All these years, even though we didn't always see eye-to-eye, we were connected not only by blood, but by trauma. My brother was the only person on earth who knew what I had been through, he was the only person who experienced what I had and, even more.
There was a time when he denied anything happened to me, that was a hard time, but the trauma clouding his memories and mental health. After that we sat and we talked, we didn't share a lot of details for a long time. My brother wanted to protect me from the details of what he had to go through. He didn't want anyone to carry the memories of his trauma and to cause extra burden or pain for anyone else.
Although we experienced many of the same horrific things at the hands of our biological father, my brother suffered physical beatings as well. Sometimes till he peed blood. This young boy, had to suffer so much, physically, emotionally, sexually...and none of that was his choice.
I realized seeing this picture (yes, all the smiles fake), that I am the last one. The last one that experienced what "he" did. He had abused all of us, my mother and brother and myself.
Incest, child abuse - is detrimental. My brother suffered many years alone. He did what he could to survive. I have reflected a lot since he passed in September. I was clouded by my privilege, having a roof, food, a job and the ability to keep all those. My life hasn't been easy, but through it all, I was able to manage.
My brother always said he wasn't strong, that he could be buckled at his knees over things and it was getting harder and harder to get back up. If he could have seen himself through my eyes:
- Strength and courage
- Love beyond measure
- Hard working
- Talented artist
- Unconditional friendship
- Adaptability. .....AND SO MUCH MORE.
I am ok - I think of him daily and so blessed to have his little on in my life.
One thing that I want you all to think about - pause, hug each other, love one another. Don't let life get in the way of conversations, time, fun, love, and being together. I guarantee the job, friends, and other things won't be there when you really really need your family - to stand by your side and hold you up.
Life is short, we must live the fullest life possible. Don't end up regretting how things ended up, that you didn't make the call, that you didn't say I Love You, or that didn't take the time to spend with people - take a pause and make life a priority. Hug each other.
"Being quiet and hidden is no longer an option."
Dedicated to Cory 03/10/1977-9/26/2022
and our mother 11/26/1951-03/26/2014