The Daily Post.
Take the first sentence from your favorite book and make it the first sentence of your post.
Sister #1 – 14 years my senior, from my mom’s previous marriage
Sister #2 – 2 years my senior, same father as me
“It’s hard being left behind.” (The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger)
I’ve felt that way ever since I was about 4 or 5 years old; I am 33 now.
I remember that night pretty clearly. I was awakened in the middle of the night by a thunderstorm. I still shared a room with Sister #2 at the time, and when I realized she was not asleep in her bed, I went to the door and could hear the laughter of my dad and Sister #2 in the living room. They were watching the WWF or something and I felt so incredibly left out because I had never experienced any one-on-one time like that with my dad. Even to this day. For many, many years, I felt that my dad loved my sister more than me. I don’t quite recall when, but I was between 15 and 20 when I finally broke down and told my mom how I felt. She made me tell my dad how I felt and he denied loving Sister #2 more than me.
I’m getting teary-eyed just thinking about it. I guess deep down I still think that to be the case. It’s just difficult for me and my dad to have conversations and stuff, I guess. Now it’s even more difficult because I live about 3 hours from home, so I only see my parents about 4 or 5 times a year.
I was the one who did everything “right.” Yet, I feel as though I’m somewhat of a black sheep in my family because of it. Don’t get me wrong – my family does not see me as a disgrace; I have never once thought that. I just don’t have an appropriate term in my vocabulary to use. That being said, ever since moving away to college (the first – and only – in my family to graduate with a 4-year degree), I haven’t been as close with my mom and sisters. Actually, I haven’t been as close to them since Sister #2 had her first child at the age of 18.
Now all my sisters do is talk about craft-making with my mom when we’re at family gatherings. I can’t participate in that. I don’t make tangible crafts; my craft is my music. I have no desire to make crafts and do not intend on ever doing so. I am a bit of a perfectionist when I’m being creative; I have the patience for perfectionism when it comes to my music, but not really much else. I’m okay with that, really. What I’m not okay with is my lack of craft-making being a barrier to “bond” with my sisters and mom. I don’t have children; until I do, I don’t think I’ll have anything to really discuss with my sisters. Sister #1 will continue to call me when she needs something and I will try to get closer to Sister #2’s first daughter.
I told a friend of mine once my feelings on the issue, and he said the solution was simple: If I want a relationship with them badly enough, I’ll start making crafts. Does it really need to come to that, though? I don’t think a discussion is going to make things better. It’ll probably just make it really awkward. But at this point, it’s been so many years that I don’t know what to do.
Maybe it’s my fault that I’ve been left behind. It’s still hard being left behind regardless of the reasons.