xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' Yeah. Good Times.: The Dive Bar Welcomes: Damaged Goods

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Dive Bar Welcomes: Damaged Goods

I don't write Dive Bar posts, they are written by folks who need a safe place to speak their hearts and have no other outlet. For more information see the tab above. The author chose the name in the title. Let's give her lots of hugs today.

23 years ago this week you died. You had been hit by a car that was speeding as you walked across the street. You were 19 and I was 13. I should have been devastated and cried a lot. I couldn't. I wished you dead so many times. You tortured me and our sister daily for 10 years. You hid in my closet and jumped out during the night in vampire costumes starting when I was 4. You held our heads under water when no adults were looking til the point where we almost drowned, but didn't. When you got caught, you would laugh it off. You pushed our faces into the snow until they were frozen and I could scarcely breathe. I HATED you so much. I used to wish you would never come home. You stole my childhood from me. Our mom was working full time when I was 5 and I had to come home alone to a house with you. To a house where I never felt safe. I went anywhere, everywhere to avoid being home with you. You were so angry and mean and hated me and our sister so much. I babysat and was a mother's helper from age 8 on and had to give you all my money I earned. I would pay you not to beat me. Or give you $5 to go to 7/11 for candy and for 20 minutes while you rode your fucking bike to 7/11 and back, I was safe from harm. You made my life a living hell.

Then you died. We got the call your freshman year of college that you had been hit by a car and were in critical condition. Our mom dropped our sister and I off at friend's houses for a few days (like she always did because she had no time or interest in being a Mom) I remember that night my friends mom fussing over me, asking was I ok? I was numb. I felt evil and guilty because I was GLAD. You had beaten me up every day for 10 years and for 2 weeks you had been in college and for the first time in my life, I started to feel a little bit safe. I didn't feel like throwing up when I saw our house and knew you were in it. I knew you were 8 hours away at college. I didn't want you to ever come home.

I blamed myself. I thought I caused this by wishing it so many times. Later in life, my sister would tell me she wished for it all the time too. You were our torturer, our abuser and I wanted to be free from you. I spent 10 years terrified and the last 23 I have struggled with crippling anxiety and so many fears. We had no dad around. He had left to start a new family. Our mom was too busy socializing and blaming us for her not getting remarried, and blaming us for the divorce, and telling us "You ruined my life" and "Drop dead" on a daily basis.

I watched my mom languish in her bed for months after you died, handfuls of sleeping pills and narcotics friends had given her. She threatened to kill herself every day so our sister and I slept in shifts for MONTHS watching her so we wouldn't have to go live in foster care. What we had wasn't a family and it wasn't a life, but we had each other.

I see now how angry you were. Our dad left you when you were 12 and had never really been around before that. Our mom treated you like shit and blamed you for everything. You took your anger out on us and made our sister and my life a living hell. I see more clearly now that you were crying out for help and attention that you never got. You would do anything to make our Dad want you back, or want to be a part of your life.

It doesn't excuse any of it, but I see you differently now. I wonder what kind of a person you would be now at 42. A 42 year old man. Would you have changed and grown into a nicer person? Would you have been sorry and apologized for taking our safety and for all the years of abuse? I will never know. You have been dead several years longer than you were ever alive. I don't miss you at all. But each year at this time, I allow myself to wonder "what if?" What if you had survived? Would we have a relationship now? Would you be a good uncle to my children?

Every year September 12 is just another day for me. I can't cry for you. I have tried and nothing comes. With each year I understand a little more why you were so angry. I have a lot of resentment towards our parents too. You were a kid and maybe you were just a really, really angry one or maybe you were evil and would have become a criminal. We will never know. And for that reason, because all I ever knew of you was TORTURER, ABUSER, SADISTIC, CRUEL, I am not sorry you are gone.