Thanksgiving is looming and though I don’t want to wish my life away, I will be glad when it is past. You see, I am estranged from my sister and learned recently that she is having a large gathering of extended family at her NY City apartment and has invited everyone but me and my husband. She even managed an indirect and belated invitation to my 20 year old son through her daughter.
Though my brother and I had our own period of estrangement, we both made the effort to mend our relationship. Though our time apart was extremely painful, I always had faith that we could and would heal it. I wish I felt that certainty with my sister.
What happened that caused our separation is not what I want to share today. What I will confess is that I have always buckled under to my sister, her expectations, her needs. As I reflect back, I was her champion, her good friend and loyal sister. If anyone said a bad word about her, as I would rise to defend her. Even at times when she was furious with me, my empathic nature allowed me to see her side. I would take a deep breath and make amends, often at my own expense. I would leave the encounter knowing that I had “sucked it up” again to keep the peace and often felt bad about myself. This year I experienced a breaking point when I could no longer say, “okay, whatever you say”. Finally I stood in my power and said “no more”.
You may be thinking, “why not continue to suck it up? At least you would have your sister and invitations to family events!” That’s true. But at the end of the day it is me that I go to bed with, not my sister. I know a greater truth — I need to stand in my power and not be the kiss-ass baby sister any longer. Yes, I’ve lost my sister. Maybe just for now, maybe forever. But in the process I have found myself. I know the importance of friendship and loyalty. I will continue to be a great friend to my spiritual sisters. Most important, I have learned that I really am my own best friend.