If you are a girl and you have a sister, older or younger, you can relate to the pressure that comparisons between the two of you create. It’s often difficult to identify this pressure and it’s even more difficult to accept that you are jealous of the person with the deepest link to you.
I’m the middle sister. My older sister is two years older than me and my younger sister is three years younger. I honestly loved being the middle child. I felt like I got the best of all worlds. I could sneak into my older sister’s makeup and jewelry and boss around my little sister and her friends.
Then I turned 15 and my world changed. My older sister turned into this 17-year-old goddess. I swear I remember she woke up one morning and her hair was shiny blonde with curls around her face, her makeup was all shimmery and she had boobs! Ah, the Miracle Bra! I have one now. I thought it was very unfair magic then.
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My little sister also took on a new persona – the baby of the family. More unfair magic. I was left as this middle lump with flat hair and a flatter chest. Being prettier than my older sister was unattainable and acting like the baby was gross (and got me into trouble.)
Everything changed. I began to hear compliments in a very distorted light. If someone thought something good about my sisters it must mean they were trying to let me know that I was lacking in that area. If one of them succeeded, I felt like my parents must be disappointed in me. When I was complimented or achieved something I felt like it either paled in comparison to them or that it would soon be eclipsed by something they would surely do soon enough. Messed up as it was, that was my mental state.
My family, including my sisters, did all they could to counter my self-inflicted peer pressure, but to no avail. I knew lots of girls who were faster than me, slower than me, dumber than me – they didn’t matter. I knew lots of girls who were thinner than me, faster than me, smarter than me – they didn’t count. They were worlds away from me. My sisters were my mirror. We were connected. In my mind, you couldn’t see one without the other, and you couldn’t possibly appreciate us individually. There was a better and a worse. I was the short stick.
I’m thankful that I grew out of that. Lots of women don’t. Lots of girls get lost forever in the comparisons. What can you do if this is you? Not sure. Helpful, I know. Pray for better vision. It’s a tough place to be.
Every girl was created on purpose. You. Me. All of us. We’re supposed to be deeply connected to our sisters, but we have to be our own link in the chain. Take it from a recovering middle child, you’re beautiful. You’re different. You’re a little the same (or a lot the same for some). You’re supposed to be. You’re on purpose. Take a good look at you and enjoy!