Can you be a good sister to someone you don't like?
May 3, 2010 11:28 PM Subscribe
How do I be a good sister, when I don't like her? So much more inside.
posted by anonymous to human relations (29 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
She is 20, I am 24. We are opposites in almost all ways: she barely made it through high school, I went on to college. She is skinny, I am pudgy. She has had many boyfriends, I've been dating the same boy for five years. She loves to put on makeup and do her hair, I wouldn't know what to do with lip liner if my life depended on it. It goes on and on.
Last year she moved to California to be with a boy she met online. She told everyone she was going out there for a week with a friend and said friend's family. She never came home, and didn't call us for a month. We were frantic with worry, and upset when the truth came to light. Every few weeks since moving there, she would call home in a fit of tears saying life was hard and she wanted to come home, she was buying a ticket home....but she's never actually came home. I chalked it up to PMS-y hormones, but the drama was too much for my father and he's all but washed his hands of her.
A week ago, she broke up with the boy and flew back. She didn't make any contact with me, and I didn't make any with her. I saw her for the first time today when I stopped by my father's house to do some laundry, and I was shocked. Her clothes were hanging off her frame, her upper arms were thinner than her elbows. She was always skinny, but healthy. Now she looks like a holocaust victim. I immediately voiced my concern and she brushed me off and said no she's eating, really she's not too thin, etc etc.
I pulled aside my father and asked him in private if she was indeed, as sick as she looks. He is sure she is seriously depressed, he said she does nothing but cry and what she needs now is a Big Sister to support her. She isn't on his insurance any longer, and has none of her own, and has no money to see a doctor. My father isn't the sensitive type (picture a lumberjack, only gruffer), and has said he can't do anything for her at this time other than provide shelter.
He requested that I be a role model, that I do things with her but not buy her anything (to provide her with the lesson that you can't have everything for free). He wants me to be the sister I never was to the girl that was more like a distant cousin than my next of kin.
This is where I come off as a terrible human being. I don't like her. She is shallow, selfish and fake. I think her actions were reprehensible and immature. She regularly stole from me, and owes me a few hundred dollars which I know I'll never see. The kicker was, before she left for California, she spent weeks flirting with my boyfriend while we were in a rough spot, just because she could.
So my question Metafilter: How do I be the sister that she needs when I don't like her, and I don't even know how to be a sister? I really do want to see her be happy and healthy, but I don't really want to be her friend, or spend time with her. I am willing to make sacrifices and fake it, but how do I do that? Should I stop by and braid her hair? Pick up a copy of Twilight and some Jiffypop?
What does being a sister really entail? Private suggestions/questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org