4/21/2008: sibling rivalry

When I was born in 1973 my brother was going on ten. Mom & Dad owned and operated a small

business in Oakland, California. We lived in a part of the San Francisco Bay Area that was considered more of a farming community at that time. Clean, quaint, friendly … normal. My Dad would commute the 25 miles or so back & forth everyday and Mom stayed home to take care of me and my brother & do the bookkeeping for their company. My Dad was what people consider a work-aholic. He was also an alcoholic.

As I grew up I watched my family change like all families do. And just like most families, as my brother became a teenager, my parents had a hard time. He’d push and they’d pull. My Dad drank more. They all fought more. If I stayed quiet, I’d go unnoticed. When my brother got his driver’s license at sixteen he was given a black Trans-Am. I still remember the night he got it. He sat out in it in the driveway til I fell asleep inside. I can still hear my mom yelling out the front door to him to ask if he wanted his blanket & pillow. He totaled the car within a couple months. But mom made sure he had a replacement right away. Dad was against him getting a new car but my mom made life pretty miserable for anyone near her unless she got what she wanted. Dad always gave in eventually. So the next car was totaled. And the next. In two years my brother wrecked 8 or 9 cars. Every time it was the same, the new car would end up in a ditch, my brother would cry the blues to mom and he’d get another new car. My Dad just drank more. His trips to the bar after work would last longer & longer. He started leaving work early now & then to go to his bar. I watched my parents struggle with him. He was very passive aggressive and obviously having struggles of his own. I loved my brother. I looked up to him. He despised me. From the day I was born – he hated me. At the time I didn’t know why he was always so mean to me. I couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t let me sit by him and watch TV with him. Or why when he & I would eventually interact he’d do cruel things to me. I couldn’t understand back then why my Mother never did anything to help me. My Father helped though but that only made my brother more hateful. He wanted my Fathers unconditional acceptance but he never got it. I had it. My Father & I had the strongest bond. Just like my Mother & my brother had. But I was punished, degraded, despised, mistreated because of it. I accepted my brother, no matter what.

When I was 7 or so, I found an essay he had written in school and read it. It was about me. I read how I was his pet-peeve. How he hated me. My Mother brought that essay up at dinner that night. He had gotten a decent grade or something so she decided to read it out loud for us. When she came to the parts that were the most hurtful to me, she laughed with my brother about what he had written then making fun of me when I started crying. Then the 2 of them would tease me for crying. Dad was drunk. He just ate. They laughed. I hated them and can see their faces as I write this and it makes me sick.

When I was 8 we moved from the only home I had ever known to a sprawling, seven thousand square foot house that my Mom & Dad designed and had built on fifteen acres they owned less than a five minute drive from my first home. My brother was eighteen. He had been to jail already. Wrecked a half-dozen cars my Dad bought him. Every night was the same. My Dad would come home late from work, completely marinated in Seagrams 7. He’d be so happy to see me when he came in. And I was so happy to see him, despite all the horrible things my Mom would say about him all day long. He’d come in & hug me first, always. Then make his way into the kitchen to greet my mom. We’d all sit down together to eat shortly after. Inevitably my brother would piss my Dad off in some way or another during dinner and dinner would end in some sort of eruption.

My brother & I eventually took over the family business. He was the labor and management and I was the books. Mom & Dad taught us everything we needed to know. At one point we were all equal partners in the Corporation. Then my Dad got sick, had a stroke and couldn’t work anymore. He died several months after his stroke and within a few months of his death my brother bought me out of the family business.

It was such a relief to be free of the burden of having to work with my brother the rest of my life but it also kinda hurt that he’d done that to me.

4/14/2008: tomboy

Out of all the things I’ve had to deal with with regard to my relationship with my brother, I’m baffled by the absence of emotional pain over it. I know I am sensitive. Overly sensitive. But when it comes to my brother, I feel no pain because we don’t have a good relationship. I would love to know exactly why that is. Was there ever a time I cared? I am sure there was. I just don’t have a specific memory of feeling the loss.

As a little girl, I looked up to my brother. I wanted to have friends like his. I wanted to go where he got to go. I tried to emulate him in everything I did. I remember feeling scared for my brother. I remember sticking up for him many times when he & my Dad or Mom would get into their fights. I liked him so much that I withstood his ‘abuse’ just because it meant I had his attention. He was very mean to me. He was mean on purpose because he knew how much I idolized him and he knew I’d go along with whatever torment he’d come up with for me. Like, for example, when I was maybe 9 or so (him 19) he wanted to take me for a ride in his new Subaru Brat so I get in and he told me to buckle my seat belt and before I got a chance to get out (because this was back in the day when no one wore a seat belt unless you knew for sure that there was a high possibility you were going to wreck) he slammed it in reverse and sped backwards through our front yard and over a steep embankment into a deep drainage gully and kept going until I was screaming and in tears. The whole time my mom watched from inside the house. When he stopped I got out as fast as I could and ran inside and went to my room. When he came in I heard he & my mom laughing. I heard her say with a chuckle that she heard my screaming the whole time from inside the house.

3/31/2008: c e n s o r s h i p

My open mind about sex often gets me labeled easy or slutty. The label always comes from those who don’t know me well and base their opinion on what comes out of my mouth. Just because I am comfortable with the topic and won’t judge others for their preferences doesn’t mean I have done it all with everyone. I thought I’d try to blame it on me being in my sexual prime but I did some research online and found that a womans sexual prime is a myth. I guess I just have to assume I was raised this way. Although, my sex talk consisted of mom describing to me that oral sex was when he “chews” on you and/or you “chew” on him, I wasn’t made aware of much through mom or dad. The general message I remember is sex is disgusting but dad and mom did it with lots of people before they met one another.

My mom is very open about it now. Although she doesn’t use details often about her & my dad – she is more bold than any other woman I’ve ever known. Besides me. I guess it’s all in the persons upbringing and what they were taught that either makes sexually open women earn the oh so lovely tag of being loose. What I wonder is, are there any ways to find out what the majority/minority of women categorize themselves as and what category our peers would put us in.

Anyhow, I love to write about things I’ve done, things I would like to do and things that just don’t do anything for me with regard to sex. But I find myself worrying as I write out some socially unacceptable sexual scenario in a public forum like this because I know my tastes are not your everyday fantasies. I am afraid of telling too much and regretting it because of the label I will be stuck with. I know in my heart & soul who I am and I am confident about being me. But why does that little warning signal go off when I’m writing out something I get off to knowing people will read it. Why do I even care if a bunch of strangers think poorly of me?

I guess it all comes down to respect. I feel that if I talk/write a certain way I may lose the respect of some people. Have I lost respect for myself? I know I don’t feel very highly of myself right now. But I do respect me. If I have respect for who I am should that be the only thing that matters?

My children are most important to me. If I imagine either one or both of them coming across something explicit I’d written once they’re adults I know they would not judge me for it. On the other hand…if my mom read something she would judge me but not to my face, it’d be done behind my back.

My ex-husband was absolutely cruel to me.