When do you become an adult? At 16, 18, or 21? Is it when you get your first job, when you get married, or when you have a child?
Honestly, I don’t remember when I became one. Maybe at the age of 9, when I started staying home alone , looking after myself & my house when my parents went to parties and gatherings. Maybe at the age of 15, when I had my first break up. Times of crying myself to sleep every night for a month and then moving on all together. Maybe at the age of 16, when my dad was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. Maybe after a couple of months, when a close one died.
What if I tell you nothing of the above changed me into an adult but living with constant torment of an elder sister? I’m 19 years old and she’s 22, and how all my life, every day of it I’ve had to act as an adult. I’ve never mentioned her to my friends at school, or college now. It’s like me creating a world of my own where she doesn’t exist. Nor the torment.
Every day I wake up, it is never the silence or birds chirping. It’s always her. Her voice, words of resent she hurls at me. Imagine my torment being called a cunt, a whore by my own sister. I don’t know why she loathe me so much. It couldn’t be ‘envy’, for my parents bought her everything that I own. Even if she never uses any of it and keeps all her things locked away , away from my reach. Till it rots and expires.
It’s like my mere presence bothers her. I could no longer eat with my parents in the same room, or ask for extra food. I can not invite my friends over. For she never stops humiliating me. I’m always locked into my room when at home. Hiding from her, in hope to avoid few obscene words. Though it never stops. She’s always there, on the other side of the door. With her constant smutty insults and repetitive filthy sentences. And she has got good at it. Always picking up at my sensitive issues.
Body confidence? A far-fetched word for me. How are you supposed to feel good about yourself when you’ve been shamed about every single flaw of yours, every single day? And no I’m not just talking about height and weight. I’m articulating all the moments when every bite I swallowed was served with vile profanities.
A teenager of my circumstance would prefer to stay outdoors. Often.
I don’t. My introversion is no disease. I cherish solitude and staying on my own. Although college is anything but. The long hours spent between raging crowds and surviving small talk leaves me overwhelmed. The group activities and the debates. Presentations are fine. But ‘extempore’? A nightmare. I’m all exhausted by the evening, drained of all the social interactions. And when my bedroom seems like a solitary confinement. I welcome it.
It’s a continuous battle between avoiding people outdoors and dealing with my sister indoors. And how do I cope up? I write. And I drink. And I cut myself. No I’m not ashamed.
Peer pressure or mere fascination were never the reason for when I had my first drink. It was my sister. When she called me nasty profanities in front of my tutor. I was humiliated. Bad. An ex boyfriend or board exams were never the reason, when I cut myself for the first time. It was my sister. When she called me a whore with obscene details in front of my dad.
My parents say, she’s not mentally stable. For me to ignore her words. Not to speak back when she provokes and act as an adult rather. Maybe it was this statement of theirs, when I actually became an adult.