Sisters by Heart

she-loves-me-she-loves-me-not1How would you feel if after 13 years of knowing one man to be your father, you find out he may not be? This is what happened to my sister. It wasn’t long after I had learned that I had 2 more sisters that we found this out. They lived in Montana with their mom and I never knew anything about them until I was like 11 or 12. I’m not sure why their mother did this. I’m not in her shoes and can’t judge. Everyone handles situations different. Would I have done the same?  No, but that’s besides the point.

My father didn’t have much of a relationship with any of his daughters. He liked his women and alcohol, those things don’t go well with children in the picture. He was married a total of 5 times, heavily drank and smoked and died in 2000 at the age of 49. When he was told of this pretty important news he didn’t even bother calling her. I had only met her once, when I found out. It was still a couple years until I moved to Montana and developed a sister relationship with her. I recall telling her many times that I didn’t care who her biological father was. She was my sister by heart. It had been roughly 3 years after we found out that I moved there. The more I got to know her the more I realize how much this had really messed her up. I was dealing with my own crap, trying to fit in, in a place that was close to impossible to fit into. A very small town, a very small school. I believe there were maybe 30 students in my Sophomore class.

We tried, I tried, to have a decent relationship with her. She made my time there miserable. She was miserable. Her life had turned upside down, she didn’t and couldn’t trust her mom.  Her mother couldn’t give her a straight answer to who her real dad was. She didn’t know what kind of relationship she wanted or even deserved with me. She became a compulsive liar, made up stories to hurt people. I have never fought with one person more than I did with her. It was almost as if she hated me because I was his daughter and she didn’t know whose daughter she was. As if being my fathers daughter was something special. It was a couple more years until her mom came up with a name of a man that was most likely he father. She found him and to this day she tries and he doesn’t respond.

I get it now. She felt just as left out as I did but in a much bigger proportion. I didn’t see the big picture when I was 16. I just saw a mean girl who wanted to make my life miserable. Now that I’m older and wiser (haha funny I know) I look back and everything makes sense. How would I have dealt with it? If my mom came to me at 13 years old and told me that the only father I had ever known, that I shared with 3 other sisters, wasn’t my biological dad? That’s something I can’t imagine. There still has never been a DNA test. Her and my other sisters talk about it but I’m not sure it’ll ever happen. After all these years of her not knowing, I think she’s scared to really know. I’m not even sure if I want to know! I stand by what I told her in the very beginning, she is my sister no matter what. Now that we’re older we are close and don’t like to talk about our past together, it’s just full of hurt and bad memories. We have our future to look forward to now. I have a different kind of relationship and love with each one of my sisters. They are the sisters that were given to me and I wouldn’t change them for anything in the world. Maybe their behaviors but I’m not Superwomen ya know!

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15 Responses to Sisters by Heart

  1. shane says:

    This is a good story Nikki. Here is my thought on it. If my mother told me that Darryl might not be my biological father. I wouldn’t care, it wouldn’t change anything. I wouldn’t want to know, my dad has taken care of me my whole life and the same goes for the rest of my family. Even my crazy Aunt Joy!!! Even if a DNA test was done and I wasn’t related to my dad, I wouldn’t even want to know who my real father is. “It would be a really weird position to be in” Unless he was filthy rich JK LOL!!

  2. darryl says:

    Nice post again Nikki, Get the emotions going. I think she is your sister no matter what, If I found out one of my kids wasn’t my biological son I would not want to know, And it would not change anything.

  3. nikki says:

    I completely agree. In the end all it did was hurt her. Now she has a father who wants nothing to do with her. What’s wrong with just leaving it alone. My wish for her was that her mom would have just kept her mouth shut about it. Had she told her from the beginning it wouldn’t have been so bad.
    Darryl, this whole writing thing has been like therapy for me. I don’t like all my posts to be about how messed up my life was but that’s the hand I was dealt so take the good with the bad I guess.

  4. Elena says:

    To me blood means so little. I didn’t know I had a blood brother until I was 21, and the tiny amount of time I spent around him convinced me that he was living a life not worth being associated with. Dangerous to be associated with.

    My sister-in-law is a thousand times more real of a sibling to me than my brother was ever capable of being.

    I love the expression “sister by heart,” and I think that people whose hearts are connected are much more family than people who shut others out of their heart, or perhaps are incapable of letting people in, regardless of such details such as DNA.

    Sometimes I think blood relation is one of those tricky things like skin color or gender, a characteristic that people are tempted to assign much more meaning to than it deserves.

  5. Sue says:

    I think the important thing is, like you said, you get it now. You understand why she was the way she was now and you’ve both grown enough to move past that part of your lives and still be close. I am closer to some of my girlfriends than I am my own sisters. There was always something about me that never wanted to get close to them or my parents for that matter. I had a much easier time telling my friends anything then my sisters one thing, no matter what it was.

  6. Doraz says:

    I think it is wonderful that you have such relationships with your sisters! Life is too short to dwell on things we can do nothing about. The only reason I might want to know who my biological parents were would be for health reasons. I would like the medical history for “my” family. Otherwise, it would not really matter. I would enjoy the family I had that did care about me. Nice story. Thanks for sharing..

  7. SKL says:

    Blood is nice if you have it, but it’s not necessary at all.

    My two daughters are not biologically related. That does not make a difference at all. What really counts is the things they have gone through together, the things they will go through together in the future.

    16 months ago, two separate foster families left two very different babies with me. Both were old enough to grieve for the separation, yet too young to understand why it was happening. There was a lot of pain and stress for both – the loss and grief, extreme adjustments to adapt to, excruciating travel, etc. But they were in the trenches together. Since then, they have been through everything together – so many transitions, every cold and cough, all those times Mom was in a nasty mood. Someday, they will have to bury me together (sorry, just went to a funeral, it’s on my mind). The thought that the lack of “blood” could make a difference in their relationship . . . I would be very surprised if it ever crosses their minds.

    You have adopted your “heart sister” and that is the important thing. When you adopt someone, you stick with them through thick and thin. You may not agree or go along with their decisions, but that basic bond is unbreakable. You’ll always love your sister unconditionally.

    I have a “family secret” that is too sensitive for me to put in writing, but it’s along the lines of what you have written, somewhat. Nobody “told me,” but one day I came to know that someone wasn’t who a lot of people thought she was. I don’t think that person knows it herself. I do believe both of her parents know it, but they do not treat her any differently. It is a sad thing, but some things are a “moment in time” and must not be allowed to taint everything before and after. I’m sorry that not everyone sees things that way.

  8. Joy says:

    I really agree with what’s been said above. I honestly don’t feel “blood” makes or breaks you. Experiences are what binds you. The things you go through together, I feel, is what makes a person close and what makes you love them.

    I have to admire what Shane said about his dad. That he wouldn’t want to know and it wouldn’t make a difference. I feel the same way. I wouldn’t want to know. It wouldn’t change anything or the way I feel about my dad. He’s the one who was always there.

    When I think of myself at those pre-teen, early teen years, I was a mess. Aren’t we all? For her to go through this on top of all the other emotions and feelings and crazy idea’s that go through ones mind at this age, it breaks my heart. It also breaks my heart at the things you have gone through. You guys have gone through to much bullshit and all the “adults” in your lives should be ashamed of themselves.

    Keep loving your sister Nikki and continue to be there for her because YOU ARE SISTERS. Without hurting any feelings, didn’t any of these “sisters mothers” have a live brain cell in their heads?????

  9. nikki says:

    SKL, your daughters will be bonded in a way like no other. I think what my sister longed for was a sense of belonging. I think she was jealous that her sister shared my blood and she didn’t. In my mind we were all sisters. I know she still longs for that. Now the poor thing is going through a tough divorce and dealing with our other sisters (the really messed up one) crap. You play the hand you were given, if only you could fold and get a new hand!!!

  10. nikki says:

    Damn Joy you ALWAY make me cry! You really now how to pull at those strings. I hope they are ashamed…really! What goes around comes around….I hope that is true for those people!!!

  11. Tessa says:

    Nikki,
    It is great how much you look past the hurt your loved ones have caused you and see the person underneath the hurt. I think this is very wise and very special. I think we can love anyone as much as a blood relative. This is why I’d love to adopt one day. Writing is therapy for me too. I have like 50 journals! It’d good to see the introspection and to see someone go through so much growing up and to embrace it and turn the cycle around. Good for you.

  12. kweenmama says:

    This post and the comments have made me feel better about my husband’s situation. There is suspicion that two of his kids aren’t really his, but he doesn’t want to know whatever the truth is. He has raised the kids…therefore they are HIS. I don’t think he would ever tell the kids if he found out that they weren’t biologically related. It would hurt them too much.

  13. Gary says:

    I couldn’t agree more with the comments I have read about this post. When my wife and I married, I had a son from a previous marriage and my wife had two son’s from her previous marriage. Those boys became brothers BEFORE my wife and I married. Our boys will do ANYTHING for one another regardless of the fact that they are not biological brothers. They are MUCH closer to one another than most biological brothers in our neighborhood and our friend’s kids.

    I have heard them say they are brothers from other mothers. LMAO!!!!

  14. I really don’t think it matters much what DNA you have. You guys grew up together part of your lives, you fought and loved and lied and made up with each other. Living as sisters MAKES you sisters.
    I can understand though how it could mess anyone up, this not being sure of anything business. Your sister probably felt a lack of identity by not knowing whose daughter she was, and I think that many people would feel this way in her situation.
    Now that you’re older though, I do hope she realizes as well that it’s not so important to know if you share a couple ounces of blood or not- if you’re there for each other, acknowledge each other as sisters, then you ARE sisters.

  15. Pammy says:

    You have an awesome way of writing.I get choked up reading and I feel for you.You are a survivor.Wow,the stuff you have endured and you are on top.And never forget you are a wonderful person and have an awesome family to hold you up when you feel down.Journaling is great therepy.I have had dozen of them.They really help to heal.sisters are awesome and frutrating,but all worth it.I have bestbuds,I call them my sisters and mean it.Its a bond women form through all our trials,they are there no matter what you do,even if they dont like the direction you are taking,they will always love you.And when they hurt,you hurt.Thats a sisters love from the heart.

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