That I’ve experienced loss before, that I’m not (wasn’t) an only child. My boyfriend knows as he visited my home once, but not anyone else. Not in New Zealand. If anyone asks if I have a sibling, I say I’m an only child.
Truth be told, if I had experienced this way before I had met my high school friends, I probably wouldn’t tell them either. But they knew, because they were there when it happened, and that is probably the only reason why they knew. Else, I would have kept it to myself, as I am doing now too.
The only reason why is because I don’t want to be pitied. I love my friends here in New Zealand and they’re the kindest people I’ve ever met, but I’m still afraid. People have said “if they are good friends, then they will understand” but you can’t stop someone from looking at you with sadness. You can’t stop someone from thinking about how sorry they are to hear about it, no matter how close you are to them. So I don’t tell them.
But it feels like I’m lying to them. I am lying to them.
It feels so wrong to say that I am an only child because I wasn’t. I am always so sad whenever I say I don’t have any siblings because my brother was such a huge part of me, and it feels like I’m sweeping that away when I say I’m an only child.
It gets even harder when all of my friends have siblings, and they wonder what a life without siblings is like, and they ask me. I grit my teeth and lie to them.
Maybe one day I’ll tell them.