I sat there in utter disbelief at what I was reading. I hadn’t set out to find the stash of diaries that my sister had compiled over the years; I was simply looking for some paper to use with the kids when I stumbled across the handful of lined notebooks she kept on the shelf.
It was four years after I had tried to intervene and stop her from running off to the wilderness with my niece, her daughter, and her weirdo boyfriend who called himself “Chocktaw”. We had made amends and she’d left the phony Indian “elder” behind and we were spending the summer with them up near the border of Canada.
No one was home as I sat there, skimming page after page, completely shocked at what I was seeing. It wasn’t so much in what she wrote, but how she wrote it. It was as if a five year old had possessed her and was scribbling paragraph after paragraph of childish writing.
I felt sick to my stomach, knowing that this was some seriously fucked up shit. I suddenly realized that my sister, who had abused me and who I had every right to loathe with every fiber of my being, was truly mentally ill. Extremely mentally ill.
I thought back on all the things that she and my mom had told me over the years had happened to her, from the sexual abuse she accused my father of, to the stranger raping her in the park when she was ten years old – all of it suddenly clicked with me for the first time and I felt an incredible amount of empathy for someone who, up until that moment, I both tolerated so I could be near my niece and secretly hated for what she had done to me and probably to her own daughter as well.
I cried for several minutes, for her, for me and all victims. I never told her what I’d seen, but it wouldn’t have changed the reality that the two of us could never be sisters in any true sense of the word.
After all, we were both broken souls and there was no fixing that.