My Half-Sister Isn’t My 'Half-Sister,' She's Just My Sister

My Half-Sister Isn’t My 'Half-Sister,' She's Just My Sister

And why it shouldn't matter.

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Growing up, I've had a lot of people tell me that my sister and I don't look alike, and others that say we definitely do, but mainly just in the eyes. My sister, who is 31, has three kids, and when most people who don't know my family usually ask me if they're my younger siblings. "No," I say, "they're my nieces and nephew." More often than not, people then ask me how old my sister is, and once I tell them, the usual response is, "Oh. Half-sisters?" "I mean, technically," is usually mine.

While the question within itself I understand, I would be lying if I said that it didn't hurt me to have to say yes. The thing is, she isn't my half-sister in any other way than blood. We grew up in rooms next to each other, she was there for all of my big moments, and I hers, even if I don't remember them. So, the reality for me is she is just simply my sister.

In most cases where people have asked if we are half-sisters, the conversation usually diverts back to my nieces and nephew. However, the worst cases are those in which people respond with, "Are you guys even really close?" "Isn't it hard having two different families?" and my personal favorite, "Oh, that must be interesting." And again, while it isn't their curiosity that gets to me, it's the tone in which they insinuate that having a half-sibling is less than a sibling you have a full blood relation to.

The thing I find most strange, is that half siblings are incredibly common in this day and age, so why are people so judgmental about it? Not only are everyone's situations different, but also just because someone doesn't have a 'normal' family in your eyes, doesn't give you the right to judge them.

So, I understand that everyone who grows up with half-siblings is going to have a different experience, and I know that it isn't up to anybody else to write rules for what a half-sibling has to be. But for all the people in the past few years that have asked me judgmental questions about my whole sister, here you go:

  • Yes, we are in fact very close. Not so much so when I was younger, because she was going to college when I was going to kindergarten, but since about 2010, my sister and I have become extremely close. She is one of the very first people I want to tell of my good news or bad news. I would classify her in the "best friend" category just as much as I would place her into a "sister" category.
  • This is something my sister and I have talked about a lot. Whenever we talk, we know "mom" is our mom and "my dad" is the person's dad. Our mom and our dads don't have an unfriendly relationship. We see each other at every birthday, every soccer game and every Christmas special. Her dad and stepmom even come to Butler games, and I go up and say hi!
  • It really isn't that interesting for us. It's about just as interesting as having a full-blooded sibling is, just with more people in the mix.
What I want to get across the most, is that having a half-sibling, even in situations when the siblings are as close, doesn't mean that they automatically have to be less related, just because they don't share blood from the same two parents. And while it isn't wrong for someone to be curious about the dynamics between two siblings of any relation, please don't make judgments about how siblings work, because odds are you won't be able to pinpoint exactly how they work.

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The Thank You My Dad Deserves

While our moms are always the heroes, our dads deserve some credit, too.
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Dear Dad,

You’ve gone a really long time without being thanked. I'm not talking about thanks for things like opening the Gatorade bottle I couldn't or checking my tires when my car’s maintenance light is flashing, but rather the thanks I owe you for shaping me into the person I am today.

Thank you for teaching me what I deserve and for not letting me settle for anything less.

While the whole world was telling me I wasn’t good enough, you were there to tell me I was. Whether this was with boys, a friend, or anything else, you always built my confidence to a place I couldn’t build it to on my own. You showed me what my great qualities were and helped me feel unique. But most of all, you never let me settle for anything less than what I deserved, even when I wanted to. Without you, I wouldn’t be nearly as ambitious, outgoing or strong.

Thank you for giving me someone to make proud.

It’s hard to work hard when it’s just for myself, but so easy when it’s for you. All through school, nothing made me happier than getting a good grade back because I knew I got to come home and tell you. With everything I do, you give me a purpose.

SEE ALSO: 20 Things You Say When Calling Your Dad On The Phone

Thank you for showing me what selflessness looks like.

You are the prime example of what putting your family first looks like. If me wanting something means that you can’t get what you want, you’ll always sacrifice. From wearing the same t-shirts you’ve had since I was in elementary school so I could buy the new clothes I wanted, to not going out with your friends so you could come to my shows, you never made a decision without your family at the forefront of your mind. If there is one quality you have that I look up to you for the most, it’s your ability to completely put your needs aside and focus entirely on the wants of others.

Thank you for being the voice in the back of my head that shows me wrong from right.

Even though many of your dad-isms like “always wear a seatbelt” easily get old, whenever I’m in a situation and can’t decide if what I’m doing is right or wrong, I always can hear you in the back of my head pointing me in the right direction. While I may not boost your ego often enough by telling you you’re always right, you are.

Thank you for being real with me when nobody else will.

Being your child hasn’t always been full of happiness and encouragement, but that’s what makes you such an integral part of my life. Rather than sugarcoating things and always telling me I was the perfect child, you called me out when I was wrong. But what separates you from other dads is that instead of just knocking me down, you helped me improve. You helped me figure out my faults and stood by me every step of the way as I worked to fix them.

Most of all, thank you for showing me what a great man looks like.

I know that marriage may seem very far down the road, but I just want you to know that whoever the guy I marry is, I know he’ll be right because I have an amazing guy to compare him to. I know you’re not perfect (nobody is), but you’ve raised me in a such a way that I couldn’t imagine my kids being raised any differently. Finding a guy with your heart, drive, and generosity will be tough, but I know it will be worth it.


Dad, you’re more than just my parent, but my best friend. You’re there for me like nobody else is and I couldn’t imagine being where I am now without you.

Love you forever,

Your little girl

Cover Image Credit: Caity Callan

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Let Me Fill You In On A Secret, Being The Middle Child Is Not That Bad

The middle child has its perks even though I am stuck in between two crazy, wild sisters.

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As I was getting older, I always heard the middle child complain about how it sucks to be in that position. Sometimes I would play along and groan about how I also hated being the middle child but in reality, it was not all that bad. I never truly felt the same exact way that those kids felt. My siblings never made me feel like I was less than them, even though my sister was the star student at my high school. I have read some articles online about different traits that the middle child has and some I agree with and some I was like, "Eh, that is not right." I think most of it comes from the family that you grow up in. So maybe, just maybe, it is because my family is the best of them all!

The common annoyance that the middle child has to endure is that they are usually the "forgotten ones". For me, that was not the case. I am ALWAYS given the attention that I need. Except when we are all in conversation. Mom, I am sorry for including this and please do not feel bad but I have to expose it. Whenever there is a conversation, I am very rarely heard. I do not need pity or anything like that, I just don't make myself known when I am saying something and that is my mistake. I always bring it up to my mom and it makes her feel so bad so I apologize for including this, J9. Other than that, I am always in the spotlight. They are always checking up on me, always including me, and always reminding me that I am the favorite (sorry Al and Kate)!

A trait that I have learned about the middle child, that I do believe holds true, is that we are the peacemakers. To me, that isn't really a bad thing. I noticed over the years that I am able to settle things and bring calmness to catastrophe with the slightest bit of advice or simple "shut up this is stupid". I have always been that way though. I am constantly trying to make sure that everyone is getting along, happy, and not wanting to jump off the roof. Some may also call me a people pleaser but I just ignore that. I am THE peacemaker. I like to get involved and I am super nosey. Oops!

I really don't think that the "middle child syndrome" pertains to me because I live a pretty joyful, fun life with all eyes on me. I love making people laugh, I like talking about my interests, I like playing games with friends and family, and so much more. I rarely feel like I am the forgotten one due to my siblings. If my sisters read this, they are definitely going to pull my hair considering I have just been tooting my own horn about how great I am. So if you are reading this Kate and Al, let me have my moment since apparently, I do not have enough spotlight already!

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