I just had a long phone conversation with one of my older brothers. It had been many years since we spoke to each other, so it was good to catch up. We started talking about family, life… you know, the usual. When the subject of our upbringing came up, we both agreed on, for the most part, how messed up our childhood was. What I didn’t know was that my brother was physically and emotionally abused by not only our mother, but our grandmother and older (now deceased) sister.
I’ll spare you the gory details, but suffice it say that, at that moment, I stopped harboring so much resentment and bitterness toward my brother. For many years I viewed him as an abusive bully. Now, I see him as someone who suffered a traumatic childhood, and it has had a profound effect him (as it would anybody).
Fortunately, he’s doing well nowadays. He just got a new job in his field, with good pay and benefits. I suggested that he look into getting counseling to get help “unpack” all of the emotional baggage (something my yoga practice and yoga teacher training have helped me with tremendously), as that will serve to expedite his healing process. I told him that he needs to come to the realization that what happened to him was NOT his fault, and that the sooner her can exorcise those demons, the better and richer his life will be.
Our conversation also made me realize something about our childhood that I’ve alluded to in previous post: Namely, that the women who were supposed to love us the most (grandmother, mother, sisters) are the ones who hurt us the most. I’m sure that’s a very uncomfortable thing to read, but, hey, it is what it is.
This is why my brother has trust issues with women, it explains the continued animosity amongst my siblings, and it is also why I am so glad that I married the woman that I have been happily married to for 11 years.