My younger brother Peter used to run in and kick me, then when he grew up he gave one massive, final kick to me and ran away to Sweden. In a roundabout way this is what happened.
I did not have my first period until I was fourteen, I was probably too skinny and too stressed for biology to begin its miracle of turning girl to woman. Mother had always been stingy with food towards me, "Drink water." she would snarl at me when I said that I was hungry after school. It was hard to wait for hours while my parents relaxed with their evening cocktails. They were in no hurry for dinner as they had had their main meal of the day in their workplace cafeterias, and I knew that their office desk drawers were stocked with snack food that we did not have at home, and which I had never tasted. My parents gave my sister and brother money to buy their lunch from the school cafeteria, but gave me only 4¢ for a ½ pint box of milk. I cannot imagine why they were so cruel as to keep me hungry, what they were thinking?
Then when my mother saw that my body was maturing she made food even harder for me to get. She refused me fruits and vegetables (which I knew I should be eating from school lessons), and she loaded my plate with starches. I remember one night when she dumped a serving bowl full of cold, lumpy potatoes that everyone had refused onto my plate and commanded that I sit there until I had eaten all of them. My father finally let me up from the table without eating the potatoes when I complained that I had a lot of school homework to do.
In retrospect I realize that my mother knew exactly what she was doing, she hoped to turn me into a tub of lard that she could continue to abuse at her leisure. She was already stout herself and wanted no competition from a slim teenaged daughter. All I knew then was that I was hungry and my caloric intact was inadequate: usually no breakfast, one skimpy peanut butter-jelly sandwich and a ½ pint box of milk for lunch, and loaded with carbohydrates for dinner. I was not allowed to rummage in the kitchen cupboards or refrigerator. I was not allowed to look at my siblings' plates to see what they were eating. Fortunately for me my instinct when blocked from food was to turn to my academic studies to pull myself out of hunger and into knowledge. That served me well. Still the headaches, fatigue, and dizziness of habitual hunger during the school day limited my ability to think, study, and interact with other students and teachers.
I remember the day that I had my first period. I had had sex education in biology class in Junior High School so I knew what was happening to me, I just had not realized the strange physiological impact it would have on me. I did not feel at all well in a strange, painful, woozy way. I wanted to go outside to clear my head but my mother insisted that I continue doing the evening dishes. I argued with my mother about the unfairness of me having to scrub at the stacked, dry, and crusty pots and pans that my brother or sister had left from the previous night when it was their turn to do them. She hit me over the head with a broomstick, broke the broomstick, and cracked a dent in my forehead. Truth. It was not the first time that my mother struck me in the head, nor the last. I remember my father often calling out "Not in the head, not in the head!" which at the time i thought was his inadequate attempt to protect me, but I now know it was calculated to keep any evidence of bruising or cuts from my face where people might see and hold my parents accountable. But no one held them accountable, no one saw or cared.
For reasons I did not know, my sister Carla and brother Peter joined in the fracas. I (age 14) ran upstairs to go to bed and my sister Carla (age 11) and brother Peter (age 8) chased after me. Both of them were sturdy children and Carla was able to knock me down to the floor and beat at me while my brother Peter darted in and out of our flailing limbs to kick me. I remember being disgusted with both of them because it took two of them to beat me down. Usually I could just ignore them. But they wanted to ensure I would continue to clean up their pots and pans, perhaps they wanted to ensure that it was me and not them that was beaten. A therapist tested me, saying "That is quite a Cinderella story." Well, it is not a "story" and women throughout the world, and from past to present, have endured the same dysfunctional domestic abuse. It is time to tell this true tale to stop it.
When my menstrual flow started later that evening, I cried out for my mother to give me something to hold it. She contemptuously toss an unwrapped pad onto the bathroom counter, I had to call her back for safety pins to hold it to my underwear. I remember thinking that menstruation was difficult enough without being beaten by my mother, my sister, and my brother. As usual my father was ensconced in his armchair and refused to become involved in the family chaos, which is exactly the position I would have taken, had the family chaos not been funneled upon me. I was a very timid girl.
It is my brother's abuse that wounds me most, as brothers are meant to protect their sisters, are they not?
In fact, my brother Peter went many steps further to harm instead of protect me. One of the last times I saw him, at our parents' home when we were in our sixties, he bragged to me, "There are many, many people in Bloomington/Normal, Illinois who do not like you." I asked him what on earth he meant, and he told me that he had been a member of the local Alcoholics Anonymous for decades and they all knew of me from him, and they all "...do not like you." I asked him how he knew they did not like me since he lived in Sweden, and he told me that he keeps in touch with this group because many of them are his closest friends, they email back and forth as often as daily.
So my brother Peter, instead of protecting me in life, went amongst a group of alcoholics and drug addicts, those whose personalities and perceptions are stunted by their addictions, and he siced these most dysfunctional of people upon me. I have no idea what he might have told them to be so certain that "They do not like (me).", but since he has had almost no contact with me since we were in our twenties, there is nothing to tell. He has never been inside my home in my entire life, he has never telephoned me, never written me a letter. Now in Bloomington/Normal, Illinois when an interaction with a lawyer, a doctor, a businessman or businesswoman goes sideways I wonder; is this that tripwire of "They do not like you." with which my brother sabotaged my life?
And why, since he lives in Sweden, is he using my address? I keep getting mail via USPS addressed to Peter Throckmorton, Jr. Did he use my address to register to vote in the USA? Again, he has never even visited my home, not once in life. I do not want alcoholics and/or drug addicts to be referred to my home. I have never met a single friend of his, not once in life, but my brother has made me afraid of the people whom he knows. He has never helped me in life, I wish he would stop kicking me.
Caption: Peter Throckmorton, JR school ID card 1970-1971
from the estate papers of his parents, Peter & Phyllis Throckmorton
Peter looks as if he has a cut lip, if I had known then I would have protected him.
Caption: Why is Peter using my address for his business
even though I cancel these accounts? 2019