I’m sorry I was pushed off onto you from the time I was just a baby. Being born of different fathers, our age difference of ten years made it easy for mom and dad to make me your responsibility.
You babysat from the time I was walking. Mom and dad, being nurses, got paid more for taking the graveyard shifts at the hospital. They took the extra money and gave you the baby at 6:00 P.M.; you gave me back at 6:00 A.M. when mom got home.
I ruined your teenage years. I’m sorry. It’s no wonder we were so terrible to each other for so long. You were angry and frustrated, and I retaliated. It wasn’t unjustified. I don’t hold a grudge, there’s nothing to forgive, and I love you for being mom when mom was gone.
You protected me from the fighting—scooped me up, ran into the nearest room, and kept me close while be both cried and shook until the yelling and sound of… whatever the fuck was breaking… stopped. You were a protector, a parent, where it wasn’t your place to be.
I was a little asshole, too. I wasn’t particularly appreciative of the things we did together, what you did with me, for me, when I stayed with you. I can’t ignore that fact. And I’m sorry for that, too. You loved me then, still love me now though despite being such a nuisance for so many years. A mother’s love, as cliche as it may be, is what I’d say you gave to me.
When you moved out, got a place of your own in the city, you saved me from spending nights alone in our parents’ house. I still believe some weird shit happened in there. I remember it clearly, and I know you do, too, even if you deny it 15 years later. You kept me from being alone and scared at 8/9/10 years old. Spending nights with you playing games, watching movies, play fighting… I can’t and won’t forget that. You had an apartment, and eventually a house, with your boyfriend at the time.
He was a brother to me. You two were together for six years; from 5-11 years old, you two were a second mother and father. I remember giggling, finding it funny when people asked, “How old is your daughter?” when you took me to the mall to see a movie, or took me to eat, or had to drag me along for grocery shopping or something. That only proves my point.
…I will never fault you for getting the hell out, moving to Texas from our home state, Missouri, to get away from the screaming, the emotional abuse, …sadly, what a bastard my “brother” had truly been, and a bastard your step-dad/my biological father is/”was”.
You never left me. You just did the smart thing and got out. I was 11 years old. That’s when I was alone in the house. Sure, I was afraid for the first couple of years, definitely developed a few unhealthy coping mechanisms in the meantime, but I grew to love the peace and quiet. I was highly displeased when dad was off work.
…Even when I called you, freaked the fuck out and alone in that house that did weird shit (day or night), you answered the phone. You sat and talked to me, calmed me down, as long as you could before you had to go to bed, do something with your now-husband, whatever.
Even 1,000 miles away…, you had not abandoned your mother-like duties to the literal baby sister you’d raised. You took me to theme parks, Disney on Ice, Laser Tag, bowling. You disciplined me when I deserved it. You apologized when you were wrong—something mom and dad never did. We did things like a family would—you, N, and I.
You tried to “police me” in terms to style and shit, like mom did. Again, trying to be a mom, even when it pissed me off. I never listened, just like I never listened to mom. “Pick your battles,” as you both said. …Though you like to pick more battles than mom did.
Now adults, we hang out, go to lunch, lounge around your house, do “adult-y” things. You have two kids. O is three, K a year on the 10th of July.
And yet…, I can still come to you for help, for advice, where I know mom would blow up, or get smug with “I-Told-You-So’s”; I know you’ll be there to lend an ear and give honest feedback.
…Sisi, I’ll never call you by your first name; it’s just weird. Maybe it’s fitting though. It’s a theme. You never call your mother by her first name. I couldn’t say your first name as a toddler, but… shit, I think “Sisi” stuck for a reason.
I’m sorry for being a little shit growing up. I’m sorry for saying the fucked up things I did as a teenager—for being so cold, not coming around when I should have, disappearing family the when we’d moved down here when I was 16, and never really truly returning. The mental disorders are no excuse for that.
You’ve always been a protector, loved me unconditionally, …been “mom” where our’s has failed. She’s not perfect, put up with a lot, taken a lot from dad, but you shielded me from what you could, when you could, from the both of them.
I hope you’ve forgiven me. I hope to god you can focus on our relationship now, at 22 and 32, as it’s much better than it’s been. If not, I hope I can do something to make it up to you. I hope you will someday