Over the 6+ years of this blog, I think it's safe to say that it's been well-documented that Holly and I haven't always a good relationship, or a relationship at all, really. Which is a big part of the reason why I expected living with her to be much more difficult than living with a stranger. (Silly, silly me.)
It wasn't until we moved up here that we became the kind of sisters I often used to wish we were. The sisters who didn't just get along, but who enjoyed spending time together and confided in each other. I actually really like having her here, especially considering everything that's been happening.
I used to think that she showed up at ERs or came to the hospital with me just out of a sense of duty, because of the fact that even when we don't get along, we're still family and that's what family does. It never really occurred to me that she really could be concerned for me and worried about protecting me. Once, one of her ex-boyfriends told me there were several times where he had to hold her as she cried over fear of losing me or something bad happening to me, but honestly, I thought he was exaggerating or making something up to try and make me feel bad (which, if you knew the context of the conversation in which he said that and the history of our interactions with each other, wouldn't be far-fetched). I truly did not believe that she was that emotionally invested in me, because she'd spent so many years seeming to cut herself off from the family.
Well, turns out that ex-boyfriend was telling the truth. Last weekend, I fell in Spiegel's bathroom and hit my head and got rushed to the hospital as a trauma patient (no worries, everything is fine), and when you're in a trauma room, no one but medical staff is allowed in there. The doors were shut and for the first time, Holly wasn't allowed to be with me. When they brought me back out of the trauma room, the look on Holly's face was like she'd seen a ghost. It was honestly unlike anything I'd ever seen from her. Until a couple nights ago.
Because then, we were talking, and she told me that sometimes she still has nights where she wakes up in a cold sweat because of having nightmares about me getting hurt or dying. To say I didn't expect that would be an understatement. While I definitely do not like scaring anyone, especially my family, it actually really hit me in a good way to hear her say that. And that's only because it showed me that I never really had my sister figured out like I thought I did. She's very good at putting up walls and not letting people see or know what is really going on with her, which pretty much explains the first 22 years of my life with her, but I think moving here together and being so far away on our own has helped us both to tear down walls we had up to shut each other out. We haven't had a choice but to rely on each other.
Family is hard. But as messed up and dysfunctional as mine can be, and all the tense history it holds, particularly with me and my sisters, I'm still really grateful for it. I feel like, with Holly, I'm finally getting the sister relationship I tried so hard to get before, the one I hoped and prayed would come. Who would've guessed that moving 600 miles away was all it took to make it happen?