Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: ENVY (jealousy of anotherís advantage) (02/12/15)
- TITLE: Sibling rivalry is a bitter dish, best served with self-pity and acid reflux.
By Judith Gayle Smith
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And that never fails to irritate me - she isn't governed by fashion, she is all herself and is not ruled by the need to be "correct." She doesn't need nor care for face makeup. Her blue eyes slant catlike - fringed with dark lashes any makeup artiste would die for. Dark red lips, full eyebrows . . .
She doesn't concern herself with the mundane, miserable choices of which bills to pay and which to pray. Food and a roof over her head are always provided - and the ever-present, always delicious dark chocolate bar awaiting her in the freezer.
She captures love and attention, and her sweet little smile is a heart grabber. Everyone who meets her falls instantly in love. She has the sweetest face and helpful manner - if you were to close your eyes, you would see her as a six-year old child, anxious and over-willing to please.
Okay - granted she entered this world almost one month early - that explains her little frame, her head that seems but half my clumsy size. Teensy little nails - so narrow and perfect. Eyelashes "out to there" - and so beautiful when tearing up - not like my reddened puffy glare and snot-nosed portrait of angry jealous frustration.
Sibling rivalry is a bitter dish, best served with self-pity and acid reflux. Wherever I go, folks ask me about her - not once about me. How am I doing? Funny you should ask - seething with jealousy.
She always reached Mom's lap first - always weeping over some hurting creature - most often, herself. I remember, in Junior High School, learning the word "bitchen" - which then meant fantasmic utter "right on" - and when she showed me one of her beautiful paintings, I graced her with that new word. She ran all the way home, crying, telling Mom that I had called her a bitch. One of the few times I tried to be nice . . .
She even outdid me on suicide attempts. She sobbingly informed Mom that she had attempted suicide. I, jealous rage-filled, kept all my teen-age angst to myself. Why bother Mom when she wouldn't, couldn't understand my pain, being thoroughly engrossed with my suffocating needy sister?
Always tearful, she commandeered Mom, bending Mom's heart and comfort all to herself. I quickly learned not to compete. How could I? I wasn't able to push myself on Mom while my older sister had her undivided attention and sympathies. I swallowed my jealousy, my hurts, my needs.
Jealousy, envy, spite, pain and unforgettable grief come when we do not know - nor want to know - the root cause of our bitterness. I was constantly challenged to be strong - almost heroic, to be the emotionally stable rung up the family ladder.
A few years ago, when my overprotected sister lost her husband and our Mom - and we took her in to our hearts and home - I was able to discern the truth about her and Mom. It was shocking. She was older, witnessing the brutality perpetrated on Mom by our angry, drunken father who hurt us all. She desperately feared to go to school and leave Mom alone with him. She ran home to make sure Mom was alright. Why didn't she tell her dense little sister? I was so full of myself I couldn't see the great pains suffocating us.
Envy cripples. My sister envied my , working full-time, responsibly paying bills, driving cars.
Mom let her become a ward of the State of Ohio. Mom couldn't cope. Sis wouldn't care for herself, being overly medicated for severe mental problems.
I maintained that I had the same genes, the same environment growing up - and I hurt the same as she does. I, envious, just kept quiet about it.
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