I walked in and checked in with the officer behind the glass. For once I was early (doesn't happen often). I received my badge and sat in the waiting area. He said that they will call when they are ready to take "us" back. There was no one there, besides he and I.
There were ten blue chairs with a glass partition separating the waiting area and the metal detector that would need to be walked through shortly. As I watched the minutes slowly tick away similar to watching sand drop down through a timer, a few more people would trickle through the door. A grandmother and a grandson around 6 years old walked in, a young woman carrying a child and a 8 year old girl walking along her side. Several others shuffled their way in to check in.
Then at once the officer said "you can go up now". I had no idea what that meant. I had never done this before, but I could tell everyone around me had. So decided to follow the crowd, something I don't do that often.
After exiting the metal detector we turned right down a very long hallway. At the end of the hallway was an elevator. We all shuffled our way in. One child hit the "2M" button and the door shut and up we went.
The elevator jolted to a stop and the door opened. People filed out. This was another long hallway with windows on one side and door along the right side. Each of the doors had a number on them. I realized that the badge I was wearing aligned with the numbers on the doors. I watched as people opened doors and walked into their designated visiting closet. That is what it looked like in side, a chair and counter on both sides of the glass. No phones, just a part of the wall that had holes on both sides.
I continued down to "2D4" and opened the door. I was early, so I sat and waited. I could see inmates walking by, some sitting on their bunks - a small view into their world.
My brother then walked in. He looks better than he has. Discussing the project that will be released next week, memories of our childhood - something that we haven't ever talked about on the phone let alone face to face. There are many more things to discuss. Today was the beginning.
Many years ago I wrote him a letter while he was incarcerated at Walla Walla. He remembers one line - "You haven't been a part of our lives". He says that drives him, that makes him want to do better, be better and change the outcome of his future.
There is a hate deep in his heart - the abuse - the abuser. Being stripped of his clothes and being beaten until he urinated blood. This type of occurrence happening over and over again. And these beating session are only one example of the abuse my brother suffered.
Imagine - this occurring in a home that is 1900 square feet - rambler...no levels to hide. By someone so calculated, so manipulative, so violent - that 3 people under the same roof didn't know about the abuse of the other. As I told him today, we were the best actor and actress on a stage - anywhere in the world. There isn't anyone in the outside world that would have ever imagined.
As I looked through the glass at my thin, tattooed, shaved head brother, my heart ached. My brother drives me crazy, says some terrible things to me and can be difficult to talk to and be around...but no one will ever convince me that the goings on in our childhood didn't impact his life in such way that it will forever be difficult to come back from.
A father - military educated officer - taking advantage of his position as a parent -
physically, sexually and emotionally destroying his young MALE SON. This would impact the life of any man...for many many years.
Why write these words? Why share the hard stuff, because, as Glennon Doyle Melton says...“We know what the world wants from us. We know we must decide whether to stay small, quiet, and uncomplicated or allow ourselves to grow as big, loud, and complex as we were made to be.”
― Glennon Doyle Melton, Love Warrior: A Memoir
Being quiet and hidden, is no longer an option. - heart you all - P