I’m sorry I couldn’t be enough for you. I’m sorry that my choices and taste in clothes made you uncomfortable because I didn’t follow the same gender norms all of your girl friends did. I’m sorry I was depressed all the time and couldn’t pull out of it. I’m sorry I liked riding bikes with you instead of playing with dolls. You were so cool and comfortable; I just wanted to be like you. I wanted what you had, which of course, meant I would never achieve it.
To you, it was simple, if I changed my clothes, more people will like me; I’d have friends and be less lonely. You didn’t know that it doesn’t work like that. You had no idea what you were doing to me. Backhandedly, I think you even thought you were helping.
But that wasn’t me. I couldn’t pretend to be something I wasn’t and that made the loneliness worse. I couldn’t escape the discomfort. At school, I was an outcast, at home, a disappointment.
I’ve always alternated between arrogance and feeling worthless and never being able to make you proud added to that pile. Between rejecting your acceptance and needing it, I left myself totally conflicted. I’m sorry I gave you so much power over me. I’m sorry I trusted that you knew what was right for me and doubted myself for so many years. I’m sorry I was so much for you to deal with…And, I’m sorry I embarrassed you. You really were my best friend and arch nemesis and I could never win with you.
We had glimpses of pulling out of the rivalry and I genuinely believe if we had a little more time, we would have become the friends that were reflected by how close we really were.
I’m sorry you died before we got the chance to work through it. I’m sorry you won’t get to see how I’ve turned out. You didn’t see me get my drivers license or graduate high school and college. You didn’t get to see me thrive in the grimy town I glamorized while growing up with you in that shithole. You won’t meet my kids or joke with the love of my life. You didn’t get to see the world and you’ll never know the joy of getting stamps in your passport. I’m sorry you’ll never see fireworks around the Eiffel Tower or know what it’s like to sleep on a rooftop terrace in Africa in the middle of summer. I’m sorry you didn’t get to see how fun being an adult could be.
It’s been ten years and I’m now seven years older than you were and I’m sorry you missed out on so much.
A Lonely Little Sister