Friday, May 1, 2009

Complicated Relationships

Some things are complicated. Fear often adds to that complication.

I have a little brother. He's my half-brother, but even mentioning that he is a half-brother is insulting to some people. I can see how, especially now that I have children that are half-siblings. I don't like to hear them saying that. The fact that say he is a half-brother is only a minor part of the complications in our relationship.

We share the same biological dad. The one that is, among other things, a pedophile. Now I say that, but he's never been convicted of that nor am I aware of him ever even being criminally charged for that, but in a way that I will only be mildly elusive, I'll say that he is. His mother is also a very mean woman. I still lived with my bd (biological dad) when my brother was born. I remember it, vaguely. I would have been about 3 1/2 years old.

For the next few years, I continued to endure that home and resented my little brother both because he was a favored child among the parents and because he was *them*. I left those all of that behind when I was about 12. I occasionally went back, seeking something only girls seem to long for in a daddy, but always left again quickly. Throughout it all, I despised my little brother and those feelings never wavered.

I remember in high school, I was a senior and he was a freshman. He transferred to Ark City and I hated it. He told people that he was my brother and I denied it. I worked in the office during one of my hours at school and he was in there one day because he was in trouble and was waiting on the principal. I looked him straight in the eye and in front of everyone in the room said, "I've heard that you've told people that I'm your sister. I don't know who you are, but you need to stop telling people that." He smiled that weird, strange smile that he always had and I never heard another word about it.

A couple of years later, he walked into the grocery store that I was working at and I didn't recognize him. He had grown tall and thin. Still, I didn't know him and wasn't about to let on that I might. He was a part of everything I'd tried so hard to leave behind. I heard stories over the years of the trouble he'd gotten into and did feel sorry for him because of the parents he had, but I didn't feel sorry enough to intervene.

I got saved, moved away, got married, had children...and was haunted by that day in the school office. I thought about him often and wanted to help him. I'd heard of criminal trouble he'd gotten into along the way and really felt more sorry for him than anything. Finally, I tracked him down in prison and began writing him letters.

I didn't know what to expect. Really, I expected him to tell me to get lost. The letter that I wrote was a heartful "I'm sorry for the way I've treated you all of our lives." I went into details and really laid it all out. I told him that I'd understand if he didn't forgive me and that I'd understand if he didn't write me back. What I got was months of communication. I became so emotionally invested in his journey and trying to sort out what was truth and what wasn't. I longed to see him and to connect with him in person the way we had through letters. I remember when he got out and the first phone call he made to me. I was so excited to talk to him and was left speechless when he sounded exactly like my bd.

A few years later, I made it back here and was determined to finally meet him face-to-face. Here is it almost 2 years later and we've still not met, in fact, we've not talked in many, many, many months - not in text, online or on the phone. Tonight, when I checked my rarely used myspace account, I saw his profile and checked up on him. It's been several months since he's signed in. I have no idea what is going on in his life. I've distanced myself completely.

See, I've never known for certain if I can trust him or not. He was, after all, raised by that man. To my knowledge, he has always been respectful of my privacy. He doesn't share our communications with anyone else, and I appreciate that. We've had connections that have led me to believe that I can trust him, but then fear sets in and I get scared. He longs for those connections and so do I, but I'm terrified of seeing him for the first time. I'm scared of making this deeply personal, intricately involved, emotional relationship a reality. He has 5 sisters and 1 brother. If you ask him, he'll tell you that is what he has. To my knowledge, only 2 of us even acknowledge his existence, and he holds no grudges for that.

My fear of him all of these years and my fear of him now has nothing to do with him. It's not him and it's not his fault, and I know these things, but why can't I shake it and build a relationship with him? I'm really no better right now than I was that day in high school.

1 comment:

Melody said...

I can definitely understand your trepidation- you tried for so long to bury that part of your past, and to uncover even just a bit of it I'm sure is scary. From what it sounds like it seems that he's been trustworthy (or at least you don't have a reason to think otherwise right now) and maybe it's worth a shot? Especially if most/all of his family has sort of written him off, maybe you can be the light of Jesus to him- one that he sounds like he really needs. ((hugs))