Tag Siblings

2 posts

Dreams

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.

On September

Sometimes I have these weird time-based memories, and it makes some months (like this month) weirdly difficult, and I don’t really have a good reason for it, except it probably has something to do with being like “okay, don’t think about X too much during Y” and then…yay depression because of COURSE I’m thinking about X during Y and generally feeling shitty and sad and overwhelmed.
September 21, 2001 – the day the first stillborn was…stillborn. I’ve written about it┬ábefore, I don’t know why this one hurts more than the other one. Maybe because the second one is in February and February has more generally happy memories and I’m usually distracted by my birthday anyway, and maybe it’s because I selfishly didn’t want to share a birth-month, but mostly, it’s probably just because, I was able to grieve for her.
Mikiah Faith would have been 10 on Valentines Day this year. But I let myself cry at her funeral, and I held her, and I didn’t pray for her to come back.
I think the biggest difference is, I never really got to grieve Elijah’s…not existing. On one hand, it still feels silly to me to – because it’s not like I ever knew either of them…
But at the same time, both of their pregnancies meant 9 months of misery, and then sudden mourning, and then sudden spiritualization and evangelism. So even though I never knew them, I still experienced……..the whole thing.
I don’t even know if it makes sense.
I raised my siblings during those pregnancies, as I had all the others…
My life ended as our family prepared for another one to enter, and then it didn’t.
I never grieved Elijah because he was never really dead to me…
When I was still a christian I believed I’d see both my siblings again when I died…after I prayed really hard and there were no screams from the casket.
I feel like maybe I’m just having delayed grief phases.
Elijah’s death was the catalyst for so many personal changes, not the least of which was my deconversion.
It’s been over a decade, but I’m still confused by it, it still affects me, it still…weirdly, hurts.
And maybe it’s just taken so long because I spent so long not feeling. Not crying. Not grieving. Not coping….
So now as I evolve and change, and his stillbirth was the string that unraveled everything else, I’m hit with new grief and I have to start processing it…over and over, because I never had the chance to before.


And somehow this makes me miss my siblings who do exist (and currently live at home – the one who is an adult I’ve been talking with and it’s been so so good <3) so much more. And I just want to hug them and hold them and find out who they are and what they like and know them as people, and I’m experiencing a similar loss – though (hopefully) temporary, because I can’t…talk to them. Because parents. Because my sanity is important and my family is unhealthy.
September is hard, and all the feels feed into eachother and I don’t really know what to do.
It’s weird not knowing so many of my siblings, when I used to be their caretaker.