Sometimes being a super aunt sucks, but I really love my niece.

My niece yelled my name in her sleep this morning. It was just a dream. She’s still sleep. Must be nice.
She’s been having behavior problems lately. Two parents in jail will do that to you. I’m trying to understand. I’m trying to fix it … but I haven’t had a good night’s sleep since she got here.
But I’m part of the problem. I’m not helping raise her right. If I’m going to sign on to help parent her, I need to do it right. Never mind that her parents don’t. I used a whole therapy session to map out a plan. I just pray it works.
She’s so cute in the Instagram pictures and Snapchat stories. I share what’s fun … but this is not always fun. It is emotionally draining. My life is upside down. Her life is worse. It’s not her fault. I know that.
But I’m still tired. Being a super aunt is tiresome. Everybody wants to give me a compliment. I just need a babysitter.
I hate that I’m awake, but I’m glad I had a moment of peace to write this. If I don’t get back in the room soon, she’ll wake up in a panic. When she wakes up and doesn’t see anyone, she thinks they’re gone. Really gone. Her abandonment issues are worse than mine. I never get a moment of peace.
I really love my niece. I know she loves me too. I also know she isn’t acting out because she’s mad at me. I know she’s just hurting. She’s only eight years old. She’s allowed to be mad. I’m 33 years old and in therapy every week because I’m STILL mad.
I get it. But that doesn’t mean I know how to fix it. But i’m trying. I really am.
She doesn’t live with me full-time. Right now, she bounces between me and her grandma. A little girl without a room of her own. It’s not fair. No wonder she’s so angry.
I’ve never been one to lie and keep secrets. That’s how children get raped. That’s how families never heal. That’s how people keep on destroying others. I’ve been there. Fuck there. So I’ll be honest: Being a super aunt is hard. Sometimes, it really sucks and I want to walk away.
But I really love my niece.
Thank you for reading. If this resonates, maybe you should tell someone your story. Or not. That’s you. But whether you hold it in or not, you’ll still go through it. Take care of yourself. Me venting takes care of me. If you’re not offering to babysit, just pray for me. And stop inviting me to shit. Babysitter. Remember?

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