I really enjoyed having two days off in a row. It’s a very rare occurrence and it’s been probably over a year since I’ve had two days off together. Not counting my disastrous holiday that is.
A couple of interesting and disturbing things happened on my days off. On my first day off I asked my brother who is in town for a few days, to help me out with some work around the house. Every once in a while I need some strong muscle to help move things. As we were working for some unknown reason we started talking about our childhood. Now this is a subject I tend to avoid at all costs. My brother on the other hand will talk freely about it.
I’m not sure how we got on the subject of our childhood but at one point I told him that last year I went to see one of the houses we lived in. I also told him I couldn’t remember anything of the time we lived there. He remembers much more than me. He said he spent most of his time being drunk. We figured he must have been around nine years old then. I told him I had no recollection of this. He asked me if I remembered a few other things he mentioned and I had to say no. I find this troubling. But then he said something I found even more troubling.
He said that he had no good memories of his childhood. I paused for a moment and admitted I don’t really have any either.
“In fact”, he said, “it was brutal”, “our childhood was brutal”. I stopped. I stopped what I was doing and I stopped on the inside.
Growing up I never really gave much thought to what was happening to me and around me. When I was going to therapy I would always say what I went through really wasn’t that bad and even now I have a hard time realizing that my childhood was as bad as everyone thinks it was. I know I’m in some sort of denial about it but I don’t really know why. Maybe part of it is I don’t have much memory of it all, there are a lot of blanks. And I have a feeling that admitting to it will open a big can of worms for me so to speak.
Anyway when my brother said those words, something happened inside of me but I’m not sure what yet. Time will tell. He used strong words to describe our childhood, words I’ve never thought of using.
We had more conversation that day. He told me some of the things he saw. Very bad things yet when I’m honest I also saw similar things. I think it was awful he had to see those things yet I can’t seem to attach any feelings towards myself about the things I saw.
Interesting conversation. Conversation I’ve rarely had with a sibling.