Brothers

Brothers

A Story by barleygirl
"

sometimes not a happy concept . . .

"


Someone very dear to us here at the Café, a true sweetheart of the most rare variety . . . she lost her brother recently to cancer. I have been enchanted to read her as she describes various aspects of life within her loving rambunctious family in her artful ways. Some of her family experiences sound like make-believe to me. I don’t know what to say at times like these. I wish I could pen the perfect ditty to make her smile and forget her painful loss for a few moments.

Hopefully people who consider me a friend have been giving me a pass for years. I have a bad habit of saying nothing at conflicted times. For example father’s day . . . I block it out and truly forget others are celebrating a family day. I make a point to avoid Facebook’s massive celebratory scroll of sharing about so many awesome dads out there. That’s because it still hurts, fifty years after my dad stopped raping me routinely. It’s difficult to let my mind dabble in the possibilities of what it might feel like to have had a father who evokes fond feelings.

I’m in a similar conundrum as I grope for words, given the loss of a brother. I apologize for making this about me. I’ll try to show why I have a hard time pondering the sweet loving mystery of a favorite brother . . . why I do a subconscious cop-out and forget to acknowledge the “family” part of most everyone’s lives over the years.

Of three brothers, the oldest is named after our dad the steady child rapist in the family. One might think that would feel weird, but Dan is a narcissist like dad, completely self-absorbed with his greatness. (Incidentally, this is why I’m nauseated watching our latest president’s self-aggrandizing scams). My eldest brother can’t conjure up the empathy to concern himself with how three of his sisters were plundered during childhood. It’s never a two-way conversation with him. Dan rarely reaches out and when he does (every decade or so), he imparts his monologue of career accomplishments and the brilliant successes of his two accomplished kids. I must express praise and gratitude because he gave me a thousand dollars one time, at a tough point in my life.

Of three brothers, the middle one mimicked dad’s regular raping routine on me, his baby sister, six years younger. Bob never bought me the candy he promised each time to lure me. I kept a tally of his debt and he still owes me over a hundred and fifty boxes of Jujy Fruits and an apology. Dad was very hard on Bob because he wasn’t a manly kind of guy. Plagued by crippling low self-esteem his stint in Vietnam precipitated lifetime struggles and deprivations for him, his wife and two daughters. I have no malice toward Bob and I leave lesson-teaching to God. We haven’t been in touch for thirty years or more, except for a stint of avoidance during a 2007 holiday get-together (depicted in photo).

Of three brothers, Gordon is eighteen months older so we were thrown together and told to bug-off as older siblings pursued teenage and grown-up shenanigans. Playing together as kids, Gordon found my fundamental vibe offensive. I was tough and outspoken, whereas he was timid and prone to tears. Dad couldn’t tolerate HIS son being such a baby, running to mom’s apron. He was determined to teach Gordon to be a man. This meant me cowering as dad showed Gordon how to punch someone instead of crying. Trying to be aggressive was so foreign to his timid nature these punishing sessions went on and on because dad never got the desired manliness from Gordon. Eventually dad would hammer me with man-sized fists to show how it’s done. This physically hurt me, but it crushed Gordon’s tender spirit. I haven’t heard anything about him in over a decade.

Now in the autumn of my life, I’ve let go of my entire family. I regret some collateral damage, but life is easier when I’m not reminded of the tragedy of our collective childhood. I’ve gathered a motley crew of loving friends over the years that harmonize with my groove, so I don’t feel anything lacking. But I still have a subconscious habit of blocking out reminders of other people’s familial bliss.

Every one of us has been hurt by someone’s seeming indifference at some point in life. Please take my story into consideration whenever tempted to take another’s thoughtless actions personally. Sometimes people just have a dark abyss inside that swallows up the person we wish they could be for us.

I’m sorry for making this about me . . . I wish I knew how to celebrate family. Most of all I’m sorry for our lovely friend’s recent loss of her beloved brother (((HUGS)))




© 2018 barleygirl



Author's Note

barleygirl
Thank you for opening your heart to my story.

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Featured Review

Dear Margie, as one who comes from a very happy family and with two brothers, one now departed, I read your words and feel such sorrow for what you've missed out on and what you have had to endure through childhood. Appalling situation for you and I reach out to you and understand entirely why you feel the way you do. Thank you for being so open and sharing your feelings with us. That takes immense courage my friend. Anyone reading this story couldn't fail to be moved by what you have conveyed.

Fondest

Chris



Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

4 Months Ago

As if by fate, I post this & then find your poem "Brothers and Balloons" in my newsfeed at the very .. read more



Reviews

My dear girl, I come from a somewhat similar dysfunctional family. The doctor to this day says I suffer from Lack of Love Syndrome and PTSD. Most of my damage came after I graduated and began life. I went to see Siberian Husky puppies and there were none. I was raped, lost my virginity and got pregnant. My parents forced me to have an abortion, throwing me in the car. I was too far along and it was mind blowing. My life has been hell since, being beaten, guns held to my head and so much more. I have been blessed in that with my MS, I was at a point and destined to become a quad and God gave me a miracle and 8 years later I am walking and breathing on my own. We have to forgive because it is only hurting us and not anybody else. I have found that only God can help me with that one, especially as far as my parents go. We are blessed to be such awesome individuals sweetheart and gifted beyond belief!! =D Where we should be bitter and ugly, we are beautiful and see it all around us! Feel the hug I am sending your way!! Love ya Margie!! Linda

Posted 2 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

2 Months Ago

Thank you for this long thoughtful honest share. I've had some of these experiences & I've also seen.. read more
Nic ma'am, thanks for sharing. 😊😊😊

Posted 3 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

3 Months Ago

And thank you so much for stopping by to share! (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie
Margie. Wow. I'm speechless. I don't think there is anything I can say that puts into words how brave you are, surviving and thriving through everything you've been through. Being able to open up about topics that make you uncomfortable prove what a strong lady you are. I think you are now officially one of my role models.
*Hugs* Abby

Posted 3 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

3 Months Ago

Coming from you, this is especially meaningful! *smile* I know you have a very caring heart. Fortuna.. read more
You are a beautiful human Margie...and a real sweetheart.... to be strong to have gone through all these....... I had read previously read when you had shared about childhood.... sometimes the family the people we trust are the ones who take advantage of you...
Somehow.... if as parents we can ensure to keep our child safe that's one real blessing... I feel.. somehow I never wanted a girl child Bec of that...then latter realised it's not just about being a girl....the world is now not letting alone small kids be it a girl or a boy.... the direction the world is going to is very scary....so I have stopped reading news papers...it's full of such news...

And somehow you have risen over all that and still shine your light and happiness ...shows your inner strength....

Sending you warmest hugs and love...
We are family here at cafe...
We love you...😘😘😘

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

4 Months Ago

There was a news report over the weekend about 300+ priests who molested 1000+ kids in church, where.. read more
Ardra

4 Months Ago

Mmmm it does require courage to say it out ...Margie...truly... and big hug for that.... 😘😘.. read more
You are a Brave Heart my friend. Honest and true. You selflessly reach into your own darknesses and create light for others to follow. You say the things that many are too fearful, traumatized and destroyed to say. In this autobiographical work, you help a sweet, grieving friend here to always remember the family blessings that were bestowed on her. Those blessings that transcend illness, death, time and place. Although there is a b&w contrast in life experience between you, you succeed in connecting, empathizing, caring and reaching out poignantly to comfort her. This is a miracle of fellowship on this site. Bottom line, we support each other. Just beautiful dear Margie. I am proud to call ((both of you ))my friends. Xo

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

4 Months Ago

What you've written here is a celebration of everything I love about the friendships at the café. T.. read more
Hello

I was led here by another writer's comment on what lead her to write a piece.

Firstly, it is amazing the strength it takes to write out one's personal pain, and though I sense this is only a mere shadow of the reality; that harshness still too painful to share, I appreciate how you pushed yourself to let some out, to share, and to possibly help others dealing with the same pain.

The differences of family life can be incomprehensible. A loving family's ways; hard to get a sense for. But you should take a bow on how you made it through those years - not without scars, but you made it and still see life.

It is very difficult to critique/review these kinds of pieces. Sometimes they feel disjointed in presentation, sometimes that can hurt a piece, other times it adds to the feel.

I do not know if this is something you wish to publish further, so I will stay away from those kind of suggestions.

One thing I will mention is an exercise I had to do when learning how to express emotions fully in writing on the personal level. We tend to hide so many things, buffer them down due to all sorts of fears; either from the audience or from the fear of once that dam has burst, the water may not stop until everything runs dry. Therapeutic, perhaps, but some shadows need to stay in the dark.

The exercise was this. I was told to write in the most negative way possible about someone I loved dearly. Once I did that, I handed it in - they handed it back and said to do it again, only really let go. The hope or idea is to separate the writer from the writer's influence. What happens then is that you can give a closer to the reality truth kind of story.

It sounds painful - and trust me it is. But. Some shadows need to be seen clearly, without the kitten-gloves on.

Thank you for sharing. My sympathy to your dear friend and their loss. You apologise for turning into 'all about me' but if you look at it again, her pain is still felt, her love for her family is still touched. I'm sure she know this about you.

Best writing to you

Silt

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

4 Months Ago

Thank you for taking so much time to write out an inspirational bit of your own life experience on s.. read more
This is another blinder Margie... had I not already been aware of some of the details illustrated here, I might have found some of the revelations you make a shocking eye opener to say the very least... as it is, you have kind of built on previous writes/posts and I am so very grateful you have the strength and determination to do just that.... I also have no doubt many will find these words of some personal comfort and value because such words need to be written to demonstrate how folk can overcome such brutal behaviour and treatment.... Here's to ya Margie.... Cheers.. N

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

4 Months Ago

It may seem I'm building on my story, little by little. I can't stomach a long stretch of writing ab.. read more
Neville Pettitt

4 Months Ago

You must keep them coming if you possibly can.. little and often is a good tactic and I am with ya a.. read more
As you say it is so difficult to find words at times > Hope you understand > I cant understand Fathers and mothers taking advantage of their offspring like that: but I do hate the perpetrators

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

4 Months Ago

Thanks for sharing my story & understanding how this curse is pretty widespread, unfortunately! (((H.. read more
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Gee
As a father, brother, son, uncle I find this so, so hard to stomach. Cowardice of the highest calibre and your father, well speechless but an overwhelming feeling of hate says everything I can't.
Can't change the past, if I could I would for you....

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

4 Months Ago

I had immense hatred for my dad, for many years. Part of the healing journey is learning to accept b.. read more
Margie - To say I feel your pain and angst doesn't begin to express my sympathy toward you. Unfortunately there are many that have suffered horrible childhoods. I don't think there are too many that could ever compare to what you endured. I celebrate your courage in relating your familial history of horrors with the rest of us.
Take care - Dave and a big HUG!

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

4 Months Ago

Since I share my story openly, many have shared sad stories in reply, sometimes in private. So I can.. read more

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Added on August 3, 2018
Last Updated on August 3, 2018

Author

barleygirl
barleygirl

Central Coast, CA



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Just loving life & sharing my blessings. more..

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