Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Letter to my big brother

Brother,

When I was a little boy, you were my hero, my rock, my guiding light. When I scraped my knees and our mother couldn't be bothered to pay attention, you cleaned them for me. When my father beat me, you read me stories until I stopped crying. When he was screaming at my mother in the kitchen, you taught me to put my hands over my ears and sing. When my mother couldn't be bothered to give us something to eat, you showed me where she kept the bread. You beat up any bully who as much as looked at us. You walked us home from school. You helped me with my homework.

And you made me suck you penis.

You were a lost child. You mother, for reasons I will never understand, took you from your dad and delivered you into the hands of a monster. Your step father, my father, beat you. He used you for an ashtray. He raped you. I don't know how old you were when he started abusing you, but I remember the first time he raped you, because that was the day I saw you die before my six-year-old eyes. Still, you found it in yourself to try to protect me, the child of your abuser.

You were just a kid! You couldn't have been more than 15, maximum 16, because I had not yet reached puberty. I know that because I remember that you were different from me - bigger, scarier. Then you stopped. I'm sure you stopped, because surely I would remember if you didn't?

I committed murder at 16.

Then you became special forces. Why did you do that? Were you running from something? My father, your mother, me, yourself? What did you think of yourself? How did you feel? Did you feel something like the guilt I've lived with most of my life?

How did you die? Did you suffer, or was it quick, perhaps even heroic? Or are you still alive, living somewhere far away, quietly raising a family with a loving wife, 2.2 children and a dog? Does what you did to me still haunt you, where ever you are? Do you realise how big a role your protection played in my ability to survive the hell that was my childhood? Do you realise that your care laid the foundation that enabled me to trust others, years later?

Do you realise that regardless of what you did, if you walked into my house today, I would feel nothing but joy? I can't hate you. God knows I tried, but I failed. I can't do it.

You are my big brother, my hero, my rock, my guiding light and I don't even have a grave, or even a wall with your name on it to prove that you once existed. I have only my memories and my grief for a boy who grew up in hell and didn't live long enough to heal.

Much love,

Your little brother.

PS: I'm so sorry about what my father did to you!

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