Sunday, July 22, 2012

My Relationship With My Two Brothers (Part One: My Younger Brother)

My Relationship With My Two Brothers (Part One: My Little Brother)

I sometimes wish I had a better relationship with my brothers. Like my relationship with my mother (link & link) and my father (link) the relationship I have with my two brothers is distant. It leaves much to be desired. For all intensive purposes my two brothers are strangers to me. I can't tell you their favorite food, color or hobby. I can't tell you their first crush or what their goals are in life. I can't even tell you what my oldest brother does for a living because I honestly don't know. We don't talk. While I don't think my relationship with my two brothers is as sour as that of my parents, I do think it's sad as hell.

I look at both my brothers now and think "Damn who are these men? I barely know them." The only thing I know about little my brother is he's very anal about most things. I secretly believe he's autistic (?) because he compulsively stacks things and he color codes everything from his polo shirts to the cans in the cabinet at my mother's house. If something is out of order he becomes somewhat erratic. My dad is the same way, but to a lesser extent.

He is a tall good-looking brown-skinned black man. In terms of looks he favors my mother while I favor my father. His personality is a combination of both my parents. By trade he is a mechanic. However, he's expressed discontent with his occupation. He will turn 25 soon and he has never left my mother's house....not because he cannot afford it. He simply does not want to leave. He pays some of the household bills and pockets the rest of his money, which I assume he's saving for a rainy day.

My relationship with my older brother is far more complicated and problematic than the relationship I have with my younger brother so I will do a completely separate blog for him. This blog will be about my relationship with my younger brother.

My younger brother was born in 1987, exactly 2 years after I was born (1985). As stated in previous blogs my mother and father should never have had one child together let alone two. By all accounts I was the apple of my father's eye...right up until my little brother was born. My father, like most men, wanted a son. He got one with my younger brother. Once he was born my father's favoritism began. Arguably my older brother is my mother's favorite child and my youngest brother is my daddy's favorite. I was the only girl and apparently the least favorite of them all. It didn't take long for me to pick up on this new reality after my youngest brother was born. My dad didn't do anything to hide it. I grew to resent the little bastard right away. As far as I was concerned he came along and stole my glory.

I became a bully. I did everything I could to make him cry. I beat him. I tore up his toys. I tried to poison him. I pushed him down the stairs in our home. I threw things at him. I did everything I could to torture him. And everything I did ended with my father whopping my ass. After the ass whopping I would go right back to punishing my little brother. He would get his ass beat for running and telling on me.

Growing up my two brothers shared a room and as the only girl I had my own room. I was always isolated from them. The two of them bonded, while I was an outsider looking in at their relationship. When my mother left my father this isolation grew worse. From ages 12-15, I wanted nothing to do with anyone. I stayed in my room and read all the time. I was depressed as hell (I explained this period of my life in this blog). Still there are some memories from this time that I cannot forget. I often laugh about these memories when I think about them.

Once when my two brothers and I were home alone my youngest brother ran into our apartment crying because three boys stole his bike. Not only did they steal it, but they literally snatched his bicycle from him while he was standing in front of our apartment. I was 14 years old when this happened and my little brother was 12.

Me (to my little brother): So you stood there and let three motherfuckers ride off with your bike? (Yes, I actually spoke this way when adults weren't around).

Him: What was I supposed to do? There were three of them.

Me: You are a bitch ass nigga! I don't for one second believe you and I came from the same dick. There ain't no way we share the same parents. You are too much of a punk!

Him (crying): I want my bike back.

Shaking my head, I went upstairs and grabbed the wooden baseball bat I kept behind my bedroom door. I nicknamed the baseball bat my "nigga stick" because I swore if a nigga ever broke into our apartment while I was home that nigga was going to get beat with that stick!

Nigga stick in hand, my little brother and I set off to find the punks that stole his bike. We didn't have to search far. The three boys lived in the same apartment complex. I walked right up to the three boys with my brother right behind me. I demand they give my brother's bike back. The boy holding the bike was a big fat ass biggie smalls looking nigga. He had to be about 12 or 13. He was obviously the leader of their little clique because the other two boys let him do all the talking. They just stood back and watched.

Fat ass: This my bike now!

Me: The hell it is! Give my brother back his bike.

Fat ass: Or what? You ain't gon do shit!

Me: I'm going to beat your motherfucking ass!

Fat ass: You ain't gon do shit! Bitch I'll go get my sister. She'll stomp your ass.

After he said that I lifted my nigga stick and began swinging on his ass. I swung that baseball bat as hard as I could right into the pit of his stomach. That fat bastard bent over, clutched his stomach and fell to the ground crying. His two friends took off running. They left him!

Me (to my brother): Get your bike!

Scared (as usual), my brother grabbed his bike.

Me (to the fat ass kid): If you come near my brother or his bike again I swear to God I will aim this bat right between your legs next time.

And with that we went back to our apartment. My brother never had a problem out of those boys again.

I don't want y'all to think I was a violent child ready and willing to kick ass at any moment. It wasn't like that at all. One thing my parents did right is they taught us to stand up for each other. They flat out told me and my brothers if we stood by and let someone beat up on one of our siblings we would get our ass beat when we got home. Even today, we might fight like cats and dogs, but when push comes to shove we got each other's back. I might not get along with my brothers but I will put a hurting on anyone that fucks with my family.

Also, please remember I wasn't in the right frame of mind during this time. Again read this blog. With so much shit going on at home, I didn't have the patience for some random fat ass kid bullying my punk ass brother. I took my frustrations out on that kid. His fat ass felt the full force of my rage that day.

Anyway, when I turned 15 I decided to move out of my mother's house. I jumped ship. I moved in my grandmother. I wasn't around my two brothers when they began dating and maturing into men. And they weren't around when I began blossoming into a woman. We barely saw each other and we barely talked on the phone. We attended different high schools. I rarely visited my mother. The only time I saw my little brother once he became a teenager is when he came to visit our dad.

Eventually I left our little country town and moved to Atlanta where I went to college. The summer of my Junior year of college I went home to discover that my little brother was on his way to becoming a father. He and his girlfriend were expecting a little girl. To my surprise both my mother and father seemed HAPPY about the prospect of my 19 year old brother becoming a father. However, God had other plans.

Not too long after I arrived home his girlfriend called to tell him that she was on her way to the hospital because she was bleeding. When my mother, brother and I arrived at the hospital we were told she lost the baby. Vanessa (the name she and my brother gave the child) was killed after she was strangled by the umbilical cord. The baby must have accidentally twisted herself up in the umbilical cord.

Upon learning this news my brother broke down crying. He wasn't just crying he was sobbing. It was the first time I actually felt sorry for him. Overcome with emotion, I started crying too. It was one of the most painful moments of my life. Somewhere in Americus, Georgia (his ex-girlfriend's hometown) is Vanessa's grave. My brother has never seen it. I think he prefers to keep it that way.

Today, as adults, there is no love lost between my little brother and I. However, I think we've reached an understanding: I stay out of his way and he stays out of mine. Like I said, I wish things weren't this way, but I think this is something that should have been fixed by our parents years ago when were children. They were too busy fighting each other to notice their children were following in their footsteps.

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