An Open Letter to my Brother’s Widow
To My Brother’s Widow,
I first want to tell you, I forgive you for the torturous hell you put my brother through, which caused him to go over the deep end. His suicide has been the most debilitating hurdle I have ever encountered. I loved him dearly. We grew up like twins, only 20 months apart.
I knew the day I met your three children, you had dragged them through the mud. I could see it in their eyes. One of those children was my brother’s. You took it upon yourself not to tell him or your husband about her until 12 years later. I am with your mother in law, why now? You changed the course of many people’s lives in that decision, including your own. You did not have a right to do that.
I begged my brother to run from you and all of your baggage. You could have been anyone; my brother was bound to commit suicide based on the brutal abuse he was exposed to as a child and a victim to during his critically developmental years. I also begged you to stop toying with his mind. You came to our house in the weeks before his death crying wolf. We set up a plan, and within hours of leaving here, you were calling him and toying with his emotions once again. You beat him down with your words and fists just like our father did as children, and I begged you to stop doing that. He did not have the love and care of parents and a family, so when he loved, he loved with all he was. He took family seriously, as one should. You did not reciprocate that emotion. You never had good intentions with any of the men you encountered, just ask any man who knows you in that manner. A person I trust told me to please tell my brother to run from you. They described you as a man-eater who would chew him up and spit him out. I hated you for that for a long time after learning he was dead. Gone. Forever. I will never see him, never hear his voice, smell his smell, feel his hugs, nor share Thanksgiving and all of our traditional holidays together. I literally hated you for that. I no longer hate you.
My brother was a kind person with a good heart. He was once a little boy who was punched to the ground daily and told what a no good for nothing, fat, worthless, son of a bitch, who would never amount to anything he was. He was an extremely damaged person, as your children are due to their developmental environments. The long-term effects of the poor choices of parents suck for the children, and even more as adults. My brother dealt with extreme Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) as a result of that. You were a trigger to his C-PTSD as gasoline is to fire. You were a compulsive liar to him, and he trusted and believed in you. He even defended you, only later to find out you were lying to him, which made him feel more like a fool than what he already felt as a beat down little boy.
I forgive you for what you did to my brother. At first, I was mad that you did not die as well. I prayed and begged God to release that anger from me, as I also prayed for him to make you slobber from your mouth for the rest of your life, hoping you would be bound to a wheelchair. I had constant horrific visions of one specific childhood memory upon learning of my brother’s suicide, and I was brutally angry at you.
The vision was a time when he was 14 years old, I was 16. Our father had closed all the curtains and raged for 24 hours, something he did regularly. During this time, he beat our step mother so badly that her eyes swelled completely shut. In between beating her, he ran through the house demolishing and busting everything in his path. He sat our step mother up on the couch with a loaded gun to her head, and he told us, “Listen up, she has something she wants to tell you. When she does, I am going to blow her fucking brains out.” He used the tip of the gun shoving her head urging her to tell us what she was going to say. She had threatened to tell us that he used crank. We already knew because we found it. She sat there trembling and crying until he finally pulled the trigger several times. For all we knew, her brains would splatter at any given point in that moment. That damaged my brother. He stood screaming and trembling with his head buried between my legs while I sat on a bar stool at their bar in their living room, scared to death to move, him begging me to get us out of there. I tried to protect him from that then. I tried to protect him from all of the bad things. My brother was so damaged, and I do not think you truly realized the severity in all of that. I begged you to leave him alone so he could get over you. Up until the early morning of his death, you were still toying with his emotions, and I have the email to prove it. I wanted you to suffer as much as you made him suffer. I have released that now. I am no longer mad that you did not die. I wish you all of the best in life, and I hope you can find peace and happiness. I want you to always know this, my brother loved you dearly, as sick as that sounds, being that he shot you too, before he shot and killed himself.
I hope you have come to realize what I tried to tell you about toying with a person’s heart, especially someone with extreme C-PTSD. I wish more awareness could be brought to the victims like my brother. You are not a victim, he was the victim. You are the survivor. I still forgive you. In a way, I thank you. You ended his pain. There were times I prayed to God to take him, although I really did not want to lose him. I only wanted him to have peace from the inner hell he dealt with as a result of what we saw as children. He dealt with such daily battles as a result of childhood neglect and abuse. I miss him daily. I wonder, do you miss him? Do you know to miss him with your brain injury? Do you have any regrets? I sure do. I am sure he would do things much differently in his right mind. He loved you.