QUESTION: Masters I raised my sister in the 80s because my parents were emotionally abusive and neglectful. I was 12 when she was born. We were VERY close – I learned unconditional love from/for her. Our relationship is now damaged from my leaving for college at 17 and spoiling her out of guilt afterwards. She suffered emotionally and physically after I left. She is OK now and has a good life after much therapy. My therapist & friends say I needed to live my life and let my parents do their job. I KNEW they would not, but was too weak to resist pressure to go to college and stay in that backwards small town to protect her. I feel very guilty having left my helpless little sister to them. I do not know if my choice just caused her pain and me karmic debt, or helped both of us to grow. ~Christina, USA
ANSWER: Every soul chooses its parents and the circumstances surrounding its birth and what it will immediately be able to learn from its home environment. Both you and your sister knew the inability your parents would possess for normal parenting and wished to see how you would be able to deal with that.
Many of your lessons included situations about controlling what was happening. Control is really an illusion since it always involves more than one person and each soul has to be working toward the same goal for it to be successful. In your mind, everything that you did was for the best even when it prevented your sister from having to face and deal with the problems created by your parents.
All you accomplished was to delay the time when she was required to deal with them. You did provide sterling examples for her, by watching you, for manners in which to cope with their actions. She observed how she needed the degree of confidence you displayed in your decisions. You never succumbed to their uncomfortable and harmful interactions.
Most young girls have dolls with which they practice and envision how to take care of a youngster; you had your sister. During this time, you also discovered that this journey you were on was all about you and that to move forward you had to prepare yourself. The first step was getting an education. The choice of staying near to your sister was your intent to support her.
Do not feel guilty; she chose her parents just as you did. She would not be the strong, confident young lady she is today if not for all the experiences she went through. Each soul draws into their world the things they want to experience. You both drew to yourself lessons that you desired and completed. Congratulations