When I was 12, my father had a baby with his new wife. An unexpected baby. Mind you, she was the cutest thing I had ever seen. She single handedly kicked off the ticking of my biological clock. But, she was not a planned person.
My father’s new wife happened to be my aunt. My mother’s full sister. She (the aunt) had never been able to have a baby and didn’t expect my father to knock her up as soon as they married. She was about 33 when her daughter was born. My father had been on a several months long bender. He was not looking forward to starting all over again with a new kid. He was kind of tired of the ones he already had. Parenting was not his favorite past-time.
This new baby, a sweet adorable girl who never meant a bad thing in her wee little body, was an instant bone of contention. My step-mother/aunt person became insanely jealous of all things to do with me and my regular sister. I mean, she really lost touch with the real world for a long time about us. She decided my father loved us more. I guess, I can sort of, almost, see where she could think that. My father was really unhappy about the new addition. He was bitter and angry and drunk. He accused my step-mother of getting pregnant on purpose and tricking him and all kinds of crazy crap. So, she felt that he didn’t love the new baby, her baby, as much as the children he had with my mother. Poor crazy lady. She didn’t realize he didn’t give a shit about us at all. Any of us. The fact that he had to be responsible, at all, for other people was a huge weight on him. He hated it. So, this jealousy grew into a warped kind of hatred. She was always angry with us. Angry at us. She stopped being our aunt at all. She took on this evil step-mother persona instead. She made fun of us in snide little ways. Like, if one of us tripped or knocked something over or dropped something, she’d say “Way to go, Grace” or “Spastic”. To make us feel inferior and wrong. She’d slap us pretty often for not being respectful. The baby kjust really changed her.
The baby itself? Herself… whatever. The baby was great. We loved that little girl. She was sweet. She was cute. She had red hair! But she was also confusing. I mean, she was our half-sister because of being the child of my father and a different mother. But she was our cousin because of being the child of my aunt.
My father was laid up with a broken leg for a while when she was just a wee baby. He had to take care of her all day by himself. My step-mother was working. My father may have been laid off at the time too. I can’t remember. he worked in a Union and they were striking and laying off periodically. So, he spent a few months taking care of my half-sister pretty muich alone. He got used to her. He grew to like her. He stopped resenting her.
We didn’t live with my father and step-mother then. We did live with them for a little while later on. But in the first few years, we tried to be friends and sisters with the new baby. But it was hard. After a few years, it was impossible. My step-mother poisoned her against us for a long time. I lived with them for a while, part of 1986-87 and again part of 1989-1991. When I lived there, that little girl could not stand me. Didn’t matter that i didn’t do anything bad to her or mean or deserving of her dislike. She had been so influenced by her mother’s attitude that there was no way to be friendly with her at all.
In 1992, they all moved several states away for my father’s job. Actually, they still live there. BUt during the time away, the half-sister learned to think on her own. I mean, when they moved, she was only 10. She had no way to know that what her mother or father did or said might not be right. So, after a long time away, she became a person of her own. She decided to get to know me on her own. She seems to have decided I am not all that bad after all. I don’t talk to her a ,lot or often. But we do talk. And we have things in common. It is interesting and little bit cool.