Friday, April 21, 2006

Why Feminism? (Part 8)

I’m the Boss of You

Eventually it - he - stopped and life went back to normal for a while. Then my grandfather got sick and there were bigger problems than mine for the family to deal with – or ignore – as the case may be.

My brother spent most of my high school years telling me that he was going to run a big business someday and I was going to have to work for him. I wanted to draw for Disney? He was going to run it. I’m sure a lot of it was a result of his frustrations at being the youngest – and, quite frankly, being the ever-present punch line for certain older relatives who should have known better.

However, under the circumstances, I found his insistence that he was going to be in charge of me when we were older to be especially creepy. Besides, it never occurred to me to want to be my older siblings boss. Or the boss of all the kids that had ever teased me. I just wanted them all to go away. So I ignored him more and more.

He punched me once. Yeah, we fought all the time, but it had always been shoves and pushes, throwing and slapping. And we had always both been mad and worked up at the time.

He punched me in the stomach with his fist closed. His face and voice were angry but his body was calm. He warned me. He told me he could hurt me. I told him go ahead. I wasn’t mad, I was just hurt and confused, and I refused to show it. So he did. I managed to act calmly myself and keep from crying until I made it to my bedroom and closed the door. We didn’t talk for quite a while after that.


Ginger said...

Wow Mickle, what is your relationship with your brother like now?

Mickle said...

Fantastic, actually.

Ok, well, I need to call him soon. We haven't talked in a month or so, but we hang out all the time when we get together. We live on opposite sides of the country now, but a few years ago we shared an apartment for about a year and it worked out pretty well.

I think perhaps the best way to understand why this affected me so - and why these incidents stand out so clearly in my memory - is to know that that my younger brother and I were always very, very close growing up. Things fell apart when we both hit puberty, but we patched them up pretty well once we both went to college and got some time apart- as well as some maturity.