With the upcoming 6 year anniversary of my father's passing, something in me told me to google my mother's name, and I ran across my sister's recovery page, then her blog.
My sister is a recovering drug and alcohol addict. There are things she did to me during that period that I have not been able to forgive her for, because I have always been hurt by the fact that my parents favored her and my other siblings over me. I know that they don't see it that way, to them I was the spoiled baby of the family. My parents gave me a lot of material things, and I know that made my siblings jealous of me.
My siblings will deny being the favorites if given the opportunity, but they never saw what I saw. They had my parents love so completely, that I never felt there was any left for me. My parents were always there for them, till the day each one passed away. My brothers and sisters heard "I love you" from them more than I ever did. In fact, my mother only ever said those words to me twice in my entire lifetime, when my daughter was born July 16th 2004, and after my mother had her seizure, that was when my aunt guilt tripped me into calling her.
Mom and dad always took care of the other kids, and I was always jealous of them growing up. They had the one thing I craved, and I didn't know how to go about getting it. But they also had problems, and I never really did. I guess you could say I was the lucky one. I just didn't see it then.
After my father passed, I wrote my family off. There was too much hurt and anger. At his funeral we sat in the front row, me right near the isle, My mother, brother J.R., and sister Sue three feet away from me in the same pew, and my other sister Candy, her son Steve, and my grandmother in the other pew. I was hurt, and crying, and not one of them tried to comfort me. In fact, the kindest person to me at the funeral home that day, was the preacher, who handed me his handkerchief to dry my tears with. My brother called me an ugly name when I stood up to speak, probably because he didn't like hearing what I had to say. But he doesn't understand that I had to say it because it was eating me up inside.
Like an addict I hung on to the hurt, the anger, the jealousy, because it was all I had my whole life. It was the only constant thing, it was all I knew. It was at that funeral, feeling alone and desperate for my family to be there for me like my dad always said they would be, that I realized that only I could make myself better. And I had to take the first step to save myself, because I had a little boy waiting at home for me to show him love, and give him what I never had... a real family. Speaking out at the funeral, and letting go of the hurt and forgiving my father was the first step. The second step, for me, was to walk away from my family and the toxic way they were choosing to live.
When my mother died, I was going through some hard times, and I was trying (not to hard though) to have a relationship with my sister. I needed money to pay rent, I got it eventually, but I had asked my sister first. Why? One I felt she owed me, because when she was doped up, and living with me, she took off and took the rent money with her, my half and hers, and left me in quite the pickle. She, of course, said it wasn't her fault, she was on drugs... but she also said no to giving me any help. So I wrote her off for the last time. I haven't spoken to her since.
My sister is the middle child. But she and I have a bond that we can't deny, because we are the spitting image of each other. No we're not Identical twins, in fact we're separated by a seven year age gap (she being older) just like my mother and her older sister. That is our bond. We are family, but we aren't. Because family will be there for you, and as my father always said, do anything for you. But they have never once done anything for me, and have always asked of me.
For a long time I gave myself to my family, gave them whatever they needed, and never asked for anything in return. I almost adopted my sister's kids when they were taken from her, when I turned 18, her and my father asked me to file for custody. I was 18! And I almost did it, but I didn't, the more I looked at it the more I realized how impossible it would have been for me to care for them properly let alone put a roof over their heads.
When I used to think of these things, I would shake with the force of the anger that built up in me, but here I am today, talking about it, and my hands are steady, and there is no tension my shoulders, there is no anger, only sorrow and pity for a family who threw away it's youngest member like so much garbage. I know if it wasn't for them, though, I would not be the strong independent woman I am today. I would not be the loving, caring kind mother that I have blossomed into, and I would not be the most loving, devoted wife to the most wonderful man in the world, and that is what I am choosing to remember.
One final note, I am proud of my sister Sue, for chasing away her demons and continuing her battle against her addictions. I hope one day, maybe, we can try to be a family, but she is the only one I would try it with again, she is the only one who deserves more than one second chance.