Twenty-Two; an open letter to my sister


you recently turned twenty-two and i felt a sudden responsibility to write this to you as you have become a woman separate from me.

i can remember the day you were born. i was so excited to have a little sister and i told all my classmates and teachers, even the teachers that weren’t mine, that on that day i was to be an older sister. i felt much responsibility over you and felt that i had things to show you and to teach you. you were too young to learn them just yet and i was too young to know how much you really would need to know to be prepared for this world.

i did, however, teach you many things – i taught you how to walk, i read you many books, i watched your favorite shows, and as you got older i would help you with your school work. i also began trying to protect you from this world. i tried to shield you from our parents fighting and the dysfunctions of growing up in that household. when you left my life at age ten i was so conflicted by the different feelings i had. i was so sad that you were no longer going to be a center piece in my life, but also relieved that after so many years the woman who tortured me for most of my life was finally out of my life for good. i won’t say more about this here, but if you ever want to talk about this stuff we can.

so much time has past since then and i have spent most of that time running away from my problems that i have left you behind and you have found your own way without me. it wasn’t the way i expected but now you are such a strong, independent woman, beautiful inside and out. i have watched from afar the transformations you have made and have been so proud of you and scared for you as well.

you are so angry with the world just like i have always been. you seem to be struggling to find the source of your anger and learn to point it in the right direction. that has been the hardest thing for me as well. i spent my early twenties so angry at everything and everyone that i made so many mistakes and hurt many people, mainly myself. i was nihilistic, nothing mattered, i didn’t matter, life had been so hard for me and i began to direct this anger toward myself – i didn’t feel i had self-worth, i didn’t love myself, and i treated myself badly. i looked for love in the wrong places, rebelled against the wrong people, and let my apathy become my guide in making reckless decisions.

i allowed men to feed off of my energy to reproduce themselves. i loved men who loved themselves much more than me and used me to feel important. i spent time with worthless people who felt tall by holding me down. i allowed myself to be abused, to be mistreated, to be torn to shreds. i am a strong woman because of my experiences, but am damaged goods because of them too. i know you are strong and hope you never have to pay that price.

being a woman gives you such an important and beautiful place in this world although it is one of the hardest places to exist as well. we create the world so we have the ability to change it in a way that men do not. plus you are a queer woman which makes things that much harder for you and makes you that much more important. your voice will move mountains and crumble cities. your strength will bring kings to their knees. use this power for good, dear sister. use this strength to make change.

you have always been so strong and so passionate. do not let that anger eat you alive. be humble, be compassionate. understand that you are no better than your ability to relate to people around you. find beauty in things, fight when you must and listen when you can learn. i am so proud of you, my loving sister, for all of your accomplishments and your wisdoms. i see a future filled with struggle as it has always been a struggle for you, but also there is so much potential for greatness in you.

i wish you the moon and the stars, my little sister.




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