Saturday, June 23, 2012

Sisters or Friends? Who Do You Turn To?

The best thing about having a sister was that I always had a friend - Calie Rae Turner

For as long as I can remember, I have always wished for a  sister.  And never more so, as now that I am older.  I sometimes feel quite lonely even though I have a husband, child, brothers, mother and pets. When I was young I used to pretend that my best friend was my sister.  She didn't have to do that as she had two of her own.

Oh sure, I have some close friends but we are  not as involved in each others lives as we would be if we were related.  I feel that this is true in most cases, though, I accept, not all. I do have a friend who never got along with her sister growing up and that has never changed.

But as far as I can see, that type of thing usually reverses itself. Some of my friends, though their relationships with their sisters might have been competitive and fractured growing up, are now the closest people I know. They  have become closer as they have had families and grown older.  They support each other and they count on each other as the  person/people they can really rely on, apart from themselves.

Most of my friends had children before I did and although we always met from time to time and are still in touch, we drifted apart a little. I fear I am mostly responsible for this, through my own insecurities about not having children. These insecurities meant that I distanced myself rather more than I had intended to.

Then at the advanced age of almost forty two, I had my child, only to find that my friends were at a different stage of life. I imagine that I now feel how my friends who had children when I didn't, felt, when I seemed to show little interest. 

One of my good friends has three sisters and although they are all totally different personalities, they are completely there for each other.  She agrees that growing up they might have had fights but they also swapped clothes and had lots of great nights out together.  Now that they are older, with families of their own, they meet up at least once a week for brunch as well as at family get togethers. She is also delighted that their own children have that same closeness growing up together as they did.  I  don't think I am a jealous person but I admit that I sometimes feel envious when I see them all together. 

I have cousins who are sisters and I sometimes feel like an outsider when we meet. I know they would never want me to feel like that but it's there. They know all each others little secrets and foibles and can communicate with each other in ways that I cannot. I know twin sisters who are so close, I feel as if there is really something missing in my life, when I see them. When I recently asked one of them how she felt about her sister she said ' She is my right arm. She is my best friend. I could tell her anything, no matter how bad and know she would still love me. She is the one person I would trust completely with my kids if anything were to happen to me.  I would be lost without her. In short, she is the other half of me'.  

I have four brothers who have terrific partners and although I love them all and get on with them, I wouldn't say that we are exceptionally close.  Again, I feel it's more to do with my own past insecurities than with anything they do or do not do. I have two wonderful sister-in-laws but their lives are so busy, we don't get the time to get together much.

I feel that people who have close relationships with their sisters are very blessed. The same goes for people who feel that sisterly bond with their friends.

Twins working out
What I am wondering about you all out there is.....  who is it you turn to in times of need?  Your Sisters or your Friends?  Do you count your sisters as your best friends or indeed your friends as your sisters?  






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27 comments:

  1. Some of my friends are pretty much my sisters. It depends on the problem really. If we need to complain about parental happenings, then my sister. If not, then probably my friends.

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    1. I don't feel I really have a bond like that with anyone except a friend that I grew up with. She lives in a different country now though so things have changed a bit.

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    2. I'd still say we have a bond though and always will.

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  2. Being an only child,I always relied on friends and cousins growing up and still do,but as you said Claire,I never felt that sisterly bond completely,as they had their own sisters.I find as I get older that I miss having a sister more than ever,it would be nice having someone to share all the memories etc and to know she would always be there,but no point crying over it now. I am glad that I have my two daughters though and hope they will always be close.

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    1. I wasn't an only child like you and my own son, but I still felt lonely in the midst of my four brothers. I used to pretend my best friend was my sister and I really wish she was. She is one of the loveliest people I know. When I asked one of the twins mentioned in my post what she felt about her sister. She said 'She is the other half of me'. I would love to have a bond like that with someone. I adore my mother but it can be a difficult relationship sometimes as she tends to criticise me a lot. I know she doesn't mean it but it upsets me that I can't tell her everything aboout everything. I really do hope that your own two daughters will always be close.

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  3. My sister is my rock. I don't know what I would do without her.

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    1. You appreciate her and that is wonderful!

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  4. Hi I’m Heather! Please email me when you get a chance! I have a question about your blog. HeatherVonsj(at)gmail(dot)com

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  5. This is a wonderful article, Claire! You delve into the questions and emotions so artfully, giving voice to much that I'm sure many feel and question as well. I have an older sister, but the relationship isn't the close one you describe yearning for. We are close, yes, but not in that manner. My sister and I are as different as night and day with very little in common other than that we love one another, so it's not the relationship of most sisters.

    I was blessed to be born into a huge, loving family where all of my cousins and I were raised as close as siblings, and many of my female cousins and I are very close. I'm close to my male cousins as well, for that matter.

    When it comes to sisters-of-the-heart, those relationships, for me, exist outside of blood family ties. I've been equally blessed in this regard, as I count some truly beautiful women as my sister-friends. That need for that specific relationship exists for all of us, so I understand your yearning. I think those ladies are out there; you just have to find time to grow and build the relationships. And I'd hazard a guess that some of your girlfriends DO see you in that special light, even if you're not aware of it. :)

    - Dawn

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  6. Dawn, as usual, you put it so eloquently! And I would be over the moon if some of my friends DID see me in that light!

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  7. I have an older sister who I have a strong bond with, but we have always been at very different stages of our lives. There is baggage in our relationship rooted in competitiveness, but there is also a deep understanding of one another. In a crisis we are there for each other always.

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    1. I think that's the main thing, that you are always there for each other in a crisis. Friends are great but I really do feel there is something in that saying that blood is thicker than water.

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  8. I sensed a sadness as I was reading.

    I'm reminded of the over-weight person who is sad, loses weight, and is still sad. In other words, is it really a sister that you are missing, or a companion who will comfort you regarding certain insecurities.

    I say this, because I don't have a sister, and have never missed having one. Sure, as a child, I thought it was cool as I watched my other friends interact with their sisters, but that was a childish phase.

    I've been blessed with girlfriends who I can talk, talk, and talk to! If I feel comfortable talking about subject A with one, but not subject B, I switch up. :)

    As you may remember, my children were born when I was 37, 40, and 42, so I had the issue of having babies when my friends had middle schoolers, but somehow it didn't matter. It still doesn't as they are all empty nesters or close to it. I can't always join them for certain activities, but I do when I can. I also have younger friends.

    I don't mean to go on and on. I guess you've just made me realize how much I like having friends.

    My advice - Love your friends, and they'll love you back.

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    1. Anita, I love your attitude. You are right, I do have a feeling of sadness about it all. I really like what you said 'love your friends, and they'll love you back'. I guess I have been guilty of distancing myself from friends. I need to find my way back from that.

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    2. Thank you Claire.

      I wish you luck in reconnecting with old friends; or connecting with new friends. Start small (short conversations on occasion, a walk together, etc.). People are busy and many don't like to feel pressured. Also, ask questions about their lives and let them do most of the talking. You will find that, eventually, they will begin to be very curious and caring about you.

      I sound like a psychologist! LOL

      Also, thank you for your sharing your story in my last post. I like hearing honest answers, especially when it is different from what the majority may be saying.

      Have you ever thought about putting your email address in the comment section of your blog profile? That way, when you comment on someone else's blog, it will appear in their in box with your email address attached and then they/I will be able to send you a personal response to what you've said to me.

      Some bloggers chose not to; others are unaware of the option.

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    3. Thanks for the idea Anita!

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  9. An interesting post, Claire. I have a sister and a brother. I am closer to my girlfriends, at this stage. Hopefully that might change. Thanks for joining in the POTMC. J x

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    1. Things have a habit of changing, don't they!

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  10. I have a sister, but I am closer to my girlfriends. You are lucky to have a child, as it is like a single man having a puppy :) because having your son opens the doors to lots of opportunities to meeting like-minded moms and your future sister-like girlfriend :) Your newest follower via Post Of The Month Club, Laura

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    1. It is true that having a child opens doors to meeting other moms. I now have a dear friend who has a little boy the same age as mine. We met at pre natal classes before the boys were even born and have been steadfast friends the past four years.

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  11. I have a sister. She is 6 years younger than me which felt like a generation gap growing up. Even now I am married, have three kids and moved to the other side of the world while she is single and just buying her first house. We are family but our lives have very little in common from a day to day point of view. I am blessed with many lovely friends and feel that they fill for me the needs that some people have filled by a sister. Not to say I don't love having a sister but it's just not always how the movies portray things.

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  12. My sisters are much older than me and have always been in a different stage of life than me. So I have always turned to good girlfriends. Hello!I wanted to let you know that my blog (OMGalmost50) has a new name. It is now “OMG I Am 50” or omgiam50.blogspot.com. As a current follower, I hope you will continue to visit my blog! Also, if my previous blog name is on your public blog list please update it. Thanks for being a follower of my blog. I really enjoy your blog too!

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  13. My sister is my friend and we do share secrets. I've also been blessed to have a best friend who is like a sister!

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