When I first wrote this headline, I penned ‘step-sister’ instead of ‘half-sister’. Then I realised it didn’t really matter, and changed it to ‘sister’. This is how I can tell I’m finally accepting the 6-year-old reminder of my dad’s mail-order marriage. My lovely, little 6-year-old sister.
The same has gone for just about any social situation where this sister has come up. I’ve called her by any other name than, you know, my sister. Yep. All of the names you can think of. I am, no, I was, a horrible person. But then something changed.
When she came into this world, my sister rattled me to my core. You see, I’d grown up believing my dad never wanted a daughter (me), or sons (my brothers).
"I'd grown up believing my dad never wanted a daughter (me)." Image via iStock.
When I was six, the same age my sister is now, dad left, abruptly. He'd been seeing someone else around the same time one of my brothers was born and soon decided he liked the thrills of a new woman over that of smelly nappies and projectile baby vomit. Go figure.
For the next 20 years I dealt with the pain by convincing myself that he “just wasn't a family man”, he “wasn't meant to have kids”, and he was “just better suited without us”. I'd rattle out those lines at the speed of light because at my core I believed the opposite. I believed he never wanted me. A truth I'm certain my two brothers told themselves, too.