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'I found my sister who disappeared more than 15 years ago after she ran away.' UPDATED 3X

'I found my sister who disappeared more than 15 years ago after she ran away.' UPDATED 3X


Reconnecting with an estranged family member is a one-of-a-kind feeling.

"I found my sister who disappeared from everyone more than 15 years ago after she ran away from home."

I'm really happy and confused and I really don't know if I can talk about this with friends and family but I need to share my experience with someone because I missed my sister. I don't need or want any advice since no one really knows the situation to be able to give a good advice without assuming things they don't know and it's weird to read people talking about my sister like if they know what she lived.

I just want to share this and I know a lot of people have had experiences like this too so maybe someone can relate. When I was 10 years old my older sister who was 22 at that time disappeared after leaving a note to our parents saying that she's okay and just wants to start over her life.

My sister was always a lonely but outgoing person, she always told me that she enjoyed solitude from time to time and noisy things took away from her quality of life because thb it was loud LOUD where we lived and it was annoying even for me (we lived in a dangerous neighborhood so it wasn't too safe and she hated not being able to go for a walk at night or do things at night alone).

She was depressed and I remember seeing her suffering from severe anxiety attacks, she used to hit herself to stop them and she had a strong TCA that triggered those things. She suffered from other mental issues as well and talked freely about that, she talked about those things in front of me and these are things that leave a mark on you.

She was the favorite of the whole family although my parents never out pressure on her, they always let us do our life (my brother who was 19 at that time knows that, my sister was the golden child), my grandfather always made it clear that she is his favorite granddaughter, even now.

She was the calm but funny kind of person, she was the closest to my parents and uncles so when she disappeared from one day to the next no one understood what was going on. Even my sister had never traveled alone except to go to work and she always notified my mother that she was okay for safety reasons. She left a long note clarifying that she doesn't want to be se arched but she loves us.

It was a big blow for the family, I remember my mother wanting to report to the p*lice but they said that my sister was not a minor and the note said that she left by her own so they can't do anything.

In a way, my other brother knew that this would happen at some point, since our sister mentioned a lot that she wanted to leave everything and go live in the countryside or become a nun and live in a calm place without any worries but nobody took her seriously about that.

She was always the kind of person who did things without telling anyone, she liked her solitude sometimes even if she was always friendly. The first months and weeks were strange, it wasn't that she had passed away but that she disappeared because she wanted to, I remember my mother missing her because they always shared the afternoons together.

I also missed her a lot. Even years later my family missed her and at Christmas or her birthday someone would always say "maybe she'll show up now" or we would wonder how she's doing or if she was alive. Back to the present. I'm on vacation in the south of my country (This part of my country is very expensive for a tourist and I am the only one in my family who was able to come now that I am an adult).

It's a place full of villages and while I was exploring I came to a place where they sold typical handicrafts of the place. While shopping I can swear that the first thing I saw was my sister looking at some crafts on a shelf, she looked more adult but obviously I recognized her instantly, we are really similar after all.

I didn't really knew how to react after so many years and I didn't know how she would react, but I went over and said her name. What I didn't expected was that she would smile instantly when she saw me and called me by my nickname.

I thought she had escaped because she didn't wanted anything to do with the family even if in the note she said she loves us, but she was greeting me as if nothing had happened. She told me that she didn't expected to see me there and asked me if I was on vacation, she said that the village used to be not so touristy but now more people started to go and many villagers opened stores for the tourists.

I was upset, I was angry with her for leaving us and pretending that nothing happened but I couldn't react so I just asked her if she lives in that town and she said yes, It's a place filled with old people. We talked for a few seconds, she asked me what I'm studying and if everyone at home is okay, she told me I'm taller and thinner.

Then she gave me a kiss on the cheek and told me that if I have a few days off I can go visit her but she doesn't have a cell phone so she told me that she's almost everyday there. My sister also told me to send hugs to our parents. I'm confused and full of questions about her, she doesn't even wants to hide, she didn't looked or talked to me like someone who wanted to run away from something and hide.

She was just happy to see me and happy to know that we were all good. But I also feel resentment for her when I think about all that our parents and grandparents suffered when she disappeared, making my mother feel that she was a bad mother because she couldn't protect her.

But I'm ambivalent as I'm also happy to know that she's okay and that she doesn't hate me or the family but I'm also confused, Her behavior wasn't that of someone who is hiding or who doesn't want to know anything about her past, she was just happy to hear about us.

Not long after posting, OP shared an update.

Edit: I'm sorry but there are people who clearly don't read the post, there are literally people saying that I didn't even knew my sister and commenting as if they knew her and taking things for granted about her life, there are even people saying that they don't understand why I'm 'angry' (it's just a feeling, a normal feeling, it's not that I hate her and I will treat her badly, god.

Nor will I talk to my family without talking to her first, at what point in the post did I say that I'm going to expose her? I'm never going to treat her badly either because I have no reason to do so, It's crazy how half the comments draw silly conclusions) with my sister when I literally say it up there.

The comments came flowing in.

Mil1512 wrote:

Is your sister neurodivergent? With the hitting herself when struggling with anxiety and enjoying solitude. I'm neurodivergent and my family live in another country. I honestly forget to talk to them most of the time and only really do because my mum messages me first. If she didn't we just wouldn't talk. Not due to any hate or anything, I'm just happy doing my own thing.

OP responded:

She's not. My sister had a lot of self-destructive behaviors and hurting herself was one of them when she felt 'fat', she also had eating disorders and panic attacks because of that. I don't remember too much but she did other things to not eat besides hitting herself, she was very open about her TCA and yes, she has a diagnosis from a professional.

My sister was always in touch with my mother and everyone in text, she always used to keep in touch when she was going out until the day she left, now she doesn't even have a phone. In her note she just said that she wanted to leave everything.

Mattromo wrote:

You were 10 when she left. It could be that the story you've been told your whole life is missing a few key details. I think you should let your sister tell her story, if she is so inclined, and withhold judgement or anger until that point.

mikuzgrl wrote:

It almost seems like the sister has been in contact with someone for a while and thinks news is being passed back and forth.

OP responded:

I never thought about that but I don't think so, seeing how my parents miss her I think the first thing the family would do would be to at least tell my father that she is okay :/

Always_B_Batman wrote:

Your sister does not have a cell phone. Either cell service is bad where she lives, or she wants any contact to be on her terms.

Meet with your sister and let her control the conversation. Ask her permission about revealing her whereabouts and how much information she wants the rest of the family to know. Also ask if she wants to exclude information to certain family members. Also ask if you can correspond with her when you go home. Good luck.

Sylbug wrote:

People don't up and leave everything without warning because things are going well, OP. It sounds very much like your sister left to preserve her mental health and protect herself. You should consider the possibility that your recollection and understanding of what happened when you were ten is incomplete at best.

A few days later, OP shared an update.

I understand that many reflect their personal traumas in this site, but I literally received passive-aggressive messages calling me idiot or even telling me that I would hate my sister if she were neurodivergent or claiming that my parents ab*sed her. What's wrong with y'all? Go to a psychologist and stop reflecting your unresolved traumas in the story of a person you don't even know.

Go out and touch grass and talk to a real person instead of literally sending private messages like that. I didn't asked for any advice and just wanted to share my story because that's the point of that subreddit, but many took it the wrong way and decided to turn something positive into a way to fight.

I don't even understand why out of nowhere I started getting those kinds of messages or if someone share that post on a weird place.

And a week later, OP shared a major update.

On sunday I finally found my sister again, she was selling things in the park with other stands, all of them are rastafari, not hippies or a sect. I walked over and she greeted me just as happily, we talked a couple of things and my sister told me that she doesn't have a cell phone so it was impossible for her to tell me that she wouldn't be there on Saturday.

I spent the afternoon with her at her stand and after that we went to her house, she lives alone (and sometimes with friends). We talked for a while and at one point she broke down and hugged me, saying she was trying to stay calm all this time and didn't knew how to react because she didn't wanted to make me cry too bc she remembered that I was really sensitive but she couldn't hold it anymore.

We cried and talked a lot. My sister was tired of people, she said that our house was her safe place but hated the idea of having to work everyday and I didn't wanted to study anything, she was our parents' golden child, so they let her do whatever she wanted, but she knew that at some point she had to make something of her life.

She was tired of how stupid and empty everyone was, of the politicians, of the TV showing empty things, of the noise everywhere outside when she wanted peace, even sleeping in our home was stressful for everyone because of the noises outside during the weekends when she wanted to be alone to smoke and listen music.

(TBH, in my memories as a child I didn't remember the obvious smell of joints that my sister had all the time). That added to the pressure that society put on her to be physically perfect make her want to leave everything behind.

She didn't wanted to d*e but realized that my parents were miserable when they saw her being miserable, this is something I didn't know, but my sister said that our father had two jobs to be able to pay for her psychologist and medication, also my father used to spoil her a lot with the only food she eat without guilty. Running away was like d*ing symbolically.

My sister says that although our parents always supported her, she felt like a failture for not being able to improve and always relapsing, she felt bad to see our father working so hard and also wanted to live according to her spiritual mentality, free from all that is toxic in society.

All of those things make her ran away from everything, she felt like a burden and also didn't wanted to live a life working and miserable like everyone. Sis told me that she never contacted us because she doesn't wants to have a cell phone and a trip to our province is too expensive to her because it's basically going from one end of the country to the other.

She hates capitalist society with all her soul and doesn't even have a TV. My sister said that she is much better now away from the city. My sister told me that she wants to talk to our parents but doesn't knows what to say and we don't want to give them parents a shock since our dad was sick a few days ago and is recovering from dengue.

I'm writing this with her beside me and doesn't understand what's the point of this site (The last social network she used was fotolog in 2007) but said that she doesn't mind if I post this. She wanted to write something but said she doesn't like writing in English haha.

My sister was reading the comments and wants me to clarify that she never suffered any kind of a ab#se, she has a lot of friends and never had any problem with anyone but likes to be alone from time to time to meditate. And she's not neurodivergent (She said her behavior was normal because of her TLP), suffers from ED, borderline personality disorder and see a psychologist twice a month.

During her adolescence, the blogs Ana and mia were trendy, her friends had that 'aesthetic' and she was popular in fotolog (according to my sister, at that time it was taken as an aesthetic and even a book about that was really popular between teens, maybe someone from my country knows Abzurdah?).

She hated going out when she felt fat, she couldn't have imperfections like c*ts on her arms so she hurt herself with a rubber band when she overate, something she read in those blogs. Now she's in a good weight but it took her really long to not relapse again. It's been a long recovery for her and once you're an*rexic you never stop being an*rexic, she's always afraid of relapsing.

So that's it for now, we don't know how we're going to talk with our parents without making them freak out. And also my sister after seeing the comments on the post saw other reddit posts and said that her life is definitely better without a cell phone, she says that things like fotolog was the beginning of all evil haha.

The internet had a lot to say in response.

No_Dragonfruit_9656 wrote:

Can she write your parents a letter instead of phone convo? Then she can also get out all her thoughts at once and say everything she wishes.

OP responded:

She could write a letter, although I don't know how long it would take for the mail to arrive. I'm planning to take my sister with me to see the family, but I'll be back home soon and we'd rather let our parents know she's going with me. Maybe an email could work too.

slipperysquirell wrote:

I'm glad you were able to talk to her. It sounds like she's in a much better place. As far as your parents, I highly doubt they're fragile enough to die from shock. Just tell them. They will be happy to know she's okay. Speaking as a mother, I wouldn't wait another day to tell them.

CulturedGentleman921 wrote:

Can you arrange for your parents to visit her? Do you think she would want that? Because as a parent myself, I would REALLY want that! I would sell a f**king kidney to pay for the trip.

OP responded:

My parents don't have money to make the trip 😅 I plan to take my sister with me and take her to my parents' house, but first we rather send them a text or letter to not surprise them too much.

throwawayobviouslyyk wrote:

Lmao Rastafarian is a cult though, I’m gonna ruffle a lot of feathers for saying this but as someone who doesn’t live too far away from one of their camps or communities they are pretty cultish.

OP responded:

Idk how it is in other countries to be honest, my sister doesn't live in community and there are no camps, she's one of the few who has a house because most of them prefer to travel around the country.

I really think it's impossible for them to be 100% Rastafarian here tbh because we are from South America and the Rastafarian community here is obviously totally different from the REAL Rastafarians, they just follow most of the philosophy. For example, my sister doesn't consider herself Rastafarian but she share some points of the philosophy they have, I don't know how the rest of them think.

Far_Battle_7658 wrote:

I relate to your sister so much. Having an "easy" life, people having so many expectations but you not really caring about your future life as it's going to be...and you feel so bad to let people down but...this is not what we chose when we were born, if that makes sense.

OP responded:

It's exactly that. The guilt of not wanting to have a life like everyone else.

crysnevins wrote:

I'm glad you can connect with her. I feel like her. I have adhd and didnt get diagnosed until I was 32. It's hard feeling like people dont/cant/wont understand you. It ' very freeing when your find "your people" the ones that get it. I dont listen to the news as it gives me anxiety and depressive episodes. If I could move back to my tiny town and still make money to survive I would in a heart beat but sadly I can not.

I hate living in my current small city. Its too much. Too much noise. Too many people. Too many expectations. I'm glad she is thriving and you know where she is. Now maybe you and your family can plan a trip out to see her or maybe could you write letters to each other and keep in contact that way? Where there is a will there is a way just please dont over whelm her.

It's natural for you and your family to be hurt by her actions but she was being smothered at home. She needed to find her own cocoon to become a beautiful butterfly that you see before you. I hope you and your family can find peace knowing she didnt leave to hurt you guys but to save her self and that's okay.

Sources: Reddit
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