I have a sister who is 7 years younger. My parents divorced when I was 10 and she was just 3. I have many memories of my chaotic childhood and some issues from it, as well. My sister, however, remembers nothing negative. Our whole life, you would have thought we were raised in two different families, because essentially, we were.
My dad was in and out of rehabs throughout my adolescence. I remember the violence, the rage, and the fear his disease created in us. I remember wondering if he would have the face of Dr.Jekyl or Mr.Hyde on any given night. I remember the apprehension in the air waiting for his return home after a night out and hiding under the covers as all hell would break loose between he and my mom. When I was
15, my dad finally found a program that worked for him and has been recovering for 20 years.
My mom, until I was 10, was a broken woman, while she raised me. She was just tired and didn't know where to turn or how to deal with the life she found herself in. After the divorce, she recovered well and moved on, but partially, for me, some damage had already been done.
My sister has no recollection of my mom's anguish and weakness, my dad's disease and anger, and all the pain that resonated in our house during her first few years. Even after the divorce, my parents were able to hide the lingering problem of addiction from her. She was raised by a confident, independent, and above all happy woman and it shows.
My sister and I have very similar lives now. We each are married with 4 kids, 3 girls and a boy. We both stay at home and each have a modest one income family, so we understand making sacrifices. We agree on most everything and are best friends.
There is a glaring difference in us though. She doesn't have the insecurities that I have. I try so hard to please, she couldn't care less what anyone else thinks! She makes friends easily, I'm self-conscious and cynical. I'm hard on myself and am my worst critic, she is happy-go-lucky and doesn't expect perfection in her life.
I'm happy that she is so well- adjusted, and was able to come out unscathed, but sometimes I'm sad and a little jealous that I carry this baggage.