Friday, 28 December 2012


Most big brothers tend to dislike their younger male siblings. In my case, I had more than the usual reasons to dread Roy's presence at Christmas.

Being hyper-active, as they once called restless children, Roy posed many problems for Diane and I. The first was that he was three years younger than I and two years Diane's junior. This meant that we became impatient when he couldn't understand our games. Roy was also mentally slow. He seemed little better than a monkey to us as we avoided him. No matter how Mom scolded and coaxed, we wanted nothing to do with our little brother.

Roy also had a violent temper. One winter night, he broke the aluminum gas line to the hot water tank. Mom ordered us to sit still on the living room couch while Dad went down to turn off the gas.

Every Christmas, something inevitably upset Roy. He'd break his toys and tear up cardboard boxes as we hid upstairs. Even when he was a teenager, he often flew into a rage. I'd find the truck or other gift, which I spent my own money on, torn in pieces later on. Many a Christmas was ruined by his rages.

Roy also ruined our toys too. As I wrote in Deliverance from Jericho, he scratched up a dart board that I received for Christmas in 1964. When I protested to Mom, she said I should let him do it because he was retarded. I loved that dart board, especially the side with the planets and asteroids painted on it. Mom's lack of disciplinary action added fuel to my hatred of Roy.

Even as an adult, I dreaded being home when Roy was there. I deliberately volunteered to work on Christmas and New Year's Day when I was a security guard. Not only did it give me a legitimate reason to be away from home but I got time and a half plus double time for working an extra four hours. I also felt glad to be away from home when I went on a missions trip to Saltillo, Mexico in 1977.

I wrote extensively about my adventure that Christmas in How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. It's available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm.

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like your mother showed favoritism toward your younger brother because he was retarded, and this didn't help your relationship. If Roy had been my kid, he would have received a spanking for his violent behavior, and hopefully, that would have eliminated it.

    I think my mother, may she rest in peace, showed favoritism toward my younger brother, and he was far from retarded. In fact, he has a PH.D. in physics. Maybe that's why she favored him, because she knew he would be smarter than me. Who knows?

    My brother was never violent, but when we were kids, he liked to go into my room and listen to my music and play with my toys without asking me. Mother took his side, telling me I was selfish. I wish now I had confronted her, but it's too late for that.

    Anyway, now that my brother and I are adults, our relationship has definitely improved, even though I'm in Wyoming, and he's miles away in Florida. I keep in touch with him regularly by phone and e-mail and visit him every once in a while. In fact, I'm planning to go there in March.

    Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of
    We Shall Overcome
    How to Build a Better Mousetrap:
    Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver


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