Yesterday (7 Nov), a confession was posted on the IIUM Confessions page titled “My Sister and Me” by a user known as Zim. Zim, who is a Muslim, told a story about how he lived with his two stepsisters who are atheists.
He says that he had always been living with his mother until she got remarried to his stepfather 10 years ago. He was 13 years old when his mother married his stepfather, who was initially a Christian. After two months of marriage, they were involved in an accident and unfortunately passed away. Now, the only family he had left were his two stepsisters, known as Melissa and Hannah, who were both already working adults at 24 and 23 years old.
At first, other relatives were discussing who would take care Zim as he was only 13 years old but both of his stepsisters said they wanted custody of him. Zim’s relatives objected in the beginning as his stepsisters were non-Muslims but somehow, they managed to convince the relatives that they could do it.
Zim was partly nervous as the three of them were never close before and now he is under their care. At first, the sisters were worried and occasionally argued with each other, saying, “Can we really take care of this kid? Is it really okay if he is living with us? How about his religion, race?”
After three months of living together, Hannah approached him and discussed with him about the lifestyle he preferred and he told them that he would live his life as usual, as a Muslim. Fortunately, both sisters were fine with it even though they were atheists and understood his religious needs as a Muslim.
He claims after this incident, the bond between the three of them became stronger.
Zim was once called to the counseling room in school as teachers were worried that living with atheists would bother him. He said he had no problem and was just fine. The teacher, however, insisted on calling his sisters to “have a talk.”
Zim was upset and annoyed because people would have negative perceptions of his stepsisters due to them being non-Muslims. “I’m the one that’s living with them, therefore I know them better, not anyone else. When the teachers judged my sisters like that, I felt angry and hurt on their behalf until I almost felt like crying,” he said.
He also shared how they would receive stares when they went on family outings or when his sisters came to take his report card in school. Zim would have to answer lots of curious questions as they did not look alike.
During Ramadhan, Zim said his stepsisters would join him for Puasa and they even had Sahur meals together. They also constantly reminded him to pray five times a day. However, he was still rather shy and awkward with his sisters sometimes, especially when he needed money.
Instead of asking for more money, he would try to scrimp and save his pocket money so that he doesn’t need to trouble his sisters. After SPM, he decided to further his studies far away from home as he wanted to learn to be independent. He graduated and moved out from his home, even though his stepsisters protested.
Although the stepsiblings had always cared for each other, Zim felt that their relationship was still slightly awkward. However, his perception changed one day, when he saw one of his sister’s Instagram post with a long caption about him, along with a picture of the three of them during Zim’s convocation.
“When I read it, I felt both happy and sad. To be honest, I really love my sisters. However, when I was growing up with them, I have never told them I love them and vice versa. But on that convocation day in the car, I told my sisters I love both of them and was very grateful for taking care of me as I was virtually a stranger to them. We are not related by blood yet they were willing to take care of me.”
“I always felt like an outcast, even in my own family. Until that day, I realised how much my sisters love me. I wrote this confession because I just want to say how thankful I am for my sisters. Thanks, sis, I love both of you so much.”
He ends the confession by saying how much he appreciates having them around, even with all the differences between them.
Aww, that was so sweet. A family is not only who you are related to, but someone you can call home.
Have you guys experienced being raised in a house with different religions before? Share with us in the comments section below!
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