A riveting memoir about growing up as a typical sibling in a family of four, Mikey & Meis Teresa Sullivan’s tribute to her beloved older sister Mikey, who was blind and developmentally disabled.
When Mikey is young, the Sullivans are a closely-knit unit, devoted to caring for her. But as Mikey grows older, and increasingly violent, it becomes impossible to keep her at home. At twelve, institutionalization is the only option. Without the shared purpose of caring for Mikey, the family begins to unravel. Seeking comfort and connection, Teresa navigates the border between the mainstream and the 1960s and 70s countercultures. Still, the Sullivans are united by their love and concern for Mikey, visiting often and sometimes bringing her home. Sometimes sweet and touching interludes, these visits also reveal evidence of the abuse that Mikey experiences.
Writing with clarity, eloquence, and poignancy, Sullivan shines a light on the complicated issues involved in caring for a special needs child. Even young siblings must become honorary adults and caregivers, grappling with the same conflicting emotions their parents experience.
As she interweaves her exceptional sister’s journey with her own, Sullivan affirms the grace and brutality of Mikey’s life, and its indelible effect on her family.