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This is my open letter of apology to my sister

Growing up, I had only a few friends. From the ages of twelve to sixteen, I had a grand total of three people I would talk to and even then, I only felt comfortable messaging one out of these three friends. But, the one consistent person in my life has always been my older sister, someone I owe a big apology to. 

When we were younger, my older sister and I were often called twins – we were so in-sync all the time whether it was sentences, responses, or even emotions. My sister is in fact just under two years older than I am and although she can be a bit up herself for being the older sibling at times, I can’t say I’ve never connected with her even though my sister was always a little more sympathetic to things than I was or even still am; if I shed a tear, she shed a waterfall. 

Exhibit A; I slipped headfirst into the side of the building and got a concussion at school one time in year three and she cried more than I did as she went off to get a teacher who basically told her to calm down because not a single coherent word was coming out of her mouth. Though I had to stay home battling a throbbing headache for the upcoming weeks, my sister would spend her time at school making get well soon cards for me and coming home to just sit with me. 

I remember when she was leaving primary school and on her last day, I was filled with dread because I realized that if I now had a spat with my friends, I couldn’t run off to my sister. She was now going to be somewhere that would require me to climb out of the school gates undetected, crossroads safely and not get kidnapped by the white van that appears to be everywhere. Far too much effort for the kid who barely got off the sofa once she sat down.

I got through that year anyhow and remember my sister giving me a pep talk before my first day of secondary school with the same sentence over and over: “I’m there if you need me.” It got really sour, really fast. 

Although undiagnosed at the time, social anxiety has always been a lifelong struggle of mine and I always took comfort in familiarity in my surroundings. I expressed to my sister how nervous I was about starting school on our walk there and she agreed for both of us to meet during break time in the school canteen. The first day had already been awful for me with the highlight of it realizing that I would be picked on by this one girl for the next five years. Her reason? She thought I was ugly. 

As I sat at a table waiting for my sister, a group of girls from my class walked past me making comments about how ‘ugly’ I was. I became the focal point of their laughter when my sister walked up to me and gave me a hug asking how my first few lessons were. I was suddenly torn between being in my safe space and fitting in – would I have been spared the embarrassment if I didn’t talk to my sister? I didn’t know it wouldn’t matter either way; the class bullies ran with it, teasing me relentlessly for the next five years. 

I got teased for a myriad of things during my time at secondary school, but it was all largely in comparison to me and my sister. She was tall, fairer-skinned (colorism at its finest), pretty, and above all, skinny. It didn’t help that she was also smart so whenever we had the same teachers, I would have to face comparisons by the teachers which would just become more ammunition for the class bullies. One girl in my class spread the rumor that I was adopted because there was no way one sister could be so beautiful and the other one so ugly. Another girl told me that my sister should be embarrassed to have such a fat sibling. The comments only got more demeaning from there.

I took it all out on my sister. I started arguing with her every morning so she would leave for school without me and purposefully get out of class really late so I wouldn’t have to walk home with her. Everything anyone has ever bought me down for, I would blame on her and I made sure she knew it. I bullied my own sister for my insecurities and that is a regret that will haunt me for the rest of my life. I regret my actions especially because my sister is a kind soul who has only ever encouraged me and waited patiently for me to work through any issues I was having.

It wasn’t until I got out of secondary school that I realized how awful I had been to someone who had never been mean to me – we came out of school with an overwrought relationship on my behalf. The road to healing has been long but my sister deserves to know that none of it was her fault and if I could undo it, I would.

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Humor Life

10 reasons being the youngest sibling is the best damn thing ever

Being the youngest child is a godsend. Of course, my sisters think of me as a spoiled brat, but who can blame them? I always get my way.

No, it’s not always perfect. There are definitely cons to being the youngest child of the family, but whether it’s that your parents baby you too much or don’t take your endeavors seriously, my opinion is that, as the youngest, every negative can be turned into something to exploit.

So join me on an evil journey of using our youngest child privileges to one-up our older siblings!

1. You get all your siblings’ hand-me-downs.


This might sound like a negative, but think about it: how often have you seen older, vintage pieces come back in style? Being the youngest meant that I had access to my sisters’ wardrobes as soon as their clothes were too small. Infinite band t-shirts? A fashion blogger’s dream.

2. You’re the only one left for your parents to spoil.


Hand-me-downs aren’t the only wardrobe bonus you get as the youngest child. As soon as my sisters left for university and started earning their own money, my parents focused all their buying-power in one area: me. Family Shopping Sundays, anyone?

Family Shopping Sundays, anyone?

3. You get away with pretty much anything.


Let’s face it: your parents are tired after having to deal with two or three other kids. By the time they get to disciplining you, they’re so over it, they’d rather just let you do you. I was allowed to have a boyfriend well before either of my sisters were allowed to even think about boys.

4. You can cry your way out of any misdemeanor.


When you do get in trouble, crying solves every problem. No one wants to see the baby of the family in tears, it makes them feel like monsters. So that test you failed because you forgot to study? Just throw a few puppy dog eyes in their direction and you’re set for life.

5. No one takes you too seriously.


Okay, again, this sounds like a negative. But when you consider the perks, it can actually be a huge pro for your reputation. I don’t know how many times I’ve announced to my family that I’m going to do some big thing that will blow everyone’s minds. Of course, being the baby of the family, not many people take my announcements too seriously. So when I end up failing, getting bored, or giving up, there’s no one to be disappointed in me. It’s smooth sailing!

6. You’re treated like royalty.


Whenever I get sick, my mom does everything for me. She’ll rub my back, fetch my medicine, cook me good food and even bring it in on a tray. For my sisters, it’s not so easy. Since they’re older they get treated like they already know how to look after themselves. But being the eternal baby, I get to just sit back and relax while people dote all over me. Ka. Ching.

7. You get to be bossy without people getting mad.


I prefer to think of myself as assertive rather than bossy, but I won’t lie, sometimes I teeter on the border. Whether it’s complaining to my dad to pick me up a few hours outside of curfew, or convincing my mom to cook what want for dinner, all my whining is only ever seen as cute rather than annoying or over-indulgent.

8. You never feel old.


No matter how old you get, you’ll always feel like the baby of the family. Yes, other kids will be born into the extended family, but your immediate family will only ever see you as young. Age can be difficult to deal with for some people, but when you’re the youngest child, no age ever feels too old.

9. Your parents already know what to do with you.


Your parents have had time to make mistakes with the kids that came before you. They messed up here and there, and even though your siblings aren’t scarred by it, they definitely could have used a little more practiced parenting. Being the youngest means that your parents have been through the ropes already. They know exactly what to bring to every bake sale, and they know exactly how much is too little to spend on stationery for the next school year.

10. You’re born into the age of technology.


Okay, so maybe this one only works if your siblings are way older than you. The difference between my sisters and I are that they were born a whole ten years earlier than me; a giant time jump between technological advancements. This means that while my sisters’ preferred mode of music-listening in high school was CDs on Discmans, mine has been iTunes and Tidal on my iPhone.

Being the youngest child is nothing short of amazing. Yes, there are some cons to having older siblings, but nothing beats the unlimited amounts of attention, praise, and general awesomeness thrown your way. Fellow youngest kids, how lucky are we?