Growing up in my home wasn’t always easy. My older siblings had some problems that caused a lot of drama in our lives. My oldest brother was a pathological liar and had some mental issues. In simple terms, it meant that when he lied about something, which he did often, he truly believed he wasn’t lying. He could convince himself that what he was saying was true, and then get upset because no one believed him. You could watch him do one thing, and then tell you point-blank he did another, and truly believe he was being honest. I can’t imagine what it was like for him growing up, but I do know how it affected me.
Many nights were filled with drawn out arguments, my parents knowing my brother was lying, and him believing he was telling the truth. I have watched my mother practically throw my brother’s things out the door one evening, and hold onto him, begging him to stay the next. It was very confusing as a child, to see all of this play out. My brother also had some violent tendencies as well as drug problems. It was always scary when he would lose control when my dad wasn’t home. I remember seeing my mom pinned behind a door a few times, and they had to take away his bats and hockey sticks.
One year when I was about 8 or 9, I had a very nice birthday party at the park. It was a beautiful day to be outside, I had great friends, and I got all the toys I had asked for. The only problem was that my dad and brother were missing. I remember pulling into our driveway after the party, and hearing a loud argument. I guess my dad and brother had gotten into it that day. It was so bad that my mom ran inside to get our things, and we stayed at a Motel 6 for a few nights. It wasn’t the first or last time we would have to stay somewhere else because my brother was out of control.
On nights that we did stay home through the arguments, I would hole myself and my brother up in my room, and we would watch TV loudly. Some nights the police were called by neighbors, other nights by my parents. My brother ran away a few times, and eventually he didn’t come home. I know that he eventually landed himself in jail. The only reason we found out he was there, was because he decided to write to my parents. Unfortunately they were not happy letters. They were often filled with violence and threats, and denial of any familial ties. It was a big rift in my family, and to this day we have nothing to do with him. I do know that he is alive and well, but I haven’t gone down the road to reunion.
My memories aren’t exactly happy.
I had a hard time understanding why my parents dealt with my brother the way they did. Couldn’t they see that he just didn’t get it? I didn’t like arguing as a kid and I still don’t as an adult. It makes me feel sick to my stomach and like the world is falling out from underneath me. After seeing my family argue so well when I was younger, I avoided confrontation as a teen, and it didn’t do me much good. Bullies are still bullies, even when you walk away. And yes, they will hit you from behind.
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