A sister may be one of the more complicated relationships there is, next to the one between mother and daughter. She's the one person who knows the most about you-- how you grew up, what you got by with, your flaws and weaknesses. She can be your harshest critic and your best friend, all at the same time. You grow up with one role, but somewhere along the way it changes. For me, it changed in my twenties. My sister went from being a pest to someone I recognized as being smart, funny and, basically a nice person. Even though we grew up under the same roof with the same parents, expectations for us were very different only because of birth order. It's a strange phenomenon.
I’m the first born in our family and sometimes I hate it that I feel so responsible. My sister is very different. Her coping mechanisms are different and her needs are different. Lately, I have to keep reminding myself to relate to her in her present life and understand her current needs instead of relating to her as my little sister and feeling like I’m somehow responsible for what she does. Old roles are hard to dislodge, I guess.