My friend, now you've got me crying. I'll show your response to my wife--she's been following this thread with me--and she'll cry too, as she did last night when I showed her what I'd written & the kind earlier responses. I empathize with your wife & I hope she at least in my story finds some empathy & support, and can come to any needed resolution or closure concerning her father--and her brother; is he still around?
Yeah, RJD, just in talking about this letter I'm starting to find an answer to a question my wife has been asking me & I've been asking myself for most of our 23 years of marriage.
The question is why I still can't enjoy this holiday season, when we've had for the most part pretty good Christmases together with our girls, even tho we've usually had to travel a lot and/or have a packed house, and for many years there was a lot of tension between her mother & I.
The answer is that my Christmases just kept getting worse. Bad enuf I was abused thruout childhood, tho I don't know of any incidents specific to this season; I do suspect such.
The overt abuse stopped when I was 10-11, but this was about the time my brother was put in that "training center" (training for what, to be a damned robot?! A vegetable?!
So now there are no more Christmases with him, except going to visit him there for a bit!
Then when I'm 12 I get put in a children's home becuz I'm
a bad boy & my mother can't control me
anymore either (am I the only one who sees a pattern here?! :rolleyes: ).
Now I see my brother even less as I'm thrust into a strange place away from all the people I'd known & gotten comfortable with, even if some of them were abusive. So that I got more presents while in the home did no good.
Then, when I've been there about 2 years, I hear my brother has died, right around the time of his birthday (I think it was on his birthday, and I think that's one of many things the institution & my family were covering up & keeping from me!)
So here I am right before another Christmas in this strange place where they make a boy who'd never set foot in a church in his life go to church 4-5 times a week--and I'm going to my brother's funeral!!!
For some reason I'm not allowed to see his body. How bad could it have been if he died of a damned asthma attack?!
From that time on my hatred for my mother began to show, tho already I'd buried the abuse memories
deep down. No wonder she decided that was a good time to do what she'd been working on doing since she put me in the home anyway--go out West!
Christmas & my whole life really went downhill fast from there! I began to get in a lot (more) trouble at the home: getting into fights, acting out with girls (or trying to), running away twice, once with 2 girls.
To make this story that's getting way too long shorter, I basically get sabotaging my own life until I was 22, met my current wife, got married, started our own family.
But by then I had so many pent up feelings, so much buried hatred & horrid memories, I had become so damned dysfunctional in so many ways. That my wife stuck with me & continues to love me so much, that our girls turned out so well & the abuse cycle has been broken with us, is still a source of amazed gratitude for me!
Anyway that's why I still struggle to enjoy the holidays, and life...
Gosh how you men here have helped! That sharing my story of struggle might help someone a little with theirs means so much to me!
Friend, my brother was indeed my anchor & center. I was in essence, forced by mother, his surrogate father and his caretaker as well as his brother. I took him to school, around school, to daycare, back home, around with me to see my friends (which wasn't easy becuz they didn't understand his "condition"). I cooked for him & cleaned up after him.
I was by no means a perfect father--but for a "child father" with an incestuous & otherwise largely absent mother as a "surrogate wife," I did pretty damned good!
I protected him--as far as I know & when I could. I didn't much like fighting--a product of my mother's hippy "peace & love" sh*t. People could slap me around. But even make fun of my brother and the adrenalin kicked in; more than once I layed into 2 or 3 boys bigger than either of us, and laid them out! It was as tho I was fighting for my life.
Actually, I was
fighting for my life!
The life they took away from me when they put me away, then put him away, then killed him!!!
Yeah, I guess this is one way in which the anger I've carried with me all these years has been positive. I did take care of him & protect him from a lot, as long as I could, the best I could. My anger at what was done to him kept me alive until I could learn to be angry at what was done to me as well.
Now, my anger will bring about some measure of vindication, closure, justice & peace, for me, & for my brother who is always with me & part of me
Also for others who have been abused, like you...
Friend, I very much empathize with you concerning your mother. No, I can't imagine the horror of being abused by an older brother. But I do know the horror of knowing I wasn't able to protect my younger brother from all the abuse, tho I no longer blame myself for that; took a long time tho
I also know how it is to have the threat of being put away "like your brother" hung over my head.
When I was put in the children's home, my mother told the story (which I now know to be a lie & I'll prove it too!) that she couldn't control me anymore becuz of my skipping school & shoplifting & I would be put in juvenile detention if I didn't go into the home.
The real reason? She couldn't
control me; before I was a teen I was already too much of a man for her! :p
Also, when I was 10, probably closer to 11, soon after my brother was put away, she had sold me to a gay couple that raped me. From that time I became increasingly rebellious & began really standing up to her. She was either afraid of getting beat up, or turned in, or both. I even think some people suspected what she did...
So she put me away, and I shut down, blanked out the memories, believed the lies...
But no more dammit! No more tolerating the abuse & the lies. Not for me, not for anybody!...
RJD, what you, & your brother, went thru was hell on earth & I am so sorry! It is very special of you to say my brother & I are precious! So are you & your brother, my friend! Not "expendable!"
Indeed, as you implied, we are none
of us expendable, all
of us precious, from birth, simply becuz we [I]are[I]!...
RJD, I'm flattered & humbled & honored!... Anytime you need a big brother well, hey, I need a little one!...
Take care, brother.