My Brother/ My Son… part 2
My Brother, My Son…part 2
As I wrote about my initial experience of becoming the primary care giver for my brother I thought about how natural the sense of responsibility came to me. I think that’s supposed to happen when you give birth not at ten years old.
I thought about that and realized I had been the adult in the relationship with my mother for as long as I could remember. It was just instinctual. By the age of ten I knew that maternal instinct isn’t given to you just because you gave birth.
Creation is done by all species and if you watch Animal Planet you’ll see that even in the wild there are mothers who reject their young. The problem is the child always thinks it’s their fault. The innocent have to deal with the guilt. That must be why the first part of therapy usually begins… “Tell me about your mother.”
I’ve written about running away with my brother when I was twelve years old. Some people thought it was brave. Perhaps. For me it was simply the only option. I knew at twelve years old that my mother was unstable, narcissistic and irresponsible.
I never thought about why I always insured my brother had what he needed and she didn’t. I just did it. The problem is when you take over someone’s responsibilities they come to expect it. There’s no turning back.
I was smart enough to know I didn’t have the means to mother this child alone. I sought help from adults who were in a position to help me. I never thought about risk or recall any fear. What I remember was a determination to get away from an awful situation to someplace safe. Staying was the risk that scared me to death.
During the four months we were living with my brother’s aunt and uncle there were many trips to court. Those who knew the circumstances were trying to prove my mother unfit. Seemed a no brainer to me, but the kid never gets taken seriously. Even today. We lost.
On Memorial Day weekend the aunt and uncle were having a big family barbeque. From the street their house looked like a ranch style, but on either side were steps down and around to the back. There was a large room in what essentially was the basement that had a regular door. The yard was a huge field that went way back to the river.
I left the party and went upstairs to watch TV. All comfy on the couch until I looked out the front window and saw a police car. Then I saw the car behind it and panicked. It was my mother.
She’d gotten a court order and came to take us…where? I didn’t know and didn’t care. I ran like hell down the stairs screaming, “My mom’s here with the cops!” I grabbed my brother and locked myself in the basement room.
It took a very long time to talk me out. I realized I had to go but would live to fight another day. As I walked up the stairs along the side of the house she stood at the top triumphant. I looked at her and immediately knew she was pregnant. Four months pregnant to be exact.