In the past, I’ve rarely spent more than a week at home for the holidays – or, specifically, more than a week that overlaps directly with my sister. She and I have never been close, and although we’ve been talking more in the last year than ever before, she is still in many ways not only a stranger, but an opposite of me.
We do not get along very well.
Being here brings out intense feelings of competition, like I’m constantly having to prove myself, and constantly failing. She’s always been my mother’s favourite – helped along quite a bit by the fact that she’s always been a spitting image of Mom. On top of that, she was always the good daughter who did what she told and lived life “right”. She was so proud she did things “right” – finished high school and college in the “right” order, has a good “solid” job, and is just living life like you “should”. As opposed to her fuck-up of an older sister, who was kicked out at 15, finished high school early, couldn’t be bothered with college for years or consistently, has changed careers on a now third time, couldn’t even succeed at marriage.
She does everything, and she does it near-perfectly, and simply won’t let me. I don’t dust right, I don’t clean the dishes right or fast enough, I don’t make coffee right, or cookies, or dinner, or anything. She pushes me out of the way, then laughs it off as it just being her – but she gets the accolades and the credit for helping, and I just stand in the corner and try to stay out of the way.
It’s been like this for years, I don’t know why I thought things would be different now. Especially given that she’s worked in oncology forever, and won’t concede I might know something about the subject (I had to pull out a medical dictionary yesterday to prove I was right about something).
And she’ll be able to stay here indefinitely, working from home. If I don’t go back to school in late January, I lose my health benefits, and my parents are freaking out at that, and it’s basically a given that I’m leaving. And she’s staying, continuing to be the perfect daughter. And I get to keep being the black sheep of the family, 3500 miles away and as impotent there as I am here.