My Sister Saved My Life
I post a lot about my sister. It’s because I think about her a lot. I think about her life. I think about her death.
I have Survivors Guilt…. This is a real thing. However it is not revolving around her Death, it is more revolving around her life and the horrible events that happened to her as a child. My sister was sexually molested by a male relative who now lives out of the country. It started when she was 5, and lasted until she was 13. I was born when my sister was 5. Possibly a trigger for him, who really knows. Once things began to surface when my sister was older, it seemed as if most people in the family blamed her. They said she was lying, and treated her horribly. When my parents divorced, it seemed that they just let us (my sister and I) go too. I am 100% positive I am a better person because they let us go.
My sister was put into mental hospital at the age of 16, they diagnosed her with, “split personality disorder”. Which I know understand is called “Dissociative Identity disorder”. WebMD has the definition as, “is thought to be an effect of sever trauma during early childhood, usually extreme, repetitive, physical, sexual, or emotional abuse.” As an 11 year old kid I didn’t understand the multiple trips to the mental hospital to visit my sister, I had no comprehension as to what was going on. I knew what they told me, and I knew that I wanted to be anywhere but there. I blamed my sister.
Lets fast forward in time…. a grown man who is dying of cancer with his guilt, comes and apologizes to my mother. My mother knows exactly who he is, and why he is apologizing. My sister during therapy, had told us about how the male relative had brought his friends over, and they had molested her too. This man who was apologizing was one of the men the male relative would bring over. The man was scared, he knew his time was coming and the guilt was overwhelming.
So…..how did she save my life?
My mother has told me stories, of my sister always talking about, “protecting the baby”. I was the baby, my mother didn’t understand at the time. It all makes sense now… I remember my sister cuddling me to sleep at night, and always taking care of me. Much of this I repressed in my memory box somewhere safe…. When my sister became addicted to drugs, it was hard to stay close to her and those memories were good memories I didn’t want to remember, because it was so hard to distance myself from her. My survivors guilt comes from the years of torture she went through and I escaped. My life would be forever changed because those horrible acts never happened to me, and only her.
When my sister died, I was sad. Beyond sad. The grief was maddening…. But I also felt a sense of relief. She had lived a life in her own head for a long time…. She couldn’t escape the nightmare.
Her death occurred on 07/12/13, I can remember the day so vividly. I received a call from my father at 7:30 am. I knew something was wrong, someone was dead. I dropped to my knees when he told me, my chest felt like it might cave in….We were camping with my sisters middle son, and some friends. I caught my breath….and went in and watched him sleep for a few moments….. just a few more moments before I woke him and shattered his innocence. I woke him and told him she was dead. He laid in my lap for a few minutes and cried. I called my mother, and my brother (who already knew) went over to be with her as I told her on the phone. After talking to my mom, I called my sisters oldest son to tell him. The autopsy revealed my sister died of an aneurysm.
We had spoke about a week prior to her death. She told me she was sick, and I encouraged her to go to the doctor, which she did and they sent her home. I believe the death of my sister encouraged me to attempt pregnancy, and ultimately conceive. Her death made me realize how short and precious life is. It made me re-evaluate whether or not I wanted to carry a baby. My sister had five babies, all of who she loved so much. Her past had made parenting almost impossible, but she loved them more than anything in this world. Logan was conceived on 10/23/13, and born on 07/13/14. One year and one day after my sisters death. The saddest day of my life, gets to be followed by one of the happiest.
So what am I accomplishing by writing this blog? I wanted to break the silence. So everyone and anyone who cares to read this knows that my sister was amazing. So anyone who has survived childhood trauma knows you are not alone.