Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Memories of a Scapegoat: No Escape

Trigger warnings

My big brother is thirteen years older than me and when I mention what he did to me he tries to use my bipolar as a reason to say I am seeing things differently that it wasn’t as bad as I am making out that all families behave like this and I was being over sensitive. My brother is a fairly big man and compared to a small child he was huge, I never stood a chance against him. 

When I was working my Saturday job from the age of eleven he would like to corner me in the upstairs office away from the shop floor and any customers who might be around. There would be a few office girls around and he knew they would never say anything about or too the bosses son. If he felt I had annoyed him and bearing in mind all I had to do was breathe in order to annoy him he would power flick my ear so hard it would go bright red, the office girls went aah in sympathy but nobody as usual did anything. 

Power flicking was one of his favourite ways to taunt me and he did this the most often especially if there were girls around he would try and impress them by bullying his younger brother.
Anything could set him off and I was usually in for it if I did something he deemed annoying, an impersonation of my favourite tv character or a noise I made he and other members would flip and attack me verbally roaring in my face. 

I once did an impression of Pee Wee Herman who I had seen on telly and liked, my brother flipped out and shouted in my face stop that that’s offensive! I was so young I had no idea what I had done to anger him so much and I started to cry which made him even angrier he was shouting stop it stop it! You’re putting it on! I had started sobbing at this point because I was trying to keep it in so then he started prodding my forehead really hard with his forefinger his face getting angrier and redder by the second, he couldn’t take the sobbing and kept prodding me continually, Your putting it on he repeated and when I just couldn’t stop he put his face right up to mine snarling and spitting with rage and kept screaming stop sobbing!

 Eventually he had shouted it out of me, I had to pull myself together as best I could as I just didn’t know how far he would take it and I was scared of his increasing rage. I have hardly ever cried since that day the only few times I have was when my mental health was declining and I felt completely lost and hopeless. There have been times when I have wanted to cry and have felt I needed to cry but my brother did something to me that day and the tears just won’t come I often have a panic attacks instead.

He still hasn’t changed fast forward fifteen years and it was his daughter who was getting the same treatment, we were all in the back garden setting off fireworks a few years ago and he gave the children some sparklers, his youngest daughter was scared of hers and was cowering away from it and she started to cry in fear, he got up in her face and said you're overreacting, you’re putting it on! He kept prodding her in the forehead just like he did to me, the more scared and tearful she got the angrier he became. I said to him come on bro she is a scared child leave her alone, he didn’t like me speaking up to him he never did but by this time I had grown a good foot taller than him and he couldn’t overpower me anymore so he settled for glaring at me. No one else did anything though mother as usual pretended she didn’t see anything even though she was stood next to them and dad was so preoccupied with his fireworks he was in a world of his own.

I still bear the physical and emotional scars of what they did to me, behind my ears are long thing scars from the times he picked me up by my ears. I had a lot of nervous ticks when I was a child and I liked to do impressions too, this ticks and quirks really angered my family and would always cause them to lash out at me which in turn increased the ticks and increased the abuse, it was a vicious circle. I had been doing impressions of Donald Duck and this would sometimes make people laugh which I loved because it was rare I got positive attention, I had done a few impressions of Donald which got no response and suddenly my brother snapped, before I knew it he was standing over me as I lay on the floor and grabbed me by my ears, I tried to get away from him I was a kid I didn’t know many defence techniques but he pulled harder and dragged me across the carpet and up off  the floor, in panic and pain I grabbed his wrists to take the pressure of my ears they felt like they were on fire I could barely think for the pain and grabbing his hands was an automatic response.

 He held me there for a while then just dropped me and walked away leaving me crying. When the coast was clear I went upstairs and checked my ears in the mirror they were so painful I was sure there was damage done and the back of my left ear was especially burning and stinging.  I could feel blood dripping down my neck and I saw I had a split down the back of my ear. The scar is still there and the worst thing was I was only five at the oldest and he was seventeen. The scars behind my ears are not the only ones I have from my brother ,I also have scars on my nostrils after the time he dragged across the carpet by sticking his fingers up my nose and pulled me along the sitting room floor again I held onto his arms to relieve the pressure but it didn’t stop the skin splitting and all that triggered that episode was I was laughing a little too loud at a cartoon I was watching.

I became an angry little boy and started to attack other children which to this day makes me feel guilty it also gave my family more ammunition and they could really prove I was the black sheep because I started getting into trouble. I  was a loving little boy and felt great empathy for people but I had this rage from being hurt and abused all the time both mentally and physically, If I was even slightly  teased or bullied I would have angry outbursts until I became twelve then I just went in on myself for a while that happened after the last time my brother chased me something inside lost all hope I had no chance of getting away and I was too small to fight back against them all.

My brother loved to make me feel helpless, Mother was always a room away always in the kitchen or out of sight and big bro would chase me through the house when he felt like power tripping over someone, This wasn’t rough and tumble playing he was out to hurt and scare and I would be so terrified that when he caught up to me I would instinctively drop to the floor and curl into a ball. Standing over me his eyes were full of the psychotic rage I knew so well and he would pin me to the floor with his whole body and pin my arms above my head by gripping my biceps really hard or kneel on my arms rendering me literally helpless, once overpowered he would then growl and roar right up in my face. He would only stop once I was in floods of tears and the last time he pinned me I was so sick being made to feel helpless and scared I started to get angry. I knew I would get a beating no matter what so I thought I might as well fight back. 

He was stood bent over me this time his hands were  pinning my hands the floor and his were legs apart at each side of me so I kicked him as hard as I could in his balls, he fell to the floor gripping them in his hands making a low moaning noise the he looked up at me with one of the most frightening expressions I have seen and growled run through his teeth, I panicked and ran fast as I could to the upstairs bathroom and locked the door, I often ran to the bathroom when he was chasing me as it was the only room with a lock  the only place I would feel safe even for a few minutes until I would hear him in my parents’ bedroom which was situated right next to the bathroom. I could hear him rooting through her jewellery box selecting one her rings so that he could open the lock from the outside.

 I got a bath towel l and wrapped it around the lock so it wouldn’t cut into my skin as he was forcing it open. He eventually overpowered me and I jumped into the bath covering myself with all towels from the wash basket but he just he started beating me over the towels then as usual once he felt he had hurt and terrified me as much as he could get away with he would simply walk away leaving me cowering in the bath.

The last time it happened he was in a real bad mood that day and when he started chasing me I panicked badly I couldn’t bear the pain of having my arms pinned to the floor by his knees or being made to feel helpless against his assaults. I ran into the kitchen out of blind fear but I ended up corned and I could hear him coming I knew this day it was going to be especially bad and my heart was beating out of my chest, mother kept her crockery at the back of the kitchen so I got a breadknife and pointed it at him when he came in, He said you’re going to kill your own brother are you?  I couldn’t cause him harm I couldn’t cause anyone that level of harm really but something in me had snapped I was so miserable so sick of being scared and overpowered by a family who were so much bigger and stronger than me so I turned the knife on myself .

 I’m going to kill myself I shouted at  and started slowly pushing the knife into the centre of my chest it hurt like crazy as  it started to dig into my skin and I realised I just couldn’t do that.  The whole time I stared him in the eyes and when I dropped the knife he shook his head and walked away that was the last time he chased me but certainly not the last time he raged or prodded me or flicked my ears, I was twelve he was twenty five.

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