My Brother’s LIfe Journey, Chapter 1


Sit

Al is my brother. I am one year and two weeks older than he is. Telling this story will hopefully help others who are struggling in their own lives to see that I am here and you are never alone.

It was May 3rd 1955 when a little baby boy was born. He did not come into the world welcomed as many children do. He came born into the world as an innocent babe by parents who had major issues of their own.

He was born with brain damage. He was the second of two children and this lead to lack of care needed to help a baby grow. As I remember back in my memories I don’t remember him that young. But the truth comes out over time and I will tell you what I was told.

When Al was old enough to sit in a high chair he was placed there and ignored. No adult supervision. Al was able to maneuver himself up and over the high chair and fell different times causing more damage to the head.

Both Al and I were abused. In those days it was not called abuse. It was a family secret that was only spoken in strange moments. Al was abused more than me. I think I was not necessarily wanted more than he. I believe it is because one baby is easier than two.

Our parents were not in control of their own lives. With their young ages there was lack of training and maybe a feeling of entrapment over being strapped with two babies and a job that could not take care of all the needs within a family.

Parents of the parents stepped in and made opinions known. Guilt became an obsession and the need to escape became utmost in the minds of our parents. Our Mother didn’t work because she was too young. She was 15 when she had me and 16 when she had Al.

Dad worked at a bowling alley and hid behind the bottle when not at work. I have heard horror stories of how loud fights and beer bottles flew over our heads as we seemed to be always in the middle of all arguments.

One day our Mom took off with us kids. She didn’t tell a soul she was leaving. When Dad found out she was gone his Mother was grateful but insisted he get us kids back. I don’t know who Mom left with. I assume a friend took her. At her age she wouldn’t have had many adult friends to turn to. Back in those days being pregnant and unmarried was taboo so I am sure the conversations were limited.

I know that while we were prisoners of my Mom’s travels she had no money. She did what ever was necessary to survive. I don’t know how she fed and clothed us kids but I do know that she sold me to different people to earn money when I was about two years old. I shudder to think what may have happened to Al also. There are parts of me that don’t want to know. It is possible that Al can remember but it is so deeply hidden in his mind we may never know.

The Welfare department did eventually find us and return us to our Dad who was by now living back with his parents. Al and I were welcomed by the fact that we were the “kids”. I am not ever going to swear that we were united because of a great love.

I can remember sitting at my Grandmother’s table and Al sitting in my Dad’s high chair. He would be crying. He seemed to cry a lot to me. Even as a young child I can remember many tears and yelling episodes.

Grandma would tell him, “Be quiet. I can’t stand that noise. I wish you would just shut up”. I know that somewhere inside this house the word caring was lingering throughout. I know that my Grandparents took Al to the biggest children’s hospital in our state to find out what was wrong with him.

I can remember them telling other family members that he couldn’t sit up properly for his age. That he should be walking now but wasn’t. The hospital confirmed that he was mentally challenged. He also suffered from Rickets and he was malnourished.

I don’t think I was near as bad as he was medically. I do remember Grandma stuffing vitamins and eye droppers  filled with  Iron to each of us kids. I am sure that we were both fed much better than we were before.

Al slept downstairs where my Grandparents slept. Our Dad still worked at the bowling alley and came home very late. I remember that I slept in a baby bed for probably too many years. I also remember that my Dad slept in the big bed next to my crib.

Eventually Dad met our new Stepmother. After being married they moved to the town that Al and I now reside in. Visits came from our real Mom and I can still see me hiding behind the living room chair taking peeks at my real Mom and hearing them arguing about how she was going to come back to get me when I reached the age of 16. There was never a mention of coming back to get Al too. I can remember feeling confused and not understanding why she would only ask for me when I had a brother.

Dad then got a job at the State Highway Department and I think our new Mom worked at one of the local grocery stores. I remember she took us to a baby sitter. I knew fear even at the age of four. This babysitter was mean. I could see her smack Al for crying and I had to sit on a chair.

Yet there was a familiarity to this also. Al and I were not allowed to be kids when we lived at our Grandparents either. We had to sit on chairs and be very quiet. Neither of us knew what sunshine was or running and playing outdoors felt like.

 

68 thoughts on “My Brother’s LIfe Journey, Chapter 1

    • to tell you the truth I felt exhausted after writing the one chapter. i went in and took a nap, thoughts of fear racing through my mind wondering if people would run a way thinking bad things about me, but i can see you are still here. and for this i am truly grateful

      Like

  1. Wow, now I understand why you feel such huge love for your brother. Terry the past cannot be changed and you can only tell and write about it and feel probably freer through that. You are one amazing woman, I totally admire you … and this is only chapter 1….. big hug… I am crying now too….

    Like

  2. Terry,

    Thank you for sharing your early memories with us. I know how hard it is to revisit our past, especially, when it was filled with so much pain, so I want to offer up a prayer, for the little girl who still lives within you and still sometimes feels that pain and confusion…

    Father, I praise You for this journey You are taking Terry on, a journey of reconciling with her past. Lord, I pray for the child, that little girl, who still resides in Terry, fearing rejection, and fearing what tomorrow may bring. I speak to the spirit of fear, who so often tries to bully Terry into a state of helplessness, and in Jesus name, I bind that spirit, and I loose Your love into Terry’s spirit, to replace and cast out the fear within her. For Your word says that perfect love casts out fear – Lord, You are perfect love, and I fully believe that You will cast this demon of fear far, far away from Terry, who has been tormented and bullied by this hateful spirit for too long. As You continue to reveal Yourself to Terry, Lord, I pray that she will see how wide and how long, how high and how deep Your love for her really is, and I pray that she would walk in that love from this day forth, no longer afraid, because as long as she walks in Your Spirit, Lord, she has authority over that demon.

    Lord, in Jesus’ mighty name, I also speak to the spirit of rejection that has tortured and tormented Terry throughout her whole life, as the people who should have loved her the most abandoned her for their own selfish reasons. Lord, since childhood, this demon has oppressed Terry, causing her to live with constant anxiety and fear of losing those that she loves. This demon has destroyed her self-worth, as well, causing her to feel as though she is “less than” others. Father, in Jesus’ name, I speak to the spirit of rejection, and the spirit of deception who has lied to her telling her that it was her fault that people have rejected her. In Jesus’ name, I bind that lying spirit who has told Terry that things would be different “if only”… she had tried harder… she had been prettier… she had been thinner… she had been smarter… and the list goes on. In Jesus’ name, I bind that evil spirit of deception and I loose truth in Terry’s mind, in her heart, her soul and her spirit, for Your word says that she will know the truth and the truth will set her free. Lord, this very day, this very minute, as Terry reads these words, begin to reveal the truth to Terry, that she is the apple of Your eye… that she is fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God… that she is worthy of love…

    In Jesus’ name, I bind that spirit of rejection and abandonment, and again I loose truth, as You reveal to Terry that You have never abandoned her and You never will. Reveal to Terry that You have promised to be with her always, even to the end of the age… Reveal to her that though others have left her alone, You were there always, loving her, treasuring her, valuing her, and that You will always continue to love her.

    Father, in Jesus’ name, I praise You for taking Terry on this journey to liberty, and I ask You to arise and show Yourself strong on her behalf, as she continues to face each memory, both the painful ones and the joyful ones, and let her feel Your arms of love holding her close. In Jesus’ name, I pray for all of these things, amen.

    Terry, I truly believe that God has wonderful liberty and freedom, that will flow through you as you write of Al’s and your own lives. Also, I’m praying for these same things for Al, who has suffered much, but isn’t it good to know that he can count on God and on you as God strengthens you? I look forward to reading more, Terry, and I will continue to pray for your liberty in Jesus’ name.

    Love,
    Cheryl

    Like

    • My dearest friend, When I read your words it scares me a little. I think to myself someone knows the inner me. My secret is out. I fear what people will think of the weird kid who was passed around for sex. .I feel shame and yet I have made it to this age. Reading your words makes me realize you know………….u know the inner me. you can see what happened, and yet I made it to this age. God has been with me all the time but I didn’t always recognize it and I still find it hard to believe why he would be here, for his children are innocent and wonderful and I was damaged goods. I thank you that you didn’t turn and run as I feared. I actually took a nap after I wrote this chapter with thoughts of being more alone afterwards, but you are still here……………….thank you

      Like

      • Terry,

        You can find me on facebook – Cheryl Showers from Delaware. Perhaps you could friend me, and then we could talk privately, or you can email me at cshowers@live.com. I do care, and I understand, and God was there. He saw it all, and He loves you. That’s why He’s bringing this forth — because He knows that you are ready now to be healed from the shame and the pain that have followed you for so many years.

        He wants to set you free. Years ago, when the internet was in its early days, I had an aol account, and do you know what my screen name was? Rlsdfrmshme (Released From Shame). That’s because the Lord knew how badly I was hurting, and He released me from the shame that tormented me for so many years. You are not alone, my friend, and though we may not have suffered from the same things, we both suffered, and God wants to set you free, just as He did for me so many years ago.

        I believe He wants to free you now, and I will continue to pray for you as the Spirit leads me. Please feel free to friend me on fb or email me or both, if you want. I truly do care, and I want you to know that sometimes our journey towards wholeness is very painful, but don’t run away from it, run through it, because on the other side is joy and peace. One more thing, I want to share a song with you and I want you to listen to it and read the lyrics, and let it minister to you, my friend, because I promise you that it will be worth it all…

        Love,
        Cheryl

        Like

  3. Terry, you are an inspiration; a true survivor. Your story can help others. God was with you even when you didn’t know it; but it is obvious because you are still here doing that which most people can’t. The love you have for your brother is contagious and God will reward you both for living through all you have endured.

    Like

    • Thank you so much Cathy. I was so afraid I would lose my blogging friends once they found out I was messed up. but you are here and you say that I am an inspiration. It is hard to see myself as an inspiration but maybe more of a fighter and survivor. But if I can help one person to understand he or she is not alone that I understand this new book will have been worth all the painful memories. bless you Cathy

      Like

      • Terry, we are all messed up! That is what Jesus came for….he knew we would need help. For you to speak about what you went through is courageous. I have lost friends and relatives due to speaking out about my faith. But you can’t worry about what you lose: focus on what you have. If they leave, they were never friends to start with. Have you ever read the testimony of Joyce Meyer? I saw her give it on TV once and I cried all the way through it along with every person in the auditorium. If you haven’t, please find it and listen or read it. Also realize Terry, this blog of yours is no accident: God wants you to write your story to help others but to give you peace and closure. You are doing your part; allow God to do his with what you have been through. He will make you a “fisher of women.”

        Like

      • I listen and watch Joyce faithfully but I don’t believe I have seen a show of hers just on her testimony. Although I know what she has gone through. Maybe you are right. Maybe I am to write this story. Maybe God wants me to help someone else and then he will heal me also

        Like

      • Yes, Terry, I know from my own writing out of different aspects of my life, it helps me to overcome the heart aches of the past. You have nothing to be ashamed of; what was done to you and Al was wrong and with God’s help you can become an overcomer as Joyce Meyer is. More than anything is you will have peace about it and understand it was evil and had nothing to do with you or Al; the enemy attacks in all areas. Here are 2 scripture verses I read every day that have helped me get over any past injustices; Isaiah 42:9 and Isaiah 43: 18-19. I read them every day and soak myself in God’s presence. Doing so has revealed to me how to look at the hurts done to me completely differently; in fact I now forgive those who did.

        Like

      • i will look at these verses and high light them. I know that if they have helped you, they will help me too. Thank you Cathy for being a wonderful friend and so supportive

        Like

  4. Terry I am so proud of you, I know how hard this is to write just remember none of what happened was your fault after 61 years I am just beginning to believe that myself, truth is it was not mine or yours. We were innocents and we were abused by ADULTS that knew better!! What I want to tell you s this is a painful journey it is going to hurt but it is the first step in healing and if you need to talk my phone number is on the right side of my blog. Call whenever you need to. I am here for you but cshowers said it best with her prayer and comment…God can heal all. Love (((xx)))

    Like

    • thank you so much Len for hanging in here with me even after you have heard some awful things. I will always hold you close to my heart, and I will keep your phone number near me. hugs and blessings for staying close

      Like

  5. “The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable.”
    James A. Garfield

    Terry – thank you for sharing your story – the story made me sad to read but it was a necessary read to understand you better. Reading your blog- I’ve always thought you were a wonderful person and now I think you are a saint! To go through the abuse you have gone through and still be so generous and caring toward your brother tells me much about your spirit. Your spirit survived Terry and now you can be free – keep telling your story, something tells me that it will get easier as time goes on and you will be free of the inner pain this abuse has caused you. Your wounds do not define you Terry, the way you live your life and how you treat others defines you. If someone judges you for your past then they aren’t worth your time!

    Like

    • you are a special friend indeed. to say these words to me after I have taken the guilt for years of thinking it was me that could not make people happy. I didn’t try hard enough, I didn’t say the right things. Oh, I could go on and on with thoughts from all these years, but I won’t. i will continue to keep writing the book

      Like

  6. Thank you for sharing your story. I know this was hard to do. It takes great courage. It is helping not only you to release some of, but it will help your readers to know, that they are not alone. Your story gives us all strength.

    Like

  7. Pingback: My Brother’s Life Journey Chapter 3 | terry1954

  8. Terry everyone expressed what I was feeling my heart aches for you and Al. You know I am always sending you hugs so here is another one. Hugs for the little girl you were not allowed to be and hugs for the wonderful caring woman you have become.

    Like

  9. Terry, it sometimes takes writing these things down in order to complete your healing. It will be difficult, to be sure, but I believe it will be worth it in the end. I say a big “Amen!” to Cheryl’s prayer for you. You are in the Lord’s hands, the safest place you can be. Pray Psalm 91 for yourself and for Al on a regular basis to bring peace. Love ya, sister! God bless you big time.

    Like

  10. Pingback: My Brother’s LIfe Journey Chapter 4 | terry1954

  11. This saddened me, I wanted to cry when I heard how badly they all treated Al, I know back then it was hard to know how to handle someone with that kind of disability, but that’s no excuse. I feel awful with how badly you and Al were treated. It’s amazing what an incredible person you are! Most people walk away from that not know how to heal and turn into the people they were raised by. You are incredible and God loves you so much! I can see Him working in you just by the poems you write and the love you proclaim for Him. I envy you and how well you can talk about everything, I have a hard time doing that. I love the relationship you have with Al, and thank you for posting this Terry 🙂 You and Al are in my prayers!

    Like

    • you words touched my heart in a way it hasn’t been touched lately. I really needed to read this because for the last two days I felt so tense and keyed up. It has taken my joy out of my life. dealing with who i was and alot of time feeling so helpless with Al it is nice to see that you see someone else. thank u so much

      Like

  12. Pingback: My Brother’s Life Journey, Chapter 5 | terry1954

  13. Terry, thank you for sharing your story with the world and with me. You would never lose your blogging friends over telling the truth (well, that did happen in my case, but bigotry is a different can of worms). You are a survivor like me, although my story is different, but a survivor is a survivor and this is how you can stand up for Al. As you know (due to my demands of a category for these chapters–sorry!), I caught this in chapter 4, but could tell there was more to your story and am now caught up. Now I understand The Monster Within, as well. I held onto every word and will tell you again–you have a story that belongs somewhere bigger than WP! I am so sorry for what you went through–you were an innocent child and should have no shame or blame yourself ever. Shame on those who did this to you.

    Prior to my illness, my career was in non-profit admin. working primarily with at-risk urban youth in public housing. Lots of teen mothers and lots of abuse of all kinds. I have been through this via the kids I worked with and all the calls I made to CPS. Most couldn’t handle hearing what I did (or saw). The system still does little and it makes me sick. I never had children (good thing w/the genetic disease), but thought if I could, I’d take in the foster kids that no one wants. I can easily relate to your story through my career and a different sort of dysfunctional family and a mother who never bonded with me who’s as cold as ice–like the vodka she drinks. Please know you are not alone, as I had friends with similar stories, but in an urban setting (male and female).

    Also, I’m just sick about Al. You alluded to some sort of disabilities in ch. 4. This is abuse and neglect at its worst (not that you fared much better). Rickets is caused from not being outside enough and uncommon in Caucasians (lack of Vit D–from the sun) and in the US, it was a disease of the immigrant children living in the railroad tenements w/o windows in the Northern, urban cities around the turn of the century. This is like reading about Jane Addams and Hull House in Chicago, where my great-grandmother learned English as a child (in the late 1800s!). Horrific! I can see why you are so close and look after him so–your brother’s keeper as I say. Btw, (hate to reveal anything online now) our b-days must be very close, but separated by a couple decades (oh, you’re not old!!). If you’re an Aries, it explains your perseverance and so much more. I’ll say happy b-day, even in response to a sad story.

    Despite all you went through, you broke the cycle and became an empathetic person who knew right from wrong, even as a child–scolding your mother who didn’t deserve that title I am the same. I took care of my much younger brothers for a while in college due to my mother’s alcoholism. This is why I call you a mensch. I think what you went through–as horrid as it was–made you into the beautiful and caring person you are. Look forward to reading more (just saw the ping back for ch. 5), as always. I really only keep up with a few blogs on here and can’t read print anymore due to the low vision–so you are at the top of my bookmarked blogs.

    Big hugs to you for having the courage to share… xoxo (long comment–yikes),
    A

    Like

    • thank you so much my friend. Although the abuse was certainly during the time of our real mom and dad’s marriage, I am finding out that it carries through out your life even though you don’t think it is. writing this book is helping me sort out odd feelings i have had for years and brings about questions as to some of Al’ fears. I was never really sure what Rickets was all about but I do know that Al and I weren’t allowed outside until we were 4 and 5. I think family loved us back in those very early days but they didn’t know how to handle children. My birthday is this Sunday when is yours………….

      Like

      • Our family of origin and childhood affects so much and I’m glad you are sorting things out via your writing. I struggle with the same thing and my memory goes back to the age of 3 or so.

        I have an interest in the Progressive Movement (late 1800s – early 1900s) in the US and child welfare, etc. and learned of RIckets in the US that way. You can only get Vit D from the sun and I live in the sunbelt and have to take mega supplements, so children left indoors/neglected/darker-skinned in the North (or living in tenements way back when) were susceptible. You must have gotten out a bit more than Al due to lack of disabilities. Just awful. I hate to use the excuse that people didn’t know better–doesn’t suffice for me!

        Well, after what happened (twice now!), I am keeping a very low profile on WP now and removed my name from 100s of comments on my blog, etc. I’ll just say my b-day is mid-April and I guess you’re not an Aries, then! Easier life–as we are highly-effective but difficult people! Happy early b-day, Terry (and to Al)! 🙂
        Hugs…

        Like

      • I forgot to tell you I am a Taurus. My brother is also. My birthday is this Sunday, 21st. I appreciate your information. This helps me to understand better

        Like

  14. Pingback: Al’s LIfe Journey, Chapter 6 | terry1954

  15. Pingback: My Brother’s Life Journey Chapter 7 | terry1954

  16. Pingback: Blood That Follows | terry1954

  17. Pingback: Chapter 9 | terry1954

  18. Pingback: Chapter10 | terry1954

  19. Pingback: Daily Prompt; Ready For Your Close-Up | terry1954

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.