It took me a long time to understand the feeling I’ve had since I was a child—that feeling of being complete yet empty, of being trapped yet at ease. The walls of the world enclosed on my individuality, preventing me from swimming to the surface as if a constant weight held me down. As if gallons of water enveloped my body, sinking into my lungs, restraining me from pulling myself upwards. But I couldn’t imagine life without this feeling. Underwater, there were no dangers from the outside world—no cries from those I have wronged, no wicked words thrown mercilessly at my feet from the glares of passing strangers, no violent encounters from monsters that nabbed at my pocketmunny. This serenity began when I was a fetus in Ammu’s—my mother’s—womb, a life form barely existing, naïve to the misfortunes of life that soon awaited me. Luckily, I was not alone. I trudged through life constantly having someone by my side. Someone to care for me, know what I am thinking, and understand how I feel. Someone who I saw myself as, a chamber of reflections that lived with me day by day. Estha was my safe haven. He was a layer of skin that I had found comfort within. When we were together, we were a whole being. Parallel extensions of each other. Us.
When my flight landed in San Antonio this past Wednesday night, I was annoyed, sick, and ready for bed. I had just worked a nine-hour day, dropped my sweet dog at a friend’s house, and driven myself to the small local airport in time to board my flight. I looked down at my dead cell phone and wondered how the hell I was going to find my parents, who had just landed from California. I’m sure I looked a complete mess as I approached a family I had shared a few words with on the plane: “Can I please borrow someone’s phone?”
Growing up, my sister and I were very close. She is younger than me, and she was always a pain in my butt when we were little. She wanted to do the same things I was doing, or hang out with me and my friends. Sometimes it was okay, but other times, she was too nosy for her own good.
Twins. You see them a lot, believe it or not. Fraternal twins are genetic and run in families. In fact, fraternal twins run in my own family. Identical twins, however, are a little bit more rare. I am an identical twin.
About 2.5 weeks ago this turned my life upside down. First off, we need to understand what sibling abuse is. Just like other types of big name abuses, sibling abuse can include physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. Now when I was asking some people "how do you know if you are a victim of sibling abuse?" I got the same response: "Did they touch you sexually?" That completely infuriated my knowing that people only think that abuse is sexual, which also says a lot as to why women who are being physically abused tend to keep quiet.
Being the younger sister might be a good reason. She always got to do important stuff before me and got to go to bed later than me. Things either went one of two ways; she would do things before me or within the same year as me.
It's common to see an anorexic's story on the web, internet, or YouTube. My sister has her own YouTube channel where she is able to document her recovery and help others along the way. I'm proud of her; I know she's getting better, but I also know relationships take a while to heal.
We came together in an unusual way. In fact, when I first met you, we were not pals. You were nothing to me but some girl who had broken my brother's heart. Then you reappeared for a second shot.
Having just found out I’m due to have another girl this December, I’ve been thinking a lot about sisters. Elated to have two daughters, my husband and I are already imagining the sweet sisterly giggles of our future, the inevitable stubborn disagreements, and the unquestionable bond the girls will share for a lifetime. My daughter in turn, couldn’t be happier. She’s already taken on the role of big sister quite seriously—talking and singing to my stomach and “mothering” any other baby she sees—and her sweet, nurturing heart brings me pure joy.