But that’s all we had. We arrived at our adulthood but didn’t know how to function as women who cared for one another. Sadly, I think it was mostly because our mother pitted us against each other any chance she could. I call them cruel mental exercises she liked to practice on us. It helped my sister, and I engage in war with each other. We had counseling in our early 20s, and I think it helped to some extent, but it wasn’t long-lasting. One positive, we got off the drugs we were both partaking of, but we still didn’t have a relationship where we trusted each other. She and I weren’t each other’s go-to person. Nor did we ever become that.
Sadly, we didn’t have much of a genuine relationship during our 20s either. Thanks, Mom. When she needed me, my sister made me feel a part of the family, but otherwise, no, she was not someone who would confide in me, or vice-versa would I share things with her needing resolution. She just wasn’t someone I would entrust with my deepest feelings. That was our norm. Our relationship was superficial, at best.
So that’s how we moved forward. We continued to do what was best for us as individuals but never quite figured out how to make our relationship whole, making our connection meaningful. I’m not saying that it was all her fault, but I can honestly say I never felt she was working towards that end. I made my internal peace with her after my father’s death in 2014, but I don’t think she has with me. But I wouldn’t really know since she hasn’t spoken to me since then.
My father, an irresponsible and emotionally distant alcoholic, wasn’t much of a better role model than our mother. Nor was he hardly ever in our presence during our formative years. It’s not like any real bonding took place with him over the years. Because how could it when you are dealing with someone who was never really invested in you nor wanted to get to know you? I always wondered, was that the case or was it just hard for him to connect? It’s seriously a mystery how my sister and I ever matured at all with my mother and father as our parents. But we did.
I can honestly say my best friend made the most positive impact on my life when I got to know her in the 7th grade. She was my best friend but also, such a mentor to me. And it wasn’t until much later that I realized how impactful she was during those early years. How wonderful is 20/20 hindsight? Of course, I say that sarcastically because it certainly would have been nice to know how influential the lessons were as they occurred. But they didn’t, and I guess that’s okay now; we ended up all right from what I can gather. At least, I think so.
TO BE CONTINUED ON WEDNESDAY…