Last time I visit my Mom, my younger brother happened to be in town on the day I would leave and he drove me to the airport. I saw my brother first time in more than 20 years. We are not close. I left home when I was 18 and for the past 25 years I’ve lived in a foreign country far away from my original family. I visit my hometown once a year, but my brother lived in a different city and we’ve never made an effort to see each other. We didn’t even talk or write. I don’t know my brother well and he only knows me as his crazy teenage sister. We sat in a generic airport restaurant and talked for about 30 minutes.
I asked my brother if he ever suspected that there were something wrong with our family.
“There were nothing wrong. It was an ordinary family like other families.”
“Are you serious? Don’t you think our father was abusive?”
“Everybody was like him in those days.”
“I don’t think so.”
“I often saw kids with broken noses and such in ER.” (My brother is a M.D.)
“That’s child abuse! It’s a crime!”
“Our father didn’t hit us. I had a normal childhood.”
“Don’t you think he has mood disorders or a personality disorder? Like depression?”
“I don’t think so. He just doesn’t have communication skill at all.”
“Mom told me you wouldn’t even step in their house.”
“They are not pleasant…. I never felt loved. That’s all. Our father always yelled at me. So I just stayed away from him.”
“You were smart. I yelled back…. So you don’t feel traumatised or anything?”
“Good for you.”
We were brought up in the same family and we don’t seem to share emotional memories.