Our parents divorced five years ago and after that me and my sister were basically passed around between them as neither of them were keen to have us around, especially since they both remarried soon and had their new families and new step kids to worry about.
When I became 18 (my sister was 8), they told me that I need to take care of her by myself now (in reality I always had taken care of her since they never spent time with her). It was clear that they didn’t want to be involved anymore. They transferred her full custody to me and gave us money every month so we wouldn’t bother them.
So that’s how it’s been for the past three years. I live with my sister and I’m doing my best to make sure she has a stable home, gets enough attention, feels loved and is growing up well and has everything she needs. Unlike them I don’t see her as a burden and I really love her and want the best for her.
In these past three years our parents haven’t made any real efforts to even bother checking up on her. The plan was that I collect checks from them every month but that’s the end of their involvement in our lives. In the first few months I used to take her with me when I collected the checks but they both were so indifferent and unfriendly towards us that it always made her sad.
The last time I took her with me it was right before her birthday and I was planning a small party for her with her friends and she was very excited, she asked our mom to come and received a no answer, she didn’t even bother getting her a gift, she only wrote an extra $100 dollar on the check and told me to get a gift for her on her behalf.
My sister started crying as soon as we left. The next day the same thing happened when we went to my father’s place and he didn’t even say that, he just declined to come. I was angry at them and that was the last time my sister came to see them.
That was the last time she saw them. They never come around to see her. I only see them when I go to get the checks and they don’t even invite me in anymore. They have it ready when I arrive and they just hand it over and goodbye.
My sister has been dealing with abandonment issues as a result. She (rightly) feels that our parents traded her for their new partners and kids and she is afraid that the same thing might happen to her with me. That I might go off with some other people and leave her alone. I always reassure her that this will never happen and I’m always there for her, that we will live together until she completely grows up and I’m gonna take care of her but I don’t think this has completely taken away her fears.
So besides reassuring her verbally continuously, making sure we do a lot of things together and being a good brother, I needed to get her into therapy and I found the right therapist for her. She’s a psychologist who specializes in children’s issues after divorce.
I called both my parents and told them that I need to talk to them (separately) and told them that we need more money as she needs to get therapy and I want to do nice things for her and that’s the least they owe us after everything. They were hesitant but eventually agreed. I hope I’m doing the right thing? I just want the best for her.