The only person who I have never wanted to hurt, is my sister.
A very long time ago, when we were still living with Mum and Dad, I promised her that one day we would move out of home together, and find our own place. Life at Mum and Dad’s wasn’t so peaceful.
I didn’t keep my promise.
Fast forward about 40 years, and sitting together one night in 2016, and having way too many wines, she let me absolutely have it about how I always left her behind, and how she hated me for it.
I honestly never knew how she felt until then, although, once we left home and got on with our own lives, we forgot to stay in each others.
Back to the wine night, she managed to get it all out of her system. To the extent where she wouldn’t allow me to talk, or cry. She was in her moment of finally speaking out to her big sister who she had hated for decades.
She was always the quiet one when we were growing up, and this was the most I had ever heard her talk in one sitting. I took on everything she said that night, like literally.
The next morning, and even though she was dealing with a hangover, she came to apologise for the things she had said.
A couple of weeks later we had a phone conversation and I asked her if she was OK. She said “I am fine. I’ve let it all go now”.
I ‘thanked’ her for dropping it all in my lap and said it was going to take some time to work through it all. She laughed. Not in a nasty way because she is not a nasty person, but in a way that meant ‘good. Finally you’ll deal with your stuff’.
So after all these decades, I need to let her know that she didn’t need to apologise to me. Because she was right. I had made everything about me as we grew up, and really didn’t stop to give her a second thought. Mostly because I thought that she was OK.
I love my sister so much. In her own way she has taught me a lot about myself, and for that I will be forever grateful.