It seems that over the past few months I've had a number of memories return that involved my sister and ways that she hurt me deeply. It's probably easier for me to just explore how things were as I perceived them.
When I was very young I looked up to my sister like she was a rock star. She, like me, was adopted. She always showed pride in what she liked and what she was doing. She "sold me" on ideas easily and got me interested in a lot of those things. I was a bit of a tag-along. If she wanted to go outside, I wanted to go outside. If she wanted to play inside I wanted to be inside. During those younger years I pretty much wanted to do what she did.
I was jealous that she was learning to play violin and I was not allowed to touch it. I was jealous that she learned the piano. When she got a cabbage patch kid, I wanted one for my birthday too. She convinced me to give up the bigger room since she should have it because she was older. I agreed. When she had friends over and needed a fourth to play a game, I was included. In general, she was shy around strangers. I was fearless. She would send me up to some stranger kids and I would come back with them in tow to include all of us. This continued until we were about 3 and 5.
Something changed then in her. She began to show off in front of her friends. She began to get overly focused upon how things appeared to others. She became cruel. Belittling me and humiliating me in front of her friends became the norm. Being the fourth player shifted to being the omega. I remember a time where they wanted me to play house, chose me to be the daughter, dressed me up in girl's clothes and took pictures. They then told me if I didn't do exactly what they said that they would show the pictures to everyone and no one would ever want to talk to me ever again. I was 3.
Things got worse from there. I know in my other post that I had mentioned I was kids by the teased at school when I wore her hand-me-downs. The reality of it is that I was teased most of all by her and her friends. If I cried, I was teased more, called a cry-baby, and told that only girls cry... and that maybe I should be wearing a girl's hat. If I tried to tell my parents they would hold me down while my sister went and told lies to my mother about me misbehaving and that I was going to come and try to lie to her about things. If I went and told I would get punished and sent to time out (locked in a small room). Another time when I threatened to tell they tied me up and put me in her closet, tying the handles together on the outside so it wouldn't open and then left me there for hours.
Outside of those times, she always found something to criticize and make fun of about me. The clothes I wore, the way I talked, etc. It was like her goal was to make me feel self-conscious and fucked up about anything and everything I did. Her friends always jumped in so easily. The lesson I learned was that girls are mean.
Coupling what I felt at home and the behavior of kids at my pre-school... I built up a very strong set of armor... and became a jerk. I shut down empathy and sympathy. I started to attack rather than be attacked. I was an angry ball of rage that had no clue how to handle emotions. Crying was shameful. Hide my true feelings. Keep everything buried inside. Let no one see the real me. Those were how I grew to live.
As I got older I started to slowly let the walls down... but all of those mantras were ingrained. It took me a VERY long time to be comfortable expressing my feelings and even longer on being able to reveal the vulnerable parts of myself. It was kind of sad.
To this day I hate my sister. She is a selfish bitch and not a person I would ever choose to associate with by choice. She is entitled and gets furious when everything doesn't go her way. To top things off, she is passive-aggressive and under-handed. When I was 21 we tried to salvage something of a friendship when she unburdened herself saying she always felt my parents favored me over her. I did a triple take. No one ever laid a finger on her. They always gave her the benefit of the doubt. She followed it up with stating that she was jealous that I was braver, smarter, and better at things than she was. I was willing to let all that go but then I realized... when she told me those things it was NOT her trying to bridge a gap that had grown between us, but her giving me the reasons that she was such a bitch to me. I don't speak with her anymore. My last words were a calmly delivered "fuck off and die."
I find it slightly irritating how much of a factor she has played in the shaping of my life.