My father was across the ocean and would be tending to his ill brother for an indefinite amount of time. Which of course meant my life in California was over. I moved across the united states to live with my soon to be wed mother. I didn't get along with either of my parents in any way at the time, but the thought of living with my mother only was.....dreadful.
It turns out I had nothing to worry about. I spent three uncomfortable nights in my mothers new home and then was quickly whisked off to another city a half an hour away to live with her new husbands son. Odd, yes. I found it highly annoying. But I think that was the overlay feeling. The feeling I made up to cover the hurt I actually felt. This was one more way of proving to me that her life was more important than mine or loving me. I was in the way of her success in that life. I don't know why it hurt....its not like I didn't already know it. But deep inside I never, and by this point don't think I'll ever, not want to be cared about by her.
So I turned the hurt to annoyance and then to indifferent.
So that's how AJ, my brother, got me. A deeply hurt mess of annoyed indifference. Fun for him huh?
He was only four years older than my seventeen years, an adult in age but not completely in maturity or mentality. He and I had grown to like one other just a bit from being around one another for another reason a year or so before this. After my initial rudeness at our first meeting, we had an 'understanding' of one another. And when he heard that I was going to be staying with him, he imagined this tall young blonde girl was going to be tons of fun and fit right in with his exuberant group of friends. Why not?
He was never so wrong in his life.
I was standoffish and I was sarcastic if spoken to. I was virtually silent, I spent my time in my room or on my computer. He tried every way a person can imagine to get me to lighten up or loosen up and I just ignored him nearly completely.
Of course I got lonely. I didn't have my father anymore. I had spent years alone in my head with my father waiting patiently to listen to me whenever I needed him to, and now I had just been rejected by my mother for the umpteenth time. I was shaken by the abandonment that I felt from both parents in those days.
As I got lonely, I tentatively reached out to the only person around, A.J. He was readily available to me which is something in itself I wasn't used to. I used to have friends that were that way for me, but that was long ago and the majority of my life had been spent waiting for the people I loved to have time for me.
He realized his pushy, 'life of the party' and his natural charismatic way did not work with me. He was able to give me a more serious side. I responded to that eagerly as a matter of fact and opened up a tiny bit. He was shocked at the level of OCD I lived with during that time. That was something new and foreign to him. He couldn't fathom why a person would do such things and I had no reason for it other than the lovely most wonderful excuse of.....anxiety.
As we got to know one another on a new level, he began to notice things some other things about me, my lack of social skills, my inability to connect with other people. These were residuals to the life I made for myself inside my head but they were also part of who I was inclined to be due to my introverted nature. He began to assist me in making some repairs in my people skills since he was a professional in this area. He was socially successful in every way.
A little while into our time living together, which I affectionately like to call the time that he "was my babysitter', I overheard him defending me to one of his friends. I know I annoyed them often by my awkwardness and my sarcasm, their inability to come to terms with my unlike them behaviors. I did nothing like they did and they couldn't cajole me into any of it. Plus I made them uncomfortable because I was so stiffly serious. As his friend was putting me down and criticizing me, AJ got angry. I had been used to treatment such as his friend was giving me for a long time, but what I was not used to was someone like AJ defending my sanity and my person.
Hearing the vehemence that AJ used in defending me was supremely touching. I developed a trust for him in that moment that proved to be my one security for that year I lived with him. As a result of that I trust, I had a 'friend', something I had lacked for a long long time. AJ watched me go through a very deep and dark depression. The gregarious outrageous boy/man that he was, was there with me before during and afterward. He watched me feel crazy and assured me that I wasn't as well as gave me the reasons that I wasn't.
I listened to him and took those steps to be more social and more understood. I tried to lose some of my habits that perpetuated problems for me. He made me laugh at myself in ways I had always been so serious about. He was different than most people I had known. He was outspoken, a risk taker, a troublemaker and not afraid of anything or anyone. Somehow.... than made me feel safe and secure. And we went about life that way, with him protecting me, defending me, teaching me and taking care of me for that time that I lived there. We were both a lot sad when I moved. I think we both appreciated the dynamic that developed between us and would miss it. We do miss it.
To this day I would consider him one of my dearest friends. Even with all thats gone on since, the death of my father, the death of his father, with the great great distance between us and the several years that have passed, the considerate affection is still there. Apparent on my last birthday when not one person in my life remembered it except him, shows me he's still with me. At least in his heart.
With the time and distance between us we've both changed in ways the other doesn't get to experience and fully grasp. The love is there, but the familiarity has lapsed. I feel a bit of concern, when presented with a sordid and despicable happenstance that was and is out of both our hands, what will his reaction be? A mature coherent response in protectiveness, or a misplaced anger at the futile impossibility to protect me considering our current circumstances and result in a highly charged reaction to the our separateness and his powerlessness? My own anger is turning my stomach. We don't need two of us like that.
I have some common sense thoughts and an inkling of what should transpire here, if we're both going to be reasonsable about this, but what is slightly disturbing is I can't truly decide what reaction I really do want. Part of me really wants that protective stance taken on my behalf no matter how outrageous. And that very thought of myself is unsettling to my insides to a very great degree.