I have several half-brothers and sisters. As far as I know, I have no full siblings, and, as far as I know, that doesn’t matter in the full scheme of things. Well, actually, one picture-taking day, my mom asked for a picture with just Dad’s kids, the dad who is not my biological dad. The older brother there and I chose not to make a fuss, ever. Well, until now I suppose. At the moment we let our four younger siblings and the step-sister that Dad had recently reconnected with take their together, without us.
That was a time where it made a difference. Yea, my other siblings, the four who are full, had once teased me once or twice or a dozen times that I wasn’t their real sister because I was only half. But they were extremely stupid kids and I was ‘too sensitive’. Plus, I could punch them in the arm or face when I was feeling a bit irritated.
Of course, I couldn’t do that to my mom. Well, I could, but I wouldn’t. Would I have, then? No, of course not. I can’t remember. I remember more that my mind had gone blank, and I had to hold in my profound annoyance because Older Brother was acting pretty cool about it, but I knew he was just as upset. At least, I learned later he was.
I try not to dwell on it when I see the family pictures hung on the walls. All the pictures with themes- females, males, kids… Dad’s kids only club.
Took an unexpected turn there. Ah, but you wouldn’t know, now would you?
So, I’mma take another turn, back to where I wanted to start. Let’s broaden this out a bit. I recently had a long conversation with my siblings about our family. Just the immediate, no intensive talks on cousin and aunts just yet. Older brother and I tried to break through a wall of delusions. Not only that, I have a drastically different way of looking and dealing with the world than my siblings, and they do from each other.
We were Facebook messaging. It had all six of us in the beginning, but Youngest Brother (I have two younger brothers) can’t take criticism to the nth degree and jumped ship at the least bit of pushback to his lifestyle. Before, we had invited back those of us that had left, accidentally or otherwise, but we didn’t for him, and there was nothing in this conversation that would have had him stay.
The conversation started with talking about our parents claiming certain people on taxes. Anyway, it got to the point that I was complaining how I wanted my cut of whatever they got, because they get money for me, and I didn’t see a goddamn dime. I’m sure they used it in some fashion, but I doubt they used it better than what I would have used it for. That’s a whole other can o’ WTF.
I don’t trust my parents to give me what I’m due without a lot of pushback, and my sister was certain that I would have been given my cut. After years of that not happening for nearly all things, I still don’t believe it will be given to me so easily. I’m thinking now, that that was how it has always been for me. Perhaps, it’s always been easier for Younger Sister (I have two younger sisters). She asks, and she’ll just get it, and she thinks it’ll be just as easy for me. I actually think it was harder than Younger Sister 1 made it out to be. In any case, I’m not going to risk it. It’s a long bus ride home to risk not getting what I came for.
She tried to tell me not to come over just to watch Game of Thrones (which I did, I admit), and maybe I’ll be more comfortable with asking them for stuff. That’s probably true, but, again, it’s too long of a bus ride to think so optimistically.
Then she said this:
Again with this shit!
However, to spoil it on ahead, Elder Brother and I made headway this time. At least with Younger Brother (not Youngest Brother who jumped ship).
Let me give you some background. Younger Sister and Younger Brother both have (or had) the idea that our general dislike of our parents was from lack of forgiveness in our hearts for the things they have done in the past, and that all the bitterness in our hearts are self-inflicted grudges that can all be resolved if we just let it go (Don’t).
Older Brother and I think we were abused. Well, not think, it’s science. We were abused. And that abuse was multiplied by the fact that they didn’t treat the other kids the same. Point in fact: Older Brother was often called sensitive when he was younger, and was just generally hit and yelled at all the time and teased because he was so sensitive and Dad had a free hand whenever he was the least bit irritated. My parents were all about sparing the rod and spoiling the child, but they weren’t good at it, just as that quote is mostly shit to justify beating the crap out of four-year-olds.
I would like you to muse over this a moment: Older Brother is 3 years older, so I barely remember him and his relations with others when he was, and I might be pushing it, 7. And things have really stuck with me only beginning my third year of school, so he was about about 11 or twelve. Imagine not knowing ten years of a sibling’s life. What have I missed? What view do I truly have?
Now, Younger Sister is a year younger than me. And Younger Brother is three years younger than I am. What the fuck do we know about how Dad treated Older Brother when he was four and five and six? Who are we to say that he’s lying, and I, and I’m so sorry, I used to think most of the way about Elder Brother. When I came to terms with my own abuse, I began to realize that it was highly unlikely he was just making shit up.
Back to my point: Younger Brother is MUCH MUCH more sensitive than Older Brother. Remember, when we told him he needs to take care of his diabetes more, for example, on Facebook, he was like, fuck all of us, I hate being pointed out for my suicidal flaws. But let me tell you, everyone walks on eggshells with this dude. He is just as violent as my father used to be (and Younger Sister) with a dash of drama by calling the police or wanting to get spoonfed by some poor dimwit of a counselor and get everyone involved. Heavens forbid you tell him to clean his chore, or room, or body or to stop hogging the bathroom FOR HOURS listening to dubstep.
And what do the parentals do for this, like really? Nothing. Dad won’t touch him or talk to him, and Mama doesn’t either. He needs psychological help, but our parents can’t afford it (or don’t want to, or don’t believe he has a problem like that. More on that piece of juicy bit later).
But let me sideline again: I came over one day, and the living room was a bit of a mess. It’s usually a mess because Younger Brother uses it as his mancave, leaving his clothes and trash and dishes wherever they fall. Mother came downstairs and told me and Youngest Sister, “Be sure y’all clean this mess up.”
Neither one of us said anything. When she was out of hearing shot, Youngest Sister snorted. We later talked about it: How could she treat us so differently? Youngest Brother can make an absolute hellhole of the place, not a peep. But I come over to visit and I must clean the living room? Needless to say, neither Youngest Sister nor I cleaned it.
That was sometime last month, April. April 2014. In April 2014, my mother was still doing the same shit she has been doing all my life. Foisting responsibilities on me because I was more malleable to do as she told. Of course, I don’t live in the house and I can just leave (HALLELUJAH) and I don’t have to worry about them keeping things from me. The tax money doesn’t count since they don’t regular give that to me. I’m thinking more on the lines of electricity… Or computer time… Grounding? Yea, something like that. So I left, and Youngest Brother went back in the living room that afternoon, and Youngest Sister knew Ma wasn’t going to tell her to clean it without risking have to tell Youngest Brother as well. I think the living room is still unclean to this day.
So we have different views of how life went because of our age differences, and we know for a fact that our parents treat us differently and have made some mistakes when raising us. One of their mistakes was being kind of inconsistent:
But things changed to The Point of No Return with Younger Brother’s post (for me at least):
And that gave Dad the right to beat the shit out of us, I suppose. Things get really hectic from here on, but that first sentence. Now, our Dad is one of the most manipulative people ever, and so is our Mom. They have these stupid ways of talking that make you say, come on, really? Are you really saying that? Then they are quick to call one sensitive or misunderstanding when in reality they are being assholes. They also have a way of blaming everyone when it’s their fault, etc.
TL;DR: There’s no way Younger Brother was never manipulated.
But this is where it gets into a sinking hole of family. I don’t usually make sweeping generalizations. (Everyone’s a brat, everyone has something wrong with them, we all can say mean things) They do absolutely nothing. It might help for someone who is confused, but I’m not confused, and I don’t need generalizations to bring it all into focus.
But just in case you don’t have the focus in ya crosshairs, everyone’s perspective is warping reality. Yes, of course, Older Brother and I feel as if we are closer to reality.
For example, Dad used to call Younger Sister a slut a lot (and was always scared of his sons being fags and me being nutzoid/crazy/think-you’re-smart-but-you’re-actually-stupid) or some variation of slut. I’ve also told her those same words, although I’ve never seen her have sex. I’ve also called my brothers those mean words, and some of them have called me bad names as well. And round and round it goes. Six of us. Plus Dad, and Ma that stands in the background or something.
Let me share these things Younger Sister said:
I don’t mince words. But look at that! This is us, one of us kids, saying with pure conviction the completely unreal statement of how she put me and Dad on the same level.
And this is the crux of the matter. Everyone did something so everyone just take the blame onto themselves and forgive everyone else and we’re all equal and we’ll have peace.
Except Younger Sister is all about physical retribution and can’t let things go when she needs to. She lets the anger get the best of her and always feels justified because that other person should have done something.
Also, Youngest Brother is driving Younger Sister insane with his shit. She keeps saying stupid stuff like beating him up will help (no this is no joke. She keeps saying that as if it’s an actual solution even though she has PHYSICALLY FOUGHT DAD, and she still is in the house thinking the same way she has since she was nine, with a kid, and one on the way).
Thing is, she doesn’t think people’s actions or words really influence anyone (she believes any beating she received when young was earned and it was all her fault), which is exactly the sort of shit our parents would say, which was what I was saying when I was in the house, which I believe Younger Brother is soon to stop saying, which Youngest Sister (who did not come into the conversation except to ask if we hated Dad, even after we said multiple times we didn’t hate him. I didn’t bother answering her. I have no patience for laziness) says.
They all also make these generalizations that try to equalize everyone’s faults, but with the glaring thumb that is Youngest Brother, it’s easier to point out that not everyone’s mistakes are on the same level, and I refuse to tolerate that which goes beyond The Point of No Return.
There is so much more to say. But being out of that house, out of that soul-sucking environment where your mental capacities for stupidity and wrongness are pushing the pressure gauges, where you put your mind through gymnastics to makes sense of the reality, I realize that leaving may be the only way to begin to heal from such a childhood where we didn’t know any better.