When I started blogging, I made an unwritten rule about not discussing politics, religion, and family. I’ve broken the first two, it’s time to break the third.
Before I do, need to give you a cliff notes version about my family. My dad was an alcoholic, my mother the classic enabler and yes, my siblings and I were affected.
We were, correction, are, a dysfunctional bunch of people.
A week and a half ago, my oldest brother was admitted to the hospital. He’s had heart problems for years, and his implanted defibrillator was going off rapidly, weakening his heart – he needs a heart transplant. A few days ago, he had an artificial heart implanted in his chest until a donor heart can be found.
Unless something dramatically shifts in his health, it’s unlikely I’ll visit him.
My parents separated when I was 13, divorced when I was 15. My oldest brother took over the fatherly role. He felt it his responsibility to look out for me and my mom. Problem was, he decided he knew what was best for everyone and by everyone, I mean my mom and I. Mom went along with it; I thought he was full of shit.
After high school, I made plans to major in studio arts in college. One morning, shortly before I left home for college, my brother called me and YELLED and SCREAMED at me about my “stupid” choice and how I wouldn’t make any money and how I should be an engineer like him. I tried my damndest to keep my composure, but after 15 minutes of this, I lost it. Once I started screaming back, he started to laugh. He wasn’t laughing because it was a joke on me, he was laughing because he finally got a rise out of me.
He never thought twice about berating me in public in front of other people, and he frequently compared to my friends, as in “why can’t you be more like [insert a name].”
He said one of my nephews should date a girl who was retarded (his word, not mine), because she’d be just like my nephew.
One of my worst memories of him happened on my 10th birthday when he told me he was going to spank me. I yelled no, but mom and dad didn’t stop him. He said I had to have spankings on my birthday. He spanked me so hard it hurt to sit. After he was done, I ran in my room and started crying. What did he do? He opened the door to my room and started talking to me like nothing was wrong. I told him to go away and leave me alone. Did he? No, of course not.
And there’s worse. He used to own and race horses, but I found out he used to beat his horses until they bled out of their ears and noses. If I had physical proof of this, I’d report him.
No everyone’s seen it, but there’s a cruel side to him. Today, he’d be called a bully.
I don’t usually cry when writing blogs, but I haven’t stopped since I started writing. These things happened such a long time ago, but I guess some wounds never fully heal.
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Every day I read about my brother’s progress. I’m not gloating about him being in the hospital, I hope his body doesn’t reject the heart that’ll be transplanted into his body. I don’t wish him ill will. I hope he lives another 30 to 40 years to watch his grandchildren grow up. I just won’t be part of his life now, or ever. We may be related by blood, but we aren’t family.