Pleasure or Pain?

Tomorrow my mother and two sisters will arrive to visit me. We will spend one night in my house and then go to Edinburgh for three days. And I am dreading it…

You must understand that I get along very well with my twin sister. We have been two peas in a pod since birth (almost literally). Even though we are twins we couldn’t be more different. She is tall, has sleek hair, a beautiful body and is very outgoing. I am short and squatty, have ‘bushy’ hair and are more of an introvert. Some people even don’t want to accept we are remotely related! However, whatever we say or do, we never fight, we never quibble, we never argue. We accept each other for who we are and that’s all there is to it.

I love my Mum. She is my best friend. We talk for hours on Skype (with coffee on both sides) at least once a week. We tell each other our inner feelings, our fears and joys. And lots of stuff that doesn’t matter. We haven’t always seen eye to eye. I must admit that I haven’t always been a nice daughter to her, but she has never complained. She took it in her stride to support me financially when I wanted to study, even when her husband left her and never paid any alimony. I am what I am today because of her sacrifices. And I am eternally grateful.

Now my older sister is an entirely different story. From the moment I was born she didn’t like me. Before, she was the single child, the one that everybody doted on. My twin sister and I were competition and as I was the curly-blond-haired, blue-eyed chubby-cheeks, I became the focal point of her hatred. My mother of course never let her hurt me (she did try though), so her attitude towards me developed into one that thrived on words and hidden actions. She would say I was fat and ugly when nobody was around; she would use my hairspray without asking; she would wear my clothes and throw them in a corner never to be found; she would invite me to parties, only to ridicule me in front of her friends. She became the queen of hidden jabs. She would say things that, to bystanders, would mean absolutely nothing, but you knew that at the same time she was stabbing you with a thousand daggers. So you can imagine that as soon as she left home we didn’t really stay in contact.

When my Mum brought her to visit me in Australia a few years ago (she would never do that out of her own free will), it came to a clash. I casually mentioned that she used to be a bi-etch when we lived at home. Just stating a fact, you know, talking about ‘the good old days.’ From that moment on the switch was flipped. It went from bad to worse, up to a point that we sat in the car, driving from Melbourne to Adelaide, without saying a word to each other. With my mother in the back seat. I felt so sorry for her! We ended up talking to each other again later that holiday, but deep down the relationship hadn’t mended.

And now she’s coming again. For the second time in my live she is visiting me. Again, dragged over by my mother, but still. My house is an absolute mess, more like a building zone due to the renovations. She is the type that will have her husband paint the walls a different colour three times until she likes it, whilst I will ‘happily’ live in this disaster area for years. Fortunately we’ll only stay here one night, as I don’t think she would be able to cope for longer, and I booked us into a nice B&B in Edinburgh for two nights. I searched the web for evening entertainment, but for the capital of culture it is for Scotland there is little, if not nothing, on that weekend. So we’ll go out for dinner… and talk…

Don’t get me wrong, I love my sister. She is, after all, blood. I have two ‘ex-brothers,’ sons of my step-father, who divorced my mother when we were teenagers (and his sons left home). I grew up with them, not knowing any different than them being my brothers, but since they left they are nothing to me. I have no urge to keep in contact with them, and neither do they with me. Yet with my sister I keep trying to mend the bond. I don’t know what it is that drives me to this, so I call it ‘blood.’ I have no other explanation. Whether it is some sort of obscure gene survival thing, I don’t know, but it’s there, I need to support her for some unknown reason. I used to pity her, being the odd one out and all, but I don’t anymore. I think life is what you make it and she chose to make it hell. She said to my Mum once that she had an unhappy childhood. She had the same upbringing as my twin sister and I had and we think we had a very happy childhood (even with an evil sister 🙂 ). But she is my sister and we are my Mum’s three daughters.

As a way of closing the gap I suggested we each have a tattoo that depicts our bond. We decided upon the number three, each in our own fashion. We haven’t decided upon a location though. Both of my sisters have tattoos already, I have none. I have never been able to think of one that I could live with for the rest of my life. But I could live with the number three, for we are three, once and for all.

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