Just A Little Sibling Rivalry—Nothing to Worry About

Due to our charming legal system, I haven’t spoken to my sister in almost six months. We’re not allowed any contact with each other.

For some of you, six months may be nothin’. But, seriously, we were practically best friends before this situation got out of control. And after such an emotional thing, there are a lot of feelings we haven’t been allowed to talk out. So, bitterness has developed. And boy, do I make use of it. I complain about her to almost anyone that’ll listen. Precious little of this six months has been spent missing her. I guess that’s why they say never go to bed angry, huh?

It drives me crazy, this whole thing. When I hear her talking to my parents, she sounds so happy. What friggin’ right does she have to be happy? She messed everything up! She got arrested!

Oh, but she blames herself for everything. I forgot. Friend of hers told me that.

Well, look at the precious little victim. What a drama queen.

We’ve always had a rocky relationship, being so close. The fights we got in became rarer as years went by, but also more violent. After her first summer working at a scout camp (she was eighteen and I was sixteen), she came back and started telling me how much I’d changed. How immature and selfish I was, etc, etc. And she started playing mommy, which led to deeper problems over the next year and a half. We got in more arguments, and I’d always apologize because I hated it when she was mad at me, but never once did I get an apology back.

When I was seventeen, I got so fed up with it that I wrote her a note (because writing is my preferred medium, and I feel that I can express myself better in it) trying to explain my side, hoping she would see it, and hoping that, in return, she’d help me see hers.

Nope.

The next morning, the note was crumpled up in the garbage, and she was being more hostile and passive-aggressive than ever. Of course, she wouldn’t tell me what had offended her about it. All I got, five months later, was an, “I’ll never forgive you.”

Right. Did I ask to be forgiven? Nope. Because I didn’t know what I did.

Then came our first big fight, which involved violence and even a punch or two. I won. And, as always, I apologized first. Her response? “No, you’re not.” After which she ignored me for a week. We were still living in the same house, and the family went places together. But she refused to address me about anything. That’s right. I got the silent treatment.

After the first couple days, I found it amusingly immature of her, and was perfectly ready to tell her to grow up.

Then she started speaking to me again.

About a week later—two weeks to the day after the last fight—we got in another fight when she grabbed an electric skillet lid and started beating me with it. Being the awesome, action-movie-loving chick that I am, I couldn’t find a suitable weapon, so I used a side-kick in her stomach to get her out of my room, and somehow I managed to wrestle her to the ground. When she got up, she ran to her room, and I went to my parents, who I told my side. They went to talk to my sister, who dared to claim she’d picked up the skillet lid (which was aluminum—hardly lethal—and now severely mangled) in self-defense.

BULL.

Anyway, somehow, we straightened that whole mess out, and sorted out our differences (though she never once apologized) well enough. She finally went off to college, and then eventually invited me to join her in renting a house with our mutual best friend. I had misgivings, but agreed.

Feel free to start calling me stupid, now.

But it wasn’t that bad until around November, when my sister, who had been up all night, overheard me half-jokingly asking my dad for a car over the phone. She went ballistic, saying I was so selfish and ungrateful and she couldn’t believe I’d done that.

Even though on the other end of the line my dad had already agreed, I backtracked, telling him never mind, that I was just joking, etc, etc, etc, before hanging up. But I’d already snapped the twig, and my sister was yelling at me for being ungrateful, etc, selfish, childish, and so on. I asked what she wanted me to f***ing do about it, since I’d already told Dad it was a f***ing joke.

That was when she got up from her chair, stood directly over me where I sat in mine, and said, “Don’t you swear at me,” then using my full name, which I hate. (You have to understand that Sister Darling is a hypocritical, holier-than-thou Molly Mormon. Swearing is a sin in her eyes, and she snaps every time I s-a-y the “damn” word. It can be kind of funny. Funny like being trapped underground with a bomb that could explode at any second.)

I knew violence was close at hand. I knew she was trying so hard to intimidate me, which always came before her sissy hits. And I’m a smartass. So, I said, “I already did.”

So, she threw my chair back, with me still in it. Broke the chair. Started yelling at me again, told me to get out, because she didn’t want to deal with me, etc. Long story short, I left, situation diffused.

But she did apologize for that one. After a few minutes, she came into my room, where I was getting ready to leave, and said, “I’m sorry, I’m out of control.” Or something along those lines.

So I said, “Yeah, you are.”

Didn’t help matters, but I gotta admit it was fun.

On our last day together (aka the day she was arrested), I thought I was home alone, so I was cleaning my room while listening to music on my laptop (the night before, we’d had a large text-argument), singing along with the rock gods of the eighties as I went.

Suddenly, who should bust in but Sister! You know what she did? Told me to turn my music down and criticized my singing, saying I was off-key (quite possibly), and that I could never hope to be a singer because my voice was terrible.

(OOH, ouch! How could I ever recover from a zinger like that? That was too harsh, man! I mean, everyone knows how it’s my secret dream to be the next American Idol. Like, for reals! How could she crush my dreams like that?)

Then she told me to turn the music down, and slammed my door.

So I did. A bit.

She came back. With scissors. Yelling at me to turn it down, etc. I shoved her out and closed the door. There was a loud pound, then silence.

I remained in my room for a few minutes, knowing I’d broken more than one twig, this time. Possibly cut down the whole forest. So, I readied myself. I grabbed my pocket knife and the pepper spray that she’d loaned me earlier (didn’t plan to use them—just wanted to be prepared, because she was armed). Only then did I dare open my door, mainly to make sure my two cats weren’t anywhere near her. There was a hole in my door from where the scissors had penetrated, but the scissors weren’t there.

(Now, keep in mind that this house was rented from a couple that my sister admired and looked up to like no other. And she put a hole in their door. Just sayin’.)

At this point, I don’t recall if the music was still playing or not. I don’t remember what happened, but The Beast emerged again, with its talons.

Argument ensued. She tried to break my laptop, still wielding the scissors, though not forcefully. Intimidation, mainly, because she thinks she’s scary. I pulled out knife and pepper spray, more argument, I took laptop back to my room.

Sister came, demanding pepper spray back.

Put yourself in my shoes. Pepper spray is the most dangerous weapon of the three. I knew I was in control—thinking somewhat rationally, just as I always was in these situations. I knew she wasn’t. I couldn’t be sure she wasn’t going to use the stuff on me! So, I refused. She tried to take it by force, still wielding the scissors. We wrestled.

I had fifteen pounds at least on her. I had more muscle. I’d seen more action movies. I was thinking pretty clearly. So, of course, I won. I put her in a choke hold, thinking to knock her unconscious, therefore eliminating the threat. She started gasping and wheezing. I said, “I’m sorry I have to do this.” She was clawing at my arm, saying I was killing her. So, I relaxed the grip enough so she could breathe, but not letting go. She kept on saying I was killing her, coughing and hyperventilating.

“If I let you go, will you stop trying to hurt me?” I asked.

“You’re killing me! Let go!”

“Will you stop?”

“Yes, I’ll stop. Just let me go!”

So, I did. I got up, watching her gasping and hyperventilating on the floor, trying to encourage her to take deep breaths.

“I’ll call the cops on you!” She said between gasps.

“I’ll tell them it was self-defense.”

She hyperventilated a little more. “I need an ambulance!”

Panicking a bit, thinking I’d overdone it, I called 9-1-1.

That calmed her down pretty quickly. As I was on the phone with the dispatcher, my sister started crying, saying she didn’t need an ambulance and she just wanted to talk to one of her friends. She even handed me the scissors. Score for me.

But a car was already on its way to “check up” on us, and I followed instructions and stayed on the line with the dispatcher until they arrived. And it was only when I opened the door for the cops that I started crying.

Interviews, pictures and statements later, our best friend came home, my sister was arrested for domestic violence, and I was stunned. But at the same time, I felt good. My friend and our other roommate were on my side, as was practically everyone else. I’d stood up to my sister, and told her that I was done taking it. Being arrested proved she was in the wrong. I’d proved that I was done being a victim.

She told our other roommate that she was scared to be around me, now, because I’d caused her to go unconscious (except I remember her fighting me every second), and I was violent, etc. Uh-huh. That’s right, sweetheart. When things go south, play the victim. Ploy of the worst kind of women everywhere.

I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. Apparently, the case is almost over. My sister’s been diagnosed with some mental problems and is getting treatment. I’m bitter as hell about the whole situation. I expect one hell of an apology to make up for all the ones she’s missed, if I ever see her again. I know I wasn’t entirely in the right (I’ve since learned how close I was to crossing the line of self-defense laws), but most of this wasn’t my fault. She can blame me all she wants to.

Our best friend says that once this is over, me and my sister need to patch things up. Go to counseling together. So the three of us can be like we were before—inseparable. She’s probably right. But I’m not sure I can deal with Dearest Sissy anymore. I can’t look up to her as the leader over the other two of us anymore. I’d be more likely to trust an armed bomb. It’s more entertaining—and less of a whiny drama queen!

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If I were a Guy, I’d Probably be Arrested

Men are stronger than women, right? A man can always defend himself, and those around him. They don’t cry, they enjoy competition and action, and will always protect the women in their lives.

Yeah. Society’s full of crap.

I’m not denying that there are men out there like that. There are women like that too. On a good day, I fancy myself to be one of them.

Sexism is a double-ended trap. The same force that tells women that they need to be weak and submissive and emotional and soft-spoken and feminine tells men the exact opposite.

Women are allowed to mock men freely (I, myself, have often engaged in such behavior and thought there was nothing wrong with it), but if a man dares to joke about women, he is automatically a sexist pig. If a woman hits a man she is strong. If a man hits a woman, he’s an evil abuser.

With women, ever notice how no doesn’t always mean no? Of course, they’ll tell you that, but then they turn around and say things like, “If I say I’m fine, you better be worried.” It’s spread across the Web in images like this one:

Lies Girls Tell

Got that? I’m never fine, I’m always jealous, and I’m never over him. We can never be friends, and it’s not okay. Ever.

Except, you know, how men aren’t mind readers. We can’t expect them to know when we really ARE fine, which is pretty much always, for me. I’ve had boyfriends constantly asking if I was okay just because I wasn’t smiling or talking. One used the memorable line (forgive the swearing), “Whose ass am I kicking?” Which he probably learned from this one:

Whose Ass am I Kicking

Except, as an introvert, I was just being me. Not smiling or laughing. Just thinking, perfectly happy in the private realm of my thoughts.

Moving beyond these hated images, I’m a girl, as I have already stated. And I’ve often wished that I was a guy. Men are perceived as stronger. When a man tries to be strong, nobody’s gonna laugh at him and say he’s cute. Nobody calls him soft and sensitive unless they want their faces smashed in. Nobody assumes that he wants to join the military to a)prove that he can do whatever other guys can do, b)meet guys. He doesn’t get odd stares when he holds the door open for other guys.

But, if I were a guy, I’d probably have been arrested. Why? Because I have an older sister whom I’ve been in physical fights with, and I always won. No, I never started any of them, but she’d be the girl—therefore weaker, and I’d be an evil abuser for touching her, even though it was only self defense. Because, obviously, if she was attacking me with scissors, I must have done something horrible to her, and I probably deserved it. I have very little doubt that in that scenario, I’d have been the one arrested for domestic violence, not her.

So, I know I’m better off as a girl. But I’m still a masculine girl, though 100% straight. I wear guys’ clothes, I communicate in a more masculine way. I prefer hanging out with guys, and really hate it when one of my bros says he likes me. The highest compliment I’ve ever received is being told that I’m more of a man than one of my guy friends will ever be. And, like a lot of guys, I’m embarrassed to admit that I enjoy a chick flick every now and then, or that I like a good romance plot. Crying in front of someone is one of the worst things I can do. Being called soft is the surest way to piss me off. I hold doors for everyone, and often joke that my dad raised me to be a gentleman.

I hate being tickled by a guy, because it’s not flirting to me—it’s war. They’re making themselves look stronger than me, and I’m expected to put up with it and giggle? HECK NO!

We have come to the end of our ramble, and you may now return to your regular scheduled programming.