This was the week I described my relationship with my sister, to my sister’s face, as being like a cervix. At the time, it was not a well thought out analogy. But I’m standing by it. My sister and I haven’t always been close, we didn’t grow up together and we have different mums. If you’re being biological about it, she’s my half sister but I’ve always been the type to go all in ,so half, step or from the milkman, you’re my sibling.
Sister from the same mister
I was about 23 and her 17 when we bonded on a blended family ski trip. A shared hotel room and war stories from different, but all too similar childhoods, showed us that we’d been missing each other all our lives. One summer night, at her 18th birthday party, we solidified our bond with shots and drunk dancing, and my god, I’m so glad we did.
We didn’t have the in-fighting that comes with growing up in the same house, there were no arguments over nicked clothes or competitions for parental affection, and so in some ways, we missed out on a lot of the things that typically bind sisters together. Yet, for me, that’s what makes us all the more special. Despite missing those defining moments, we still share a closeness that only comes from really deep down inside. We talk in a similar way, we never need to explain our jokes or our bad moods and a look is sometimes all it takes. It’s like the universe separated us because it knew when we eventually came back together, we’d truly appreciate what we had.
Sometimes, my sister is a dick. Sometimes I’m a dick. Ours isn’t a fairytale without any ogres or arguments or sibling rivalry. The difference is that with Amy, I can’t cut and run. I figured out very young that ditching someone who is dick to you is the only way to really stop yourself getting hurt. I became a master at it, and I’m still unlearning those self-destructive lessons. Amy is one of very few people who I’ve stayed tethered to. Trust me, there’s been times when she could have shoved me overboard and I’d have deserved it but she never did. She always showed me I was safe.
The cervix part
Just like every other relationship our lives haven’t always run parallel. Aside from me being six years older, we also live a fair few miles apart and jobs, marriages and babies have occasionally caused the usual prolonged absences in one another’s lives. I feel it when we’re less available to one another, I might not register that that’s the feeling but when we eventually do collide again, I suddenly realise that’s what the quietness was.
Which is why, after several glasses of prosecco and pineapple juice (it’s a vibe) she told me she was really happy we were close again. I hadn’t realised that she’d been feeling it too and so that’s when I told her we were just like a cervix. Sometimes we are impenetrable, tight and taut and really bloody strong. Sometimes we come apart, make space for other things and do what needs to be done. But we always come back together, no matter what.
Labouring the point
I used to think for someone to love me they had to show unwavering dedication and shower me with attention. Old insecurities led to a lot of self sabotage and I’d push people away to make them prove themselves. It rarely worked. I’ve unchained myself from those ridiculous shackles now. I realise that true love, be it romantic, platonic or from a sibling is just the freedom to be yourself and know that time or distance doesn’t change that. I don’t really believe in the notion of a ‘best friend’ anymore and I know not everyone is as lucky to have a sibling they can boomerang back to. What I do believe is that we get the chance to have lots of amazing people be part of our lives, and us theirs, and when it’s the right people, you can stretch as far away as you want and then snap right back into place. So, I really hope that if you haven’t already then you all find your own cervix one day too.