Dear Me is a really personal set about me and my baby sister.
Through these photos, I tried to display my story with her and my journey on understanding and being there for her, because I finally know what it takes to be a decent older sister.
My mom was in a very abusive relationship with my dad for almost twenty years. Everything started with me, I was an accident that they decided to take responsibility for. When I was eleven years old, my sister was born. My mom and dad really wanted another child for some reason, and I was always ok with that, but at the end of that same year, we moved cities. We came to Belém (Brazil) which is the city I still live to this day, but that’s when things started getting really bad between my parents. They got separated and my mom was suffering a lot with not only the ending of her marriage but also with mental illnesses.
At that time, I was only fourteen. My mom and dad would often neglect my sister and me, sometimes I even had to take care of her all alone at home for extensive amounts of time. Being fourteen, I was still developing my interests and opinions, but suffering from all the neglect and abusive relationship I also had with my dad, I began getting depressed. At that time I was really individualistic, I dreamed about leaving everyone behind, escaping from everyone that trapped me, and being happy with myself. And I was always really sure that no one would stop me. That was until I began to understand my place as a sister.
My baby sister really looks up to me for everything she does. This probably has to do with us being alone together since our parents were neglecting us at the time. I was (and still am) her biggest reference for everything. That’s when I learned that I have a huge impact in her life and I couldn’t just leave her to the same fate as me: depression and abusive relationships.
My parents eventually got back, only to get separated once more. Now, they’re going through a divorce. And that’s the best thing that could’ve happened. My sister and I are now best friends, I learned what it means to be a sister, an influencer. I got more responsible, although things are very different now. My mom has gotten a lot better in her mental condition, therefore she’s being a lot more responsible to us, and my dad is living in another city. Things are not perfect, but they’re quite better. And I’m happy to finally feel good in my home. ✉
piece + visuals by: lua portugal