HA note: The following is reprinted with permission from Kierstyn King’s blog Bridging the Gap. It was originally published on November 18, 2014.
I had a dream last night, and in that dream I spent a lot of time with my closest-in-age sister doing chores.
She’d taken up the slack for me since I was gone and had figured out how to do all the dishes and things required for keeping a house full of 8 people clean. We talked, and I realized she wasn’t the little kid I used to know anymore. She was growing into her own, and it was beautiful…..
But also painful. Because I wasn’t there. Because I abandoned her. Because my role was forced upon her when I left and she was angry, as she had every right to be. As I watched in awe and horror as she did my job, and was surprised and sad at how good she was being the next surrogate mom. I saw her anger and depression and exhaustion and I was powerless to fix it. She had every right to be angry with me, every right to be tired. Every right to grow and become her own person and enjoy her teenage years and yet that was brutally taken away from her – like it was with me. Through no fault of our own.
My mom was in the background, hovering and dictating as she does. Neither of us dared address the actual issue or the people who were actually at fault and made the decisions we were forced to live with. I bore the blame and the anger, because it was all I could do – and I told her as much as I could that she was perfect and capable and amazing.
It was only a dream, I tell myself.
And yet…..it’s probably not far from the reality.
I can’t ignore that running away, that choosing myself for the first time, didn’t leave scars on the siblings I
helped raised. I wonder what it would have been like to just have siblings, instead of children – to have played and been more equal instead of responsibility for their needs foisted upon me as a child. I wish I’d been able to share childhood with them, instead of having to grow faster so I could meet their needs as a parent would. I wish I could have been real friends with my siblings, instead of nurse.
I wonder often what that’s like. What’s it like to have siblings as friends and playmates and obnoxious little sneaks, instead of people you need to raise, bathe, feed, and educate?
What’s it like to have siblings that your parents don’t cut you off from?
I wish so much didn’t happen the way it did – the way it had to.
I’m so sorry that it did, and I’m so sorry I hurt them.
Thank you a dozen times. I feel like this about my siblings every day.
Oh my goodness Kierstyn! I’m so sorry you feel this way and I know exactly how you feel, I could of written this post! This hits SO close to home!!!!