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Turn your wounds into wisdom. (Oprah Winfrey)

Two Sisters, One Roof---

I walked into the kitchen, Cari (the 16 year old lil' witch, note I said witch, we'll get to that later.) was getting ready for her presentation at school. She wasn't nervous at all about getting up in front of large group of parents because she does love the lime light. She was dressed very pretty. Her make up was casting a very mysterious, yet lovely elegance. Rather remarkable in fact, for a girl of 17. Her eboney eyes seemed to the most captivating thing going on, overshadowing everything else, including her pretty dress. Well, not 'her' dress actually. Once I got past her beauty, I quickly questioned 'the dress'. I asked her if it was her sisters. She tried to dodge my question and continued flitting around the room, collecting her shoes, her earings, spritzing her perfume. She just seemed to be gliding around on air with the effortless motion, as if to be floating. Cari is a free spirit, and nothing short of an ancient soul. At least she appears that way.
 The youngets of the 5 kids, she established, and maintained the 'Strong Little Puppy' position from toddler on. She was quite good at behaving as though she was the oldest. Sweet, generous, endearing, and ever so caring,(hence the name cari) but also, 'The Dictator'. From the time she could talk, the kids were constantly complaining, and whining begging me to make her stop acting as though she was in charge! Well, she was, and she saw nothing wrong with this position. A natural leader, why would anyone expect to change it? For the most part, the kids accepted her somewhat powerful disposition, except for one...the 4th one...the sister. The older sister. When it comes to the dynamic between these two siblings, you could pretty much picture 'the 4th one' with skin green as the wicked witch of the west! No joke, in fact, I do believe she would't care less if Cari was abducted, and sold to an underground prostitution ring in a foreign country! I am not exaggerating here, this relationship has brought new meaning to the sibling rivalry thing! I will say though, the 4th one is the initiator. She engages quite willingly, constantly confrontational, and obsessed with selfishness, but only when it comes to Cari. With the rest of the kids, there are absolutely no issues. In fact, to defend her a bit, she is particularly sweet, friendly, smart, social, and beautiful, but none of those characteristics emerge when it comes to Cari. You can almost see her swell when Cari comes near her! So, you get the picture?
 When I asked Cari about the dress, she tried to divert the topic. I pressed and she said, "Well Lily, gave me a bunch of her clothes. This was in my closet so I guess she gave it to me" Smart to the ways of her thinking, and her skill at white-washing, I questioned her. "Are you sure she put the dress in your closet"? Now to clarify things for you readers, Cari loves to 'borrow Lily's things' This drives Lily absolutely stark raving mad. To a certain point, I understand. I also have told Cari for most of her natural born life, to stay out of her sisters things. Yet, Cari continues to borrow, and Lily continues to wage full scale war. I've tried to reason with Lily, and suggested she realize maybe Cari just wants to mimmick her. Maybe it's a compliment. Maybe it's nicer to share!! The problem I have empathizing with Lily, is she is very selfish when it comes to Cari. None of the kids have this issue, they all share with each other, and quite generously at that. Yet, for some reason, these 2 girls have a real conflict in this area. Cari will give Lily anything she has without question, and believe me, Lily will borrow from her. So the standard seems quite unbalanced when it comes to Lily relinquishing and giving very much to Cari. So as a mother, I see Lily behaving badly. When they were little, I could smooth things out, and pretty much control the situation. I could reason with them both, telling Cari not to take her sisters things, and telling Lily to be nice and share. As time went by, they got bigger, and things got worse. Lily is now 20, and Cari, now more than ever, LOVES HER SISTERS THINGS!!! I can understand, she's at an age when image is vital. Lily has always been more feminine as far as self expression. Cari's more sweat shirts, and whatever, kind of a tom boy. As this shifts, and Cari has become more aware of her feminine side, she wants Lily's things even more! It's funny because Cari has always been 3 years behind, so with each phase, and Lily leading the way, Cari follows suite. You get it, it makes sense, and it's all normal phases. What's not normal is how it plays itself out! Clear the decks, the fur will fly! Lily is the one to do the skinning!
  "Okay, the dress was in your closet. So if Lily walks in this house, and sees you in that dress, what's going to happen'? I asked. Before Cari could utter one word, the door opened and in a blink, smoke started blowing from the snorting nostrils of the raging bull. "Oh my god you little bitch! Get that dress off your scanky body before I rip it off myself!!"I immediately tried to curb the irrational reaction from Lily, but it was on! There was no re-focusing her. Next thing I knew, Lily was outside on the deck absolutely livid, screaming and swearing, in an attempt to involve the neighborhood! I ran outside and told her to get in the house and stop acting crazy. Cari was still standing in the kitchen as if nothing happened. this is how Cari engages, by appearing nonchalant. This drives Lily bizerk. I have to say, Cari's way is probably most effective. She assumes and establishes control and power by exercising calm reserve. It's kind of funny to see this work. I told Cari to go change the dress, and before she could leave the room, Lily, whose rage was simply not going to let Cari get away so quickly, lunged past me (almost plowed through me) and made an attempt to pull Cari back to finish the fight. Cari, who is unwilling to engage, not because she couldn't kick her sisters ass, because she does out weigh her, and is solid muscle. She however has great self control. It is that very display of self control that drives Lily even further into rage. Cari refuses to fight, but everyone, and everything in Lilys path, will be run over or pushed aside! Including me! So of course I am forced to take a stand, generally for my own protection, which in turn makes Lily feel that I am taking Cari's side. She just can't see how her behavior is dragging people in, and creating a need for anyone involved to take a personal stand, mostly for purpose of self defense! I try to explain to her, and get her to get a grip on herself, but she is immediately dysfunctional.
 In the midst of the confrontation, their Dad walks in. Keep in mind, we are divorced. He steps into action just as Lily is lunging full throdle towards Cari, and I just happen to be in the middle of the crossfire! Before Lily could make direct contact, that being a blow to Cari's face, their Dad grabbed Lily. He used his force, and his yelling (which is very similar to Lily's. In fact, exact) to demand she get a hold of herself. I ushered Cari upstairs, and made her change. I repeated the same old thing I've repeated to her a million times, "Stay out of her things"!! Cari just looked at me. I will be honest and say I can see how deeply it does hurt Cari. She wants to look pretty, and her sister is not willing to help her. This bothers me as their mother. I have a hard time understanding why Lily has such a deep issue here. I don't know that I could ever pin point the apparent loathing Lily has towards Cari. It's a very painful dynamic. Very dysfunction.
 Cari changed the dress. She delivered her presentation with deliteful poise and strong command. She has a truly bewitching element in her personality. I wish her sister would view her with the same lense. I love both my daughters, and they are both fully loaded with wonderful characteristics, and talents. Separate, they are both easy and loving. Together they are like pitbulls.
Let's see what tomorrow may bring..................