I am in the process of scanning all my handwritten journals into my computer, an endeavor that my wife doesn’t understand. I tell her that once the journals are safely in the computer, I can upload them to the ‘cloud’, make backups, and never run the risk of losing the content; besides we’re moving and we would have much more room if I don’t have to take my journals along. She said, “You’ll never get rid of them.” She’s probably right, but I retort, “If there’s a fire and they get destroyed, I’ll still have them.” She shrugs at the futility of my efforts.
Surprising journal entry
Anyway, I was thumbing through a journal from 1990, while I was waiting for the computer to boot up, and I came across notes from a conversation I had with my mother. This is what the entry said, “Learned from my mother that Mike used to hit me when I slept and one time gouged me in the face.” I have absolutely no recollection of this. I do remember that she said that Mike tried to hit me with a hammer once, but I don’t remember that happening either. All I remember of violence with Michael is that he smacked himself in the head all the time, thumped his chest with his elbow, and bit his hand really hard. I was never really frightened of him.
[As I mention in all my posts, my brother Michael is autistic, low functioning and has never spoken.]
Mike and my younger brother
I am reluctant to bring my younger brother into the picture because he blocked out childhood memories of our older brother. I have asked him his thoughts about Mike, but he told me that he just couldn’t ‘wrap his head around that’ now. I asked him if he minded my putting a picture of him and me in an early post, and he said it was ok. I am almost 4 years older than my younger brother and 3 years younger than Mike. I think that my parent’s efforts to shield us from Michael probably worked better for my younger brother than it did for me.
I think it is an important point to mention the following, and I don’t think my younger brother will mind. In the same journal where I found the above-mentioned quote from Mom, I found an entry I made after talking with my younger brother: “He said that he was afraid of Michael when he was growing up – afraid of violence.”
Could it be that he has some unconscious memory of violence against him by Mike? Was he afraid of Mike’s displays of violence against himself? They were very loud and could be frightening.
I hope that some day I’ll get the rest of the story, but it’s ok if I don’t. Whatever my younger brother needs to do for his own peace of mind is ok with me.
This is a picture of Michael and my younger brother.