Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A Big Brother

I was reading a post at YOB from January 6th by Tom Zuniga. Tom is one of the better writers at YOB. He is not as prolific as some of the boys, but the quality and content is always excellent.  On this particular day he wrote about how he had always wanted a big brother.  Then today, another writer at YOB, Dean Samuels, wrote a similar post entitled, "Which Kind Of Brother Do I Want?". Both of these guys experience SSA to some degree, both are Christian, but Dean is married; Tom is not. Tom is celibate in a way that even I have not been. In another post he talked about being 29 years old and having never been kissed. Purity is a wonderful thing, even so I digress.

Both posts brought back memories of my childhood and a particular yearning that I had until I was almost 10 years old. I wanted a big brother; an older sibling to show me the way in life. This is passing strange on some levels because I am an oldest and only child. Any other children my parents produced would have been younger. If it happened, I would only ever have little brothers or sisters. This did not stop me from urging Dennis and Laurie to adopt me an older brother. He would not be for them. He was going to be for me. I remember considering this as early as 3 years old. As someone accustomed to getting the things in life that he wanted, I could not understand why they would not "buy" me a big brother. I got everything else that my little mind could come up with to ask for. The entire line of toy John Deere farm equipment. The first talking edition of Casper, the friendly ghost. A Vaccuform. A Thing Maker. Tricycles, bicycles and wagons. A ventriloquist's dummy (Charlie McCarthy edition). Why could I not have this? Why would they not get me a big brother? What was the big deal? 

I had this idealized vision of my big brother. He would be smarter than me (I know it's hard to imagine someone smarter than me). He would show me how to do things. We would do things together. He would love me and watch out for me and he would always be with me. He would be someone I could look up to as a model of who I was supposed to be. I was desperate for a male in my life to fill all of these needs. In short, I had expectations. This would be no ordinary brother.

In the real world, I knew many kids that had big brothers. With only a few exceptions, the horror stories were replete with beatings, teasings, trickings and over all cruelty. I knew from my own experience with older male cousins that such things happened. I, nevertheless, pushed forward with my idealized vision of the perfect male companion. It was not reality based. It was not psychologically healthy. But it was what I wanted.

As I got older (10 to 12 years old), my desire for an older brother morphed into something else. I had male friends, many of whom were a year or so older than me that I began to idolize for various reasons. I would not call it sexual at that point, but it was like I was the big dog's puppy sometimes. Then, after about 12 years old, I began to have feelings for these friends and everything changed. My hormones began to rage with pubescent sexual desire. These guys I was looking up to became objects of emotional yearnings that I just could not sort out. After that, I began to withdraw from my male friends and things went down hill from there.

It was all an unmitigated teenage disaster that blew up into an adult war with God, with myself and with what I knew to be the Truth.

So tell me. How is that from early childhood I have been looking for the perfect man to love me? Where did that come from? Why was I (am I) so needy? I had plenty of male attention from family members as I grew up. I had several male friends I was close to.

Sometimes I just feel like Pinocchio. I look at Gepetto and I tell him, "I just want to be a real boy".

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