother that I would take her to Black Friday or year-end sales, which she loved.
During one of my lunch dates with my colleagues and friends, though, someone opened a topic about the things we’re most embarrassed about. When it was my turn, I told them that my sister and I were estranged due to her God complex. As trained psychologists and counselors, they went on to ask about my recollections of her behavior.
Then, one of them said, “You may have misdiagnosed your sister when you were teens. From what you’ve told us, it’s more like she suffers from psychological rigidity.”
That made me reassess the situation. I called my sister that evening so that we could catch up, and I could prove or disprove my colleague’s idea. She agreed to meet in my clinic the next day, but she sounded irritated about it.
I was upfront about my intention for meeting my sister. It turned out that she had psychological rigidity, and when I told her about it, she freaked out and assumed I was telling her that she was crazy. Well, she was, but the issue was not a mental disorder. It’s more of a mental weakness.
It took some time before I finally got my sister to start doing counseling with me. I helped her understand her thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. In the end, her mental strength developed, and she learned how to treat others better.