I guess no matter how far we think we have come from our painful childhoods, all's it takes is for a certain tone of voice or a quick unveiled, barbed jab to bring it all back again.
My Brother was my nemesis growing up, he beat me up on a regular basis to soothe his own pains from the beatings he took from an alcoholic abusive Father. It pretty much came down the order of command...My Father was beaten by his abusive Father before him and for how far back that actually reaches I will never know it was always taboo to talk about when I was younger and all of that generation has died off now.
My brother feeling broken and battered, became my abuser. I guess he HAD to purge all his own bad feeling while beating on me and my older sister. And of course he always made it seem our fault......oh the tender heart of a child, he tried to break me at every turn, but I have been defiant all my life in spite of this. It made me tougher and wiser and a lil more on guard..but by saying this I, by no means think he did me any favors. I am who I was destined to become.
It shocks most people when they find out it wasn't always wonderful, like it is today between us. Many have a hard time seeing him in that light, but they always seem to be able to see the side of me that can't be conquered. Even my Brother's wife has a hard time understanding how in spite of my Brother abusing me when we were younger I can still love him today, he has chose to block most of it out, he genuinely doesn't remember a lot of things that my Sister and I can never forget.
But I am not the same small, defenseless child anymore and he can't hurt or intimidate me.....that stopped my 16th year. I finally put fear into HIM that year and although he can become rather foul to be around he has never harmed me again (physically) and I will not back down from him now when he starts his tirades......Sometimes I wonder how his Wife puts up with him! He brags about how my Sister and I refuse to be dominated by our husbands, even though that is never an issue, we both married Men who are kind and love and respect us. My Brother doesn't seem to respect women at all.
We spent some time this past weekend around each other at the lake getting ready for the new season and he was in one of his 'Black' moods. At least with my Father the only time things were rough was when he was drinking, my Brother doesn't need any alcohol to get mean spirited, it's a scar from his youth and what he had to endure, because my Father was always meaner and rougher on him then he was with us. And that is the only reason I have found divine grace in not holding anything against him today....he did what he had to do to survive and we all by the Gods grace.... survived.
Today when he gets like that, he can't hurt me ....I stopped a long time ago caring what he thought about me or anything I did.....I never HAD to have his approval, I just showed him how much he underestimated me. That made a big difference in my life and letting go makes loving him despite himself (sometimes) easier for me.......He's not who he used to be and I am not who I used to be...his victim......now I'm a worthy adversary when I need to bring it, and he usually regrets taking me or my Sister on and that is my salvation.