August 17, 2011
My name is Cynthia Barron. My half-sister's name is Mellissa Brown and she's classified as moderately intellectually disabled. Her now estranged mom drank excessively while pregnant with Mellissa, which resulted in Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Along with an abnormally small body, glasses, and being underweight, Mellissa was born with IQ of 47 because of her mom's addiction.

Mellissa was born 2 full years ahead of me in Seattle, Washington. She spent 4 years of her hyperactive childhood running around that city, driving her parents insane. Then, they moved to Miami, Florida, an environment perfect for the energized mouse of a girl that is my half-sister. Her mother soon left them. Her dad, Thomas, married my mom, Gabrielle. They both of whom love Mellissa very much, no matter how hard it can sometimes get taking care of her.

I love Mellissa so much. I admit that sometimes I get tired of her, and wish she could be normal, but that feeling quickly goes away. Even though she's 15 and I'm 13, I often feel like I'm the older one, like it's my responsibility to protect her. Most of the time, I protect her from loneliness. We play hopscotch, listen to music, dance, and just hang out together. Although some may find it hard to believe, we actually have a lot in common. It's not just me pitying her. Both of us love the zoo, and in the afternoon, after school's let out for me, we go visit the animals while many people head to the beach. In the mornings, after we brush and shower, we both eat the exactly the same cereal: Honey Bunches of Oats. But, she insists on putting every dish in the dishwasher in the exact same way as the day before, and throws what can best be described as an epically out-of-proportion, call-to-the-Marines-deserving tantrum if she doesn't get her way. On the way to drop me at school, both of us silently mouth the words to the radio's songs while our mom belts out the lyrics. While I'm in school, she stays at home, rearranging various things in our house in an order that only makes sense to her, then putting it back in the way she found it. Mellissa then watches exactly 1 episode of SpongeBob on DVD. After that, she goes around the house, restocking the napkins, straightening the pillows, carefully helping my mom fold clothes, and breaking out into a crazily hilarious dance once in a while. From what my mom told me, apart from occasionally going to the doctor, Mellissa rarely varies from her schedule that she set in stone. When I get home, she goes to the park across the street and plays with my neighbor's daughter. At night, she says 'Good night' exactly 5 times, no more, no less, and then tells me about the animals she saw that day. A while later, she falls asleep.

Sometimes, when I'm in one of my thinking modes, I ask Mellissa what she does when she feels different. She just looks at me with a confused look and says "I'm not different.".

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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

grace06 said...
Nov. 26, 2011 at 10:39 pm
This is very touching, i love how you used some intense emotions in this. Good job :)
Cookieluvr replied...
Nov. 27, 2011 at 12:04 pm
Thanks! I wrote this for a psychology assignment but I decided to submit it anyways :D
grace06 replied...
Nov. 27, 2011 at 1:48 pm
We both kind of have the same attitude haha. i wrote mine not knowing i would put it on here but its fun to just do it anyway :) you should put more on like this, they are interesting to read.
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