I know I'm behind posting. Blame a bad cold to start with. Add to that contact with my brothers for the first time in a long time. One brother's house burned down. He and his family are okay but the house is a total loss. It is strange to feel all the emotions this evokes.
I grew up feeling responsible for this brother. Stopped my mother from throwing him against the wall when he was an infant and I was about 3 years old. Gave him the attention no one else in the family did. Only to have him side with my older brother at the worst of times.
I know my brothers were as trapped as I was. They made very different choices than I did about how to handle that reality. And to this day that hurts—and makes me wary of them, deservedly so or not.
I hurt for my brother and the loss he has suffered—even though I know he has a community of people who can and will help him. I ended up talking to my other brother because he, too, was concerned when neither of us could at first reach our brother to see if he and his family were okay and whether or not their home was.
I find myself still protective enough of my brother(s) not to want to specify what went wrong as we were growing up even as I know I'll never be able to trust either of them even now. I find myself angry that in many ways they have happier, more prosperous lives than I do given the past. I find myself thinking that while I do not want to be capable of making some of the choices they did, perhaps I can look at how they were able to get to where they are and whether there is anything positive I can use without violating my own core set of values.
It is strange feeling this empathy for my brother at the same time that I feel wariness and remember hurt. I am grateful I can feel that empathy. It is the lack of that capability that allowed my abusers to do what they did. I want to be someone capable of loving and caring about even those who have hurt me. (Though I am NOT going to choose to put myself in possible harms way just because I do!)
More to mull over as I drink hot tea and try to convince my poor dog that today is NOT a good day for me to take her for a walk in the windy cold outside.....
Sending blessings and safe and gentle (((((((hugs))))))) to all of you,