To understand me you have to know something about me. I come from a family of five children, me being the youngest. My eldest sister had a baby at 15 years old, (I was 6 months old), and my mom adopted him. He became my little brother who developed schizophrenia, (his fathers side), and I had inherited the responsibility to protect him in day to day life. My mother was 43 years old when she had me, my father 54. I was a latch key child.
My older brother, 12 years my senior, was a mental genius like my father, but after experimenting in drugs became paranoid of me and would beat me daily. I remember as a child cowering in the basement cold storage, shivering from fright that he would come looking for me. Sometimes he did other times he didn't.
After school, I would hurry home, grab a snack, hide in the basement and hope he would not come home, as instructed by my parents, to "take care of me". When he did come home highly resentful, that his social life was inconvenienced by my existence, I would cower in the basement instructing my younger brother to be quiet. When I heard the basement door open I would shake like a leaf, awaiting my beatings.
He never beat me hard or drew blood, that I can remember, but the feeling of total submission and frozen with fear, was like standing outside myself watching something take place in a different dimension.
I could see in his eyes as he beat me, he felt guilt in his actions. The more he hit me the worse he felt.
It wasn't long before every blow he threw at me tore him apart.
I have forgiven him, but he has not forgiven himself.
I have never told him I forgive him directly but my correspondence might suggest that I have. I hope!