Growing up, your cousins are supposed to be some of your very first best friends in life, next to your siblings. The key words in there are "supposed to be."
I was lucky enough to have a cousin who was only three months younger than me which was freaking awesome because that meant we not only got to grow up together but we also had so much in common.
From learning to walk to confiding to each other as to who our first crush was on somebody, we went through it all together. She was my number one but then we went to middle school and that is when I first noticed the change.
We went from spending nearly every weekend together to her wanting to make new "best friends" outside of me. Not to mention, she was a 12 year old with her first cell phone while I didn't have one so even when we did hang out she was glued to her phone.
Isn't it funny how quickly someone can go from being your number one supporter to a total stranger?
Soon after, her stepfather decided to move her and the rest of their family to Delaware which made it even more difficult for us to spend time together.
At this point, we were both in high school and leading very different lives. While she lived in a "mini-mansion" I lived in a three-bedroom house with eight other people. While she had somewhat decent parental figures I had an abusive stepfather.
She knew what was happening to me. Not only did she witness some of these abusive incidents firsthand but I told her of multiple instances in which it had gotten so bad that I feared for my life. I guess you must have been too preoccupied with having a boyfriend and getting a free car, huh?
Don't get me wrong, I understand that she couldn't help that fact that her family happened to be better off than the one that I ended up in but I will never understand how she went to sleep at night knowing exactly what was happening to me. Never.
Once our junior year of high school came around, I ran away from my stepfather's house. The night that I ran away consisted of a particularly bad incident that ended up being the last straw for me.
At first, she and her family helped me out and supported me a great deal. However, that didn't last long. Next thing I knew I was being accused of lying about all of the things that my stepfather did to me and the one person who I thought would have my back, my cousin, even went so far as to submit a formal written statement saying that my stepfather never abused me.
How could you do that and still be okay with yourself?
How could any of you do that? Shame on you. All of you.
When you sit back and knowingly allow something evil like that to occur you are just as much at fault as the person who is committing the act of evil.
But I just want my cousin to know that I'm sorry that I wasn't worth saving in your eyes and I'm sorry that you will have to live with the consuming guilt of knowing what you did to me.