My brother committed suicide nearly one month ago. No one saw it coming, but I do suppose clues were dropped. It’s just that no one ever expected he would take it that far.
My aunt drowned herself in the Detroit River sometime during the 70’s. My own mother made threats to end her life more times than I would like to remember growing up. So, suicide runs in the family, an after effect from deeper abuse. You know, family fucking secrets that never fully get expressed and healed until it kills you.
This particular brother was my protector during my childhood. In fact, he was more adult in many respects than my own parents. But, that role certainly had to have taken it’s toll, right? When my other siblings left home for college or marriage, my brother and I had to deal wth our mother. This was not easy, as she was a heavy drinker and pill popper, making her difficult to handle. We witnessed things together that the other siblings didn’t. In many respects, we got the brunt of it all, but this also united us together closely.
When I delved into my childhood through writing when I was in my 30’s, I discovered sexual abuse in the family. I certainly did not want to find this to be true, but at the same time, having validation from someone in the family, that sexual stuff went on behind closed doors would have helped me feel not so crazy.
I confronted my brother bravely one day 17 years ago and he admitted stuff happened there, but then he quickly denied it the next day, saying that it was not abuse but merely sexual exploration between certain siblings. I found that hard to fathom. Who has three brothers that are gay? Was this because of sexual abuse or having a weak father who crossed boundaries sexually, and an overbearing mother with major addiction issues? From what I have read, statistics show that all of these reasons may have contributed to all of my my brothers sexual preference.
There is a lot of shame in drawing out this information.
I know I am not doing a bang up job writing this, but I will continue on at a later date because this is too emotionally draining to tackle all at once. I just know that my brother’s death has opened the hornets nest and the old guard, my siblings, will not tolerate me mentioning this secret as one of the many possible reasons my brother took his life. Because in their mind, I made it all up.
Goodbye for now.