This I Believe

Olivia - Helton, Kentucky
Entered on April 11, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family

I Believe She Will Not Be Me

I believe I will always be there when she needs me. I believe she will never have to face the obstacles I did. I believe she will not make the same mistakes I did. I believe she will not be me. When I was four years old, my younger sister was born, and my days of being an only child were ended abruptly. I was very jealous of the attention this new baby was receiving and did not like having a sister in the slightest. The next year, my life was turned upside down, and having a little sister was a mere insect bit compared to the attack my life received. When I was five years old I began being molested, the sexual abuse stopped when I was eight. During these three years of my young life, I was given the task of realizing that life is not always a happy occasion, and I grew up very quickly.

During those years, I became very protective of my sister, keeping a careful watch over her at all times, just to be sure nothing like what happened to me ever came her way. I became her mother, while our parents were out drinking the night away, I was tucking my little sister into bed reading her bedtime stories at the age of 6 (very short books of course). Once the abuse had ended I had truly become my sister’s guardian, and parent. While our parents were busy dealing illegal drugs, I was asking people for rides to take my sister and myself to church.

The years past and my sister and I had grown an unbreakable bond. Throughout childhood and adolescence I dealt heavily with depression and anxiety, but the major blows were trying to hide these things, so that my sister would not worry. I became a woman early on in my life and had major self-esteem issues. I began to drink at an early age and dated guys much older than me. Having parents that did not care made a huge impact on this. I just tried to make them notice me.

My junior year in high school everything began to change. I met a nice guy, and began hanging out with him a lot. At first I thought it was too good to be true, but as time passed I realized that with him was where I was supposed to be. At this point I was 16 years old. I had wasted much of my life being unhappy and the affect on my sister was very noticeable. I began taking her places with me, lecturing her on what is right and wrong. I was telling her who she should and should not hang out with and once again felt as if my life had purpose and meaning.

In a few short years, I transformed from the wild girl trying so hard to catch the attention of her parents, to the caring sister and friend I was once. I regret the fact that I changed so much; it could have been destructing for not only me, but my sister as well. Just because I made these mistakes, and just because I had to overcome these obstacles does not mean that my sister should go through the same things I did.

I love my sister more than anything, and though our parents have changed a lot in the course of the years, I still feel like she needs me. Now she has loving parents, and a very protective and watchful sister.

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The older sister who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a person who cares.”

~Henri Nouwen