Friday, January 18, 2013

My Relationship With My Two Brothers Part Two: My Older Brother


This blog has been a long time coming. I wrote about my relationship with my younger brother back in July 2012. I avoided writing about my relationship with my older brother because it's too damn painful and depressing. In all honesty I don't have a relationship with my older brother. I haven't seen or spoken to him in over a year. The last time I saw him was Thanksgiving Day 2011. He doesn't call me and I don't call him. We aren't beefing or anything. That's just the type of relationship we have at this point. Yeah it's sad as hell and I'm partially indifferent about it, but there are times I wish we had some type of relationship. 

My big brother is two and half years older than me. My mother had him while she was still in high school. We don't share fathers. My brother has never met his biological father. I've only heard my brother comment on his father once in my life and that was in a fit of rage (I'll come back to this later). I will not discuss my brother's father on this blog. It's one of the few things that bothers me too much to mention on this blog. 

My father came into the picture when my brother was one and a half years old. My dad and my mom hooked up and I came into the world in 1985. I was born out of wedlock, just like my older brother. My younger brother came along in 1987 and my parents married sometime shortly after his birth. 

I honestly believe if my father hadn't entered the picture my brother would be successful in life. My dad loves me and my younger brother, his flesh and blood, but he HATED my older brother. He hated him with a burning passion. No doubt you've seen these step-parents who mistreat and abuse their step-children. Well, that was my father times ten. Don't believe me? Let me give you an example...

I sometimes think about an incident from my childhood. It's pretty damn hard to forget. I was five years old at the time. My older brother and I were playing a game when he hit me in the face. He must have hit me hard because I fell over crying. I was laying on the floor boo-hooing when my dad walked into the room. 

Dad: "Insert my name" what's wrong?!?

Me: "Insert my brother name" hit me in the face. 

At that moment I looked over at my brother who looked terrified. Then I looked at my daddy, who was staring at my brother with a pissed off expression on his face. 

Dad: "Insert my name" get up. 

I didn't move. So my dad pulled me to my feet. 

Dad: (To my brother): You sit your ass right there. 

My dad pulled me over to where my brother sat on the bed. 

Dad: (To Me): Hit him back. 

Me: (Confused as hell): Huh?

Dad: Hit him back. 

I raised my little five year old hand and gave my brother a quick slap on the leg. That didn't please my father. He stood over me and grabbed my arms. 

Dad: "Insert my name" clutch your hands into a fist. 

I did as I was told. 

Dad: (To my brother): Don't you move. 

I looked up at my brother who began to cry. He must have sensed what was coming. My mother was at work so no one was coming to intervene. 

With my hands clutched in fist and my father standing over me holding my arms, he proceed to put the force behind my five year old fist. The first punch landed on my brother's nose. Blood gushed out and landed on the bed. 

Dad: Hit him again! 

My dad pulled my arm back and another punch landed on my brother's face. This continued for at least ten minutes. 

My brother didn't move an inch. He just cried silently. The shit didn't end until I began to scream, cry and pull away from my dad. When it was over my dad went back into his bedroom and watched television as if nothing happened. 

The memory of that incident has stayed in my mind and tormented me ever since. I believe the main reason black men in general leave a bad taste in my mouth is because of my father. I've written about him before on this blog. He did a lot of fucked up shit when I was growing up. 

When I confronted my dad about the bullshit he did to my older brother he blamed it on the military. He said, "The military screwed me up." 

Me: You blame the military for the abuse you inflicted on a child?!? You were a grown ass man fighting a child! "Insert my brother's name" never had a chance in life because you treated him like shit from age 2 to age 15!  What the hell did he ever do to you?

Things went on like that in our household until my older brother was 15 years old. At that point he started fighting back. I remember watching the fist fights between him and my dad. I used to call the police to break it up. My mother was always working and often times it was just my dad, me and my two brothers. All hell would break in our house. If these domestic violence incidents made it to court my father would convince my mother to convince my older brother to lie on his behalf. I try not to judge my mother anymore, but I imagine she did it because it's hard for a woman to raise three children completely on her own. At the time she probably thought she needed my dad. I wrote about her HERE

Eventually it reached a point where my brother would run the streets and not come home. From what I understand he joined a gang and that gang took care of him. He began selling drugs and eventually he dropped out of school. 

At the time I couldn't wrap my 12/13 year old mind around my brother's actions. I even blamed him for quitting school and becoming a thug. However, looking back now it's wasn't all his fault. Yes, he made his own decisions in life, but who knows what kind of life he might have had if he didn't have to fight off a grown ass man almost everyday since the age of two. 

Eventually my mother did leave my father. Once my brother got his freedom he completely lost his mind. He became a full-fledge thug with no remorse. He stole money, he sold drugs, he did drugs and just became a menace to society. Though he wasn't violent (to my knowledge) he simply stopped giving a fuck about leading a good productive life. 

Fast forward...

I remember coming home from college back in 2006. My mother, me and my two brothers were sitting in the living room. I don't know how the conversation started but we began talking about my dad. My brother flew into a blind rage. He went into a rant about how he hated my father and how he never had a chance at life thanks to my dad and truthfully our mother who turned a blind eye to his pain. 

That was the first time I truly took time out to understand my brother.

I burst into tears and cried my heart out right there in front of him. I apologized for not being more understanding of his plight though at that point it was too late. The damage was done. My brother said he felt like I turned my back on him. 

It was true. 

At some point I did turn my back on him and write him off as a bum (something I actually called him to his face at one point). But then again, I was dealing with my own issues and depression. Like him, I was just a kid when all this shit went down. I was just as powerless as him. I could no more understand what was going through his head than my own.

The damage is done. 

My father did try to make things right with my brother. He bought my niece, my brother's first born child, some clothes and gave them to my mother. My brother accepted them.

My brother and I will never be close. I accept that. He has a white babymama and two kids. He seems happy and I'm happy for him. 
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