Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Blood.

When I was three, my mom and my dad got married. When I was three, my mom and my dad divorced. Yes, I was one of those kids that always hoped their parents would get back together. My dad was a cool dad, the one that would never spank you-he would use logic like, "tell me why you think I'm upset you ate cookies before dinner?" On the weekends I would visit him, I would drink Squirt cola at two in the morning and get the 10 pack of burritos from Del Taco. My mom was the bad guy. I always had to spend the night with my grandparents because my mom had to do things like work double shifts as a waitress. She would make snide comments on the Monday after my dad's weekend like, "God I hate when you come back from your dad's! He doesn't give you any rules!" During my early years, we lived on Avenue E with my grandparents. Then 16th Street. Then Avenue E. Then Avenue G. Then Avenue E. Then Avenue F. Then Avenue E. I made friend after friend after friend because I was shuffled around schools so much. I didn't have time to be shy. I remember, in fourth grade, going back to the school I spent second grade in, and a girl came up to me and said, "Remember me? I was your best friend when you went to school here!" I thought to myself, "I was? Geez, I don't even know you."

Before me, my mom had a son and a daughter from her previous marriage, and my dad had a daughter, so technically I wasn't an only child, but I never felt like I belonged in my own family. My brother is 8 years older than me, so I barely know him; who wants to hang out with a 10-year-old when you're 18? My oldest sister is 5 years older; the age difference growing up was a little too wide for us as well-she loved The Gap and U2; I loved Hot Topic and Nine Inch Nails. My grandparents loved and raised us like we were their own, and even though they loved us unconditionally, they were not affectionate. We would hug Pop and say "I love you", and he'd pat our back and say "uh huh". My mom and dad are huggers. My siblings? Not so much. Hugging my brother and sister is awkward; it feels forced. Don't get me wrong, I love them-but we just never hugged or were verbally affectionate.

The sister I shared with my dad was only 2 years older than me; in theory we could play Barbies together, and listen to the same genre of music and go to the same school-in theory. My dad also had weekends with her, and either we didn't share the same weekend or she didn't come over. Eventually her mother remarried and her stepdad petitioned to adopt her. I was maybe 9 when this went down. I always thought, as I still do sometimes, that even though she was gone she was still my sister. I mean, it's not my fault that she got adopted, right? When I was 11, my own mother remarried and I was asked if I would also like to be adopted. By this time I hadn't seen all the opportunity my sister was able to receive by not having my dad as her dad, and I threw a FIT just even being asked. I would never do what she did and bail on my dad! That would make me a monster! Who cared that my dad didn't pay child support, or pick me up when he was supposed to! He lets me stay up until 3am! I get to watch scary movies! When I got engaged, my fiancé and I sat down with my mom and I casually asked her, "Mom, what made you marry my dad? I mean, I was in the damn wedding! Why didn't you just stay dating?", and she casually told me "It looked better if we married so your father could get full custody of your sister". Her words sank in, and just ended up a checkmark on the list in my head on why I shouldn't be alive. Other reasons on that list? My parents and my siblings all got delivered by the same doctor and the same hospital. Before I was born, that doctor died. My sister and brother went to three schools in their entire lifetime; I went through twelve. My brother and sister both have no traces whatsoever of depression, and their kids all came out healthy with no developmental problems. Yeah, these reasons might sound trivial to you, but to me these are all rational and logical reasons why I feel God made a boo-boo.

Anyway, about the "long-lost" sister. I always tried to catch up with her. She lived a town away, and was only a couple years older, but it was like pulling teeth. I don't consider that her fault, I honestly believe that her mother wanted all residue of my side of the family dissolved in her brain. I came across a picture of her when I was 12 and she was 14. She was blonde, and slim, and tall; I was curly haired with braces and a flat chest. I immediately and instantly looked up to her. My oldest sister, well, I didn't look up to her per-se, knowing her dad was reliable and dependable and a DAD was proof enough she was a good person. My other sister for all I know could have been shooting up heroin in high school and I would still have thought she was AMAZING. She had this whole life, these prospects that I wasn't able to have. She went to a University. She double majored and then got accepted into medical school. My mom had to work double shifts to pay for my braces and counseling and summer camp that my dad promised to pitch in but never did. Not only did I feel like a black sheep for a) Not having the perfect life, b) Not having the perfect dad, but also for a) Not having perfect teeth like my brothers and sisters, b) Not having a perfect mental state like them either.

As an adult, I found my long-lost sister on the Internet, and to me she is still AMAZING. She is beautiful, in a state of great health, and livin' the dream. I am terrified to ask her if she thinks of me as her sister. Her mother ended up having another child, and even though his blood and my blood are in equal proportions towards her, I have no doubt they are brother and sister.

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