That’s how long ago she died. It seems so long ago now, but if I think back, it’s as clear as yesterday. I guess these are the things that accumulate in your life and end up defining who you are.
She was fucking crazy, no doubt about that. But she was still my sister, and somewhere deep down, she still shared a childhood with me – it wasn’t a good one, but it was ours. It ended up killing her, but for us it was all we had.
I wish I could say we were close, but that would be a lie. We were just two lost souls, trying to survive in an environment of chaos and neglect, of madness with a hard heart and no love for a helpless child. It was like that line at the end of Night of the Hunter – “It’s a cruel world for little things.”
Why did I survive and she didn’t? Well, for one thing, I managed to find a stable human who loved me in spite of all my flaws, and who supported me and hung in there until I got better. I’m now a 61 year old man who long ago made peace with his past. Sometimes, if you’re lucky to live long enough, it all comes together. I was in my 50’s when the penny dropped for me.
She ended up checking out on her own terms, overwhelmed by the kind of crazy that wasn’t going to be fixed. She was broken and nothing, at least in her mind, was going to make it better.
I loved her in my own fucked up way, but I was dangerously unstable and desperately trying to hold my own shit together, so I just did the best I could. I would have handled it so differently now, but I just didn’t have the tools or the maturity at the time. I was still trying to invent a life and be a functional human with no clue how to do it.
So Rest In Peace my sister. You’re gone but not forgotten. You taught me there are things in life that can’t be fixed. It was a brutally hard but important lesson to learn.