I never pretend to be a victim of a rough childhood. Life taught me a lot. I actually take pride in my upbringing and childhood because it made me relentless, innovative, and it lit the fire that would later make me a successful businessman. Another reason I don’t accept the victim role is because I feel like it affected my sister worse.
My mom recently said to me, “You and your sister was thick as thieves as kids — what happened?” To be honest, life did. My sister and I were definitely close but in our need to survive, we weren’t on the same page. Everything that I did was for the survival of us. My sister didn’t understand it. She was younger and took after my mom’s side more than that of our father. Everyone on our dad’s side was hustlers. Whether it was organized crime (some would get indicted) or liquor or real estate, a way was found to survive. My mother’s side has a prominent trait of emotional dependency on one another. On my father’s side, everyone is moving and working to make it and they don’t have the time for much. Mom’s side is more dependent like a house of cards. If one piece falls, then damn near everything can crumble.
I often sit back and unrealistically feel like a failure because I feel like my sister and her post traumatic stress from our childhood could have been deterred if I had chosen to stay home and be in my books instead of in the street. When she needed love the most, the people who she looked to for security had all abandoned her in a sense. My dad was being a kingpin and whatever that entails; my mom was doing her criminal shit. Then you have me: her last piece of security, her last hope who basically went off and chose to feed her nutritionally versus emotionally. In a way, I know that I let my sister down and I know that we may never be as close as we were in our early years. However, I do love her and would end many a life over her. Every move that I made was for her but I feel that’s not something you lay onto someone. Your good intentions will be consumed by the fact that you laid blame for whatever rift you have on the person that your “good” was intended for. I just sit back and hope that one day she sees what my intentions were.
I’ve put my sister through med school and she graduates in 2015. Wildly enough, we hadn’t seen each other for a few years until December 2014. In fact, I write this piece as she sits here. Somehow seeing her now assists me in completing this entry. It’s like she’s timid. She’s trying to see if I hold any grudges from our childhood but reach out. I reach back but it’s awkward. As much as I do (and as much as I’ve shown that I love her) she seems to fear that the next fuck up may be her last before I cut her off. As children more often than not, my sister looked to have me be the scapegoat for many things, Fact or fiction. I was the sacrificial lamb. I willingly wore it because I was all for whatever got my sister out of trouble. However, more and more distance separated the two of us as the stories became more extreme. The love never stopped but the distance from which love was given changed. When I look back, however, I see as it as a sign of my little sister crying out for attention. To this day, she still feels the need to seek it out. The good part is that I’m not being destroyed in the process.
I sit here in our mom’s home, sipping my mango tea, looking at my sister… but not knowing how to tell a beautiful young lady who wears the emotional war wounds of her childhood on her sleeve, that “it’s ok.” We’ve had talks where I’ve expressed that I hold no grudge. What would make me happy is having a sister who finally realizes how much she’s loved by me. I feel that the possibility is lost and it tears me up inside. I often state publicly and to those I date that any woman I get with and have a child with is stuck with me. This is a main reason. The post traumatic stress experience that comes with feeling abandoned and being raised in a broken home is very real. I live with it every day. I’m not one of these guys who can not give a fuck. I have a difficult time walking by the homeless. Imagine the torment when it’s my own flesh & blood suffering somehow…
The flip side is that my sister has been close by all of my life so she knows how I treat or discard people who have done things I feel have crossed me. She fears not having a brother therefore she’s always timid. Meanwhile I fear her never understanding how much I love her and that I’d never abandon her. The mental scarring that one can go through because of a broken home or broken family dynamic is real. Always keep yours close. If you create it, always be there. Money isn’t enough — your presence, your love and your devotion is necessary. The sacrifice just may not be worth it.
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