Michael did not acknowledge my presence except as something between him and the food on my plate. But Mom said that he would occasionally try to hit me with a hammer, so he must have know I was there.
Years after my childhood I had a nice chat with Dad about my growing up years. He was always telling me that it wasn’t as bad as I thought and seemed surprised to learn how much Mike affected my younger brother and me. Dad said that he and Mom shielded us from Michael, and bore the brunt of the burden. Maybe so, since my memories of Mike at home are not that distinct. But we had to deal with the continuous arguing between Mom and Dad.
Dad thought that Mike was the sick one and should be tended to, since the normal children were resilient enough to survive.
Mom thought that my younger brother and I should be given a chance at a normal childhood.
[Note: I wrote this 20 years ago. The only thing that I’m not sure of is the part about Mom telling me that Mike tried hitting me with a hammer. I asked her about that recently and she said she didn’t remember that in particular, but only that Michael was not showing me much love then.]