Wednesday, June 26, 2013

New beginnings .....

So, mom just has the twins to care for now.  My younger brother has gone off to live with a successful attorney and his wife in a lovely suburban home.  I'm taken in by my grandparents, with implicit promises of a better life and major spoiling.

"And they all lived happily ever after!"


Whoooooa there, pardner!  Not so fast ......

It'll be six years before I see my mother again.  During that time she will:

  • get divorced
  • get remarried
  • move to Hawaii
  • have another child (whom she keeps)
  • file for divorce (from the current husband)
  • move back to California

Along the way there will also be abuse -- physical ... alcohol ... sexual.  It is not a good life for my siblings (or my mother).

I'll see my younger brother somewhat more often, as our families swap summer vacations -- one year at our house, the next at theirs.

His story is not my story, so I won't go into too many details, but suffice it to say his life was ..... difficult.

Were he a child today, I'm sure he'd be diagnosed as ADHD.  Back then, he was just "all boy".  For reasons I wasn't privy to, he was placed in a juvenile psychiatric facility by the age of 10(-ish), and after some problems in the intervening years, was arrested at the age of 16(-ish) and sentenced to a psychiatric hospital until his 18th birthday.  He was in and out of police custody for several years, but now seems to have found a place of, if not peace, at least acceptance.

And me?  Well, the answer to that is that it's ... complicated.

At 16 months old, I wasn't a "blank slate" as my brother was purported to be.  After all, I'd not only spent nine months in my mother's womb, but I'd then spent an additional year and a half bonding to her and my older siblings.  My grandparents were strangers to me, as I'd only met them once before, and they'd not only brought me to a new place to live, but also taken me away from the only family I'd ever known.

I think it's safe to say that I was confused.
Who are these strange people and why have they brought me here?
"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."
Closing Time, by SemiSonic