My Little Brother
TL;DR: I love my little brother.
Originally Written: 04-Dec-2021
Word Count: 673
Read Time: 3 minutes
Readability Score: 85.7 (6th Grade)
My little brother is one hell of a man.
In fact, he's a better man than I am.
I wouldn't have wanted it to be any other way, to be honest.
Why wouldn't you want those who come after you to have a better life than what you did.
So, too, was the perspective I took when it came to weathering the storms we encountered in life.
Where possible, I would seek to hold an umbrella over him whenever it rained.
I cared about him.
I didn't want anything bad to happen to him.
At least, not like what happened to me.
I tried my best, though I wasn't always successful in my attempts to be there for him.
In fact, I often showed up as the very thing I wanted to prevent him from dealing with.
When I hit middle school, I entered what was nothing hotter or even colder than the pits of hell.
I was bullied a lot in school.
All the fucking time, actually.
Even teachers would agree with the kids as they teased me for wearing shorts that were too short.
Kids going through puberty are, literally, the most evil kind of people on the planet.
God help whoever has a teenager, I could never.
In fact, I could never.
As a gay man, I could never have kids naturally.
Due to that, I recognized something my little brother had that I didn't.
It was something I wanted to feel so badly and felt I could not feel unless I actually had kids.
For in a family with values centered around carrying forward the legacy of the family name, to not bear kids, in my mind, would bear me nothing but shame.
It felt like it didn't matter that I was gay.
At least, that's what it felt like.
It felt like to be gay was to be a loser.
To be gay is to be a wretch.
A black sheep.
Lost in the pasture and better off set free to roam the land to find its own kind.
And so I did.
After I came out, I let myself out to pasture.
Roaming the land, I ventured off to where I thought I would find what was mine.
I searched high and low, but couldn't seem to find what it was I needed to feel good enough.
Good enough for what?
Good enough to be considered a role model.
In fact, I was becoming the exact opposite of a role model.
Everything I worked to do in order to set an example for this sweet boy, I undid.
Lost in a rabbit hole of hedonism, I felt betrayed.
Betrayed by the person I hoped would still call on me as his kin.
Betrayed by the thought that everything would be okay after I revealed to him I was gay.
Betrayed by the feeling that I ever mattered to him at all.
It wasn't his fault, no.
It was mine.
For I was in need of something I had yet to find.
A context that was mine.
It just wasn't in the cards for me to have kids.
It wasn't my destiny to carry on the family's legacy.
It was his.
Rather than embrace this, I detested it, bemoaned it even.
I can no longer relate to what it's like to even want to have kids.
But that shouldn't mean I become a cave dweller, removed from society as an invalid.
It means I have an opportunity, no, a chance.
A chance to make things right.
Right the way I always wanted them to be.
It wasn't he who left me, it was me who left us.
I was the one who let myself out to pasture.
I was the one who went astray.
I was the one who wasn't there when he needed me most.
Maybe if I was, it wouldn't have been so dark.
But, regardless, the light I found within it is bright.
And, with that, I have a chance to make things right.
The power is within me and, with it, I just might.