I haven’t had time to do much introspection lately. The class I am currently taking is very interesting, but has a heavy workload. I spend most of my downtime at my job doing work for class, and the rest of my time is taken up by internship, getting errands done, and trying to get a bit of sleep. I’m basically just functioning. I am fully present in my sessions at my internship, but being so present is exhausting for me and my quality of sleep is not such that I am able to restore myself. So after 3 days of internship, I am pretty much done with any sort of mindfulness or presence for the rest of the week.

I find myself longing for my brother’s presence. There are so many questions about our childhood. I just want to spend time with someone who understands truly and completely, and the only person who does is him. He sent me some music that used to be played a lot during our childhood, and it made us both feel very weird/strangely comforted. I just want to sit with him and listen and try to remember and cry. Neither of us has much of a memory for anything before the age of 10 or so, but we share a sense that something was very wrong. On one hand, I appreciate having somebody to share this experience with, but on the other, I wish that it had only happened to me (whatever it is). If I could go back in time and take it all, protect him better, I would.

When I was younger and our father lived in Manhattan, I was obsessive about making sure that he did not put a toe outside of the crosswalk when we would cross the street. We were expected to use public transportation on our own at an absurdly young age, and I felt invincible doing this because I was always on the lookout for people who might hurt my brother. It didn’t matter if they got me, but try to do anything to him and I don’t know what I would do, but I would do something. It’s amazing that I was so vigilant about strangers, when the real danger was at home.

There was a very real sense that it was the two of us against the world, as cliché as that sounds. I said that we don’t have much memory for events our childhood, and that is true (except for various little pieces, like the crosswalk/subway bit), but we do have emotional memory. We remember feeling very unsafe, unsure, tentative, and careful to not explode whatever land mines were waiting for us in other people. We remember a sense of trying to protect one another and being the other’s source of comfort and support when we were with our father. And yet, I did not protect him. At least, not as well as I should have. He still was abused, he still endured what nobody should have to face. I know rationally that it is not my fault, but I feel guilty for not sticking my neck out more to take the brunt of it so that he wouldn’t have to.

And he is on the other side of the world. I won’t see him for another seven months. My family is visiting him in a few months, but I won’t be able to go along due to my stupid schedule. I just miss him.