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Kymberlie Ingalls is native to the Bay Area in California. She is a pioneer in blogging, having self-published online since 1997. Her style is loose, experimental, and a journey in stream of consciousness. Works include personal essay, prose, short fictional stories, and a memoir in progress. Thank you for taking a moment of your time to visit. Beware of the occasional falling opinions. For editing services: http://www.rainfallpress.com/

Friday, August 12, 2011

Sins Of The Brother

I’d like to say that my brother has hurt me for the last time, but I’d probably be lying.  Not an intentional lie, but a delusional one because if I sat and thought about the future hurts, I’d start crying and there’s no point in short-circuiting my keyboard over someone who’s not worth it.

My question that nobody seems to have an answer for is – how does one determine who’s worth it and who's not?  In my heart, I can’t help but think that if you share blood, share a mother and a father and memories, that makes it worth it.  In my head, I know better.  My husband always says I’m not logical – but in this instance logic dictates that blood is not the magical bonding potion talked of in myths and fairy tales.

None of us ever have enough ties in this world, yet I’ve spent my life tying knots in the fraying binds that keep me tethered to people who don’t want me.  I could write it off and say it’s their loss, but the truth is the loss is mine. 

Loss of time, of energy that may well have been spent elsewhere.  Things happen as they are destined to, however, so no amount of “I could have”s will do me any good.  After so much, it sure gets tiring being the martyr.  I’d throw myself on the cross but it’s already stuck up my brother’s ass. 

From the day I was born Sonny had it out for me, but the thing is I never knew why.  I find it hard to believe that I came out of the womb already offending him, but maybe that’s just how it happened.  It seemed it ran deeper than ordinary sibling discontent, and then the upheaval in our lives began and I have always taken the brunt of it.  I’ve never had the chance to be a ‘little sister,’ because my brother never had the thought to protect me, to nurture me.  There was no spoiling because I was the baby.  Truth be told, I have taken better care of him then he ever has in return.  I’ve been the maternal one – and like most mom figures, I take his shit and give anyway.

Sonny had a way when we were kids of needling me – I’ve never taken kindly to teasing, even today – with just the right pin prick when nobody else was looking, and because I was the hollering wheel, it was me who got the attention alright.  Attention that came in the form of blame from the adults for fighting with my brother.  Just yesterday, someone asked me “what are you two fighting about now?”  It’s not “we” fighting, it’s Sonny fighting me and I just can’t keep trying to figure out why.  It’s time to put a moratorium on this one-sided effort. 

We’ve spent half of our adult lives at war – the childhood battles were only the beginning – the other half at an uneasy peace.  Okay, maybe half is too generous a number; realistically it’d be about 70/30 with the odds not in my favor. 

One low point that stands out to me was the Christmas some years ago when the family spent the morning walking on eggshells so as not to upset the Sonnycart, because his moodiness had become the elephant under the tree the previous few years.  A mildly lame joke on my part was all he needed to have his tantrum and be on his merry way.  I was highly emotional that holiday, thinking the stress was getting to me, so the hurt was more intense as my dad and stepmother threw their usual blame-water on me by the bucketful. 

Shortly after, I suffered a miscarriage, hemorrhaging severely enough to traumatize me for months into the new year.  I hadn’t even known I was pregnant; those invisibly raging hormones had been fueled by the distraught brought on by the family festivities.

To this day, not one of them knows.  Nobody knows that I almost died that night aside from my husband, who was there to hold my hand through his own horror.  They couldn't be trusted with that vulnerable hurt.

My brother has committed sins against me that I have forgiven when most would not.  Don’t misunderstand that I’m claiming to be a saint – nothing could be more untrue, but I don’t ever intentionally hurt him.  Call him out on his crap?  Yes.  Find ways to get him in trouble when we were small?  Sure, but nothing worth this epic civil war. 

Nothing is worth hurting someone I love, despite their misdeeds.  And all I have ever wanted from my big brother is for him to love me.  The night my mother died, I reached out to him like a lamb that didn’t see the slaughter ahead and asked if we could be there for each other like she’d asked us to. 

His silence was the guillotine I didn’t see coming – I was in denial that he could be that cruel, then and now. 

Now he has dropped another blade to slice at my heart, even when my head knew to expect it.  Sonny couldn’t be bothered to drop whatever snit he has manufactured and be a part of my day.  My fortieth anniversary of the day I apparently ruined his life.  More silence that my father weakly tried to cover.  An incomplete family photo to forever mark the occasion.

No matter how proud I’ve ever been, no matter how much I’ve defended him or shielded him from any hurt I could against those who sought to abuse us, this is my reward.  It should have been brother and sister against the world – instead it’s been nothing more than a Jerry Springer stage show.  There was never any competing against the ‘golden son.’  The salt on the cuts is always that he gets away with these things.  Not one person has ever stood to defend me, to shield me.  Like passing a crime on the street, they "don't want to get involved."

It’s a simple choice, really – love me, or hate me.  I’m certainly akin to not being loved, and his choice is a confirmation of this.  But I can’t be the one to try anymore, to do the reaching – it only breaks my back as much as my heart, and I’m already broken enough for this lifetime.

© Kymberlie Ingalls, August 11, 2011

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