Sep 10, 2007

A Letter To My Sister

We haven’t talked much in the past year. The fault is entirely mine—to be completely honest, I haven’t wanted to talk to you, for one simple reason: I couldn’t bear to.

It was horrible hearing you so unhappy, so terrorized--by your own emotions and insecurities, but even more so by your husband.

Who I hated. I hated him for what he was doing to my sister, and I had absolutely nothing helpful to say. I tried, I honestly tried to listen to you, and be supportive, but it was all I could do not to scream in frustration and anger. I love you, and I wanted so much better for you, but your choices were yours alone, and I couldn’t risk hurting you more by making things harder for you—which sharing my own feelings certainly would have done.

So I pulled away.

You are my big sister, and I have always loved and admired you. I admire you even more today. What you are doing is incredibly brave, and I’m proud of you. I know how hard it is to stick up for yourself, to remove yourself from a situation enough to realize that it is wrong—it’s a process. You did everything you could, and more. While I wish you would have left sooner, if only to save yourself more unhappiness, I understand why you didn’t. And I respect and love you for being the sort of person who tries, who will always try. You’ve taken an enormous step. I firmly believe that as time passes it will feel more and more like the right step, and the next one will be easier, and so on until you realize how strong, and good you are.

And beautiful. My God. For years, I wanted to look like you—your features are finer, your sense of style and of self more defined than mine (of course, I spent most of my time dressed like Helena Bonham Carter, so…) It has never in my life occurred to me that anyone could be unhappy with the way you look—I know that you have been, and I’ve always thought you were nuts. The idea that someone could aim and fire at such a vulnerable place in you enrages me—but that takes us back to where I’m not being helpful, and I want to be.

When I was in trouble—alone and sad and completely directionless—you took care of me. I want to be able to do the same for you. My doors are open, my phone is always on.

I love you.

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