Discovering a long lost sibling: what you'll experience in the first year.

In September of last year, I discovered I had a half sister I'd never known. She is four years younger than me. See: HOW I FOUND OUT I HAD A LONG LOST SISTER
  1. You'll stalk her Facebook page and discover all the bizarre similarities: your writing style, your political leanings, that same exact article about white international volunteers you shared in 2012.
  2. You'll ask your boss for a day off the day after you find out and cry in his office, thoroughly embarrassing both yourself and him.
  3. You'll meet her and experience instant recognition.
  4. You'll realize how much you love her already. And what a strange sensation it is to love someone you barely know.
  5. You'll sit in a work meeting (with Facebook open, because you're talking about your company page), and you'll watch as your dad decides to send a group message to the rest of your family telling them about her. You'll watch helplessly while message after message pops up. For a brief second you'll hate everyone and all forms of social media.
  6. You'll spend months in an awkward middle spot between your dad and her.
  7. You'll struggle with feelings of anger and empathy with your dad. You'll wonder why you were the one he acknowledged.
  8. You'll talk to your grandmother, because even though she makes you crazy sometimes, you love her, and she's the only one who truly gets it. After all, she met her long lost sister as an adult. She tells you it's okay to be mad.
  9. You'll realize how much it sucks to be lied to. You'll try to work through being as honest as possible while still respecting other people's privacy and boundaries.
  10. You'll wonder if your other sister (the one on your mom's side) feels weird or is jealous. She'll tell you she doesn't, but you'll still wonder. You'd feel weird and possessive if the positions were reversed.
  11. You'll go through the first Thanksgiving, the first Christmas, and grieve for what might have been.
  12. You'll watch her talk about her half-brother on Facebook on National Sibling Day, and you'll be a little hurt, even though you totally understand. You'll steadfastly refuse to mention it, because you won't pretend she doesn't exist, but you won't violate her privacy, either.
    Luckily your other sister is a Luddite who couldn't care less about Facebook's made up holidays.
  13. You'll spend an hour and a half on FaceTime with her one night.
  14. You'll talk about Hamilton and Harry Potter and Serial and giggle over shared loves and fun differences.
  15. You'll wonder what your life would have been like if you had grown up knowing her.
  16. You'll spend months driving up and down I-40, from Durham to Asheville, as often as you can, because you want desperately to know her.
  17. You'll go to her bridal shower, her bachelorette party, her wedding, and you'll feel so grateful to be included. You'll be blown away by her kindness in including you in these things.
  18. You'll go to her wedding and have a panic attack, because you're not supposed to tell people who you really are. Not everyone knows. And it's heartbreaking when you watch her dance with her dad and realize what your dad gave up.
  19. You'll go to therapy, which will help, but you'd be lying if you said you didn't resent the $50/week you're spending talking mostly about something that wasn't your fault and was totally sprung on you.
  20. You'll sink back into depression and wonder how much is related to this and how much is just who you are.
  21. You'll wonder when you should be "over it."
  22. You'll contemplate the nature of secrecy and of generational learned behavior. You'll think about why men in each of the last three generations of your family has had at least one child that he abandoned or didn't acknowledge. You'll wonder what that means for you and your future.
  23. You'll hope desperately that she will one day want a relationship with your dad, but try to understand that this may never be the case. After all, you wouldn't, if you were her.
  24. You'll keep telling yourself that this will get easier with time.
  25. Despite it all, you'll be so thankful you know her, and you'll love her so much.