Sunday, January 18, 2015

My Brother

Sorry for the delay. After writing day after day about my early years I needed a mental break. I had not realized just how exhausting it would be to tell my story!
Speaking of stories, we left off with the love I have for my siblings. My brother John and I have grown so close over the years. It didn't happen all at once. He was the scared little boy who when he realized the house was on fire, panicked and went up into the attic and curled into a ball. He was the last one out of the fire because they couldn't find him.

My mind goes back to the early days of living with our dad. I think I have shared my brother took the brunt of the physical and sexual abuse. There is a trickle down effect that happens in families where there is that kind of abuse. When I look back and think about all the violence it makes me amazed that all four of us aren't walking sideways! My sisters and I used to think our brother would land in jail. We weren't kidding.

When a little boy is robbed of his childhood he becomes angry, angry at the abuser, angry at anyone close to him, angry at the authorities and probably angry with God. He got in trouble all the time. When I look back all these years later I feel terrible that I wasn't able to stop the abuse. Recently John and I were having a conversation about my writings and he told me a story I had forgotten.

On one particular day our dad was on a rampage. It might have been one of the dreaded Saturday's. John had done something to enrage dad and he took a dinner plate and smashed it over his head. Well, he hit John with it so hard it broke. It didn't shatter, the entire bottom of the plate broke out of the ring. For some reason Johnny (as he was called) started laughing because of the sight of the plate and how it broke. My dad became even more furious and started to strangle him. He continued to strangle him till Johnny passed out cold on the floor. That is the kind of violence I am talking about. Many times our dad would take Johnny's head and smash it into the wall, over and over again. The things people do to their children are beyond me.

Johnny did not do well in school. He was always in trouble. He was an angry little boy who had been deprived of a mother and left with a very violent and evil man for a dad. John said recently he was much better off in the orphanage and wished he had stayed there. I understand where he is coming from.

The violence that my brother endured trickled down to my little sister. She bore the brunt of Johnny's anger. All of this was a domino effect. Is it any wonder that my older sister and I decided that if our family was ever going to stay together the two of us had to come to peace so that we could help keep our younger siblings safe?

All four of us had a role to play. My older sister was the chosen one. She could go behind closed doors and stay above the fray. I was the Cinderella. I did all the cooking, the laundry etc. and was the despised daughter. My brother was the scape goat for my dad's abuse and anger. My baby sister got the last kick of the can. What a mess we were back then.

I will tell you that my brother never did go to jail. I drug him to church with me and at some point he bowed his knee and became a son of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. In fact, he ended up marrying a saint of a young lady 35 years ago who straightened him out! We have always joked that my sister in law gets in to heaven just on the merits of staying with our brother.

It took many years for my brother to heal from the abuse. There are natural consequences to living that kind of life. He and his wife never did have children. He was so afraid he would turn out like our dad that he never wanted another human being to suffer like he did. Years later he shared his regret that he had not trusted in God enough to make him the kind of dad he knew he wanted to be.

The irony now is that my bother works for a non-profit organization that helps find homes for troubled children. This organization also helps women get out of sex trafficking. In fact, when he interviewed for the job he was told because he had lived in an orphanage as a child he would understand what these children were going through and would be a great asset for the company.

I am so proud of my brother. I always tell him he is my favorite brother, of course he is my only brother but he is still my favorite! God did a mighty work in him, for that I am thankful. My brother is one of my best friends in the world. He is my hero. I am thankful beyond words that he walked through the fire and came out on the other side.

I am excited to announce both my brother and my little sister Robin are in the process of writing for this blog. I can't wait to read what they are putting down on paper. I am very blessed. Till tomorrow. May you find the strength to carry on when you feel all is lost.

In Christ Alone,

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".


  1. What a blessing to learn of your brother's new life in the Lord! I am so excited to read what your siblings are writing. :)

  2. You are really a loving sister, Jiller! It's good to know that no matter what happen, you are still there for him to lead him to the right path and give him the chance to prove himself. Well, it seems that despite of being imprisoned, he is still happy about the fact that he still has his families, who are there to support him physically and emotionally – filling up his heart with loves and hopes. In any way, thanks for sharing this, Jill! All the best to you!

    Eliseo Weinstein @ JRs Bail Bond