Our mom’s parents divorced when she was 11 years old. Her mom remarried a few years later, and my mom and her three brothers were joined less than a year later by a new baby sister. Theirs was not always an easy adjustment, having a step dad and a new sister who seemed (by virtue of the fact that she was much younger than her siblings) to get a lot of attention.

Sometimes, if my mom’s brothers were angry with their baby sister or hurt by a perceived imbalance between the treatment she was getting from their mom and the treatment they were getting, they would rub it in to her that she was only a “half” sister. It was cruel and hurtful, and of course the boys knew that, but at the time, they were still feeling the effects of their lives being uprooted by the divorce and subsequent remarriage of their mom. My aunt was a natural target, albeit an unfair one.

My aunt and I are only five years apart in age, so I was around for most of her childhood. I remember the sadness she would feel whenever she felt only “half” connected to her siblings. Even though she was the one with both parents there, it was painful for her to be singled out the way she was, and I never forgot that.

This is an excerpt from Shadra’ s book, Stories From a StepMom, available on Amazon Kindle. Read more or request a review copy.