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Tag Archives: sister

Soror in absentia

Danny’s latest post is a very good one. He’s talking about siblings and how you can tell how red-pillish a chick is by asking whether she has an older brother, or brothers in general. The theory is that said chick will have a much better understanding of what men are really like. Same for a guy who has sisters, but probably less so.

I have a sister, but my situation was quite different when I was growing up.

In many respects, I was a de facto only child. My sister is 12 years older than I am. She came along when my parents were in their early 20s and struggling to find their place in the world and their economic footing. That was the early 60s, and my parents would be the first to tell you that they were stupid and unwise to things like birth control. (Catholic upbringing . . . go figure.) But, on the flip side, at least having a kid back in those days meant that the father could work full-time and afford the basic necessities, and a few luxuries, on one salary for the first couple of years while the mother could stay home. When I came along in the early 70s, my mother did the same thing. But, both she and my father were better established economically and already had the experience of raising one child to the cusp of adolescence. I was still a “surprise” and my mother, to this day, believes that I was born for a reason. After I came along, my mother wised up and got a hysterectomy.

So, with me, I wanted for nothing. Luckily, my parents never (and have never, after 56+ years) divorced, so I never suffered that psychological blow. I was never abused, like so many kids are nowadays. I was never put on medication for hyperactivity because my pediatrician at the time — a wise man — thought it was complete bullshit and chalked it up to “being a boy,” with which my mother agreed. School was agreeable and I got what is now referred to, either nostalgically or derogatorily, as a “liberal arts” education. This set me up for later in life, but didn’t do me any good job-wise.

But, I never really have thought of myself as a “sibling” for a long time. As I said, my sister is 12 years older than I am. By the time I was old enough to start having some kind of regular sibling relationship with her, she was married and out of the house, living with her husband about 45 minutes away from my parents. We’d visit her now and again. I’d play pool on her pool table and play with her dogs in the acreage behind the house. Good times. But, again, she never was really a sister to me. She was more like just another relative, one you visit on holidays.

Then, some years later, she started acting funny and withdrew. No one could understand why. Then, around 2000, near complete radio silence. I’ve not talked to her since then. The last time I saw her was at my grandmother’s funeral in 2006, where I was a pall bearer. She came, sat in the back of the church, and left after the eulogy. Haven’t seen her since.

I’ve told this story to a few people over the years, and every one of them scratch their heads. They can’t comprehend it. It seems easier for them to understand divorce, of if a sibling had a drug problem, or if the sibling got knocked up in their teens and was a single mother. But, this far a gap between me and my sister, and she effectively estranged herself from the family? Silence. One of those rarities, obviously.

Has any of this affected me? I’m sure it has, but it’s rather minor. I’m introverted and have been learning for many, many years how to be with myself and attend to my own needs. In light of Danny’s post, I do firmly believe that, had my sister been closer in age, then I’d have learned early on what women were really like and this would have saved me quite a bit of grief and would have shortened the learning curve (in the pre-Net and pre-‘sphere days). Oh, well . . . you can’t have everything.

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