Today's my brother's birthday. My family probably thinks I don't remember this, but it's just that I try to avoid thinking about it. My brother was my closest friend through a lot of our childhood, mainly because we moved an average of once a year until I was in 6th grade. We fought a lot as kids, but once that stopped, we realized that we had a lot in common. Almost everything, in fact.
But not quite.
Turns out he's a child molester. Behind that friendly smile and semi-geeky exterior was a monster of the worst kind. When I found out he was a predator and realized that I was prey, I tried to get help, but there was that idiot smile and the denials and what mother wants to believe such awful things of her own blood? Much better to think that your oldest daughter's a drama queen. Maybe so, but *I* was telling the truth. Unfortunately, I was also too naive to realize that I wasn't the only prey in town, or even in the house. That blankety-blank (why are there no words to insult a male without involving his parents or body parts?) left a wake of destruction through our extended family.
Then he got married and had kids. Had the temerity to marry a woman still carrying the scars from her own sexual abuse years ago, and have children with her. Just for that, he should be horsewhipped. But I digress.
As I mentioned, I try to avoid even thinking about my brother. My family thinks I'm overly critical or unforgiving for not wanting to be at family gatherings (such as Grandpa's funeral) where my brother will be present. Call me crazy, but I don't feel comfortable bringing my children in contact with a dangerous beast. Sue me, but you'll have to take a number.
Which reminds me: One major reason that my husband and I are so dead-set against just sending #1 Son off to live with "Mommy" is that her teenage stepson of a whole 3 months is also a child molester. Guess who his prey was? That's right: #1 Son. And what was "Mommy's" reaction to having Junior Perv forbidden to see her precious baby until at least after he's written a very nice "sorry" note? "Waah, the boys won't be able to play together anymore!" (Suppress urge to pull her lungs out through her nose and show them to her.)
Am I the crazy one here, really? 'Cause that's what I feel like a lot of the time. I try to remember that most people haven't had those night terrors, the fear of turning out the light, the panic attack every time their sweetheart puts out a hand for a caress. The complete inability to live a "normal" life, in fact. All because some punk decided that his desires were more important than your dignity. Hmm, sounds like high school dating, now that I put it that way.
So I guess it shouldn't surprise me that I had that same nightmare last night. The one where I'm suddenly un-married from my sweetheart and re-married to my ex, with whom I *always* felt like I must be the crazy one because nobody had locked him up yet. I hate that dream. I always manage to get away, clubbing him with anything that comes to hand while trying to figure out how to find my true mate again, and marry him. The dream always ends unresolved. Tell you what, though, he'd never take me alive.
Tonight, I'm taking a Valium before bed. And sleeping with a knife under the pillow.