Conversations with my brother

by Emily Sparkles

What is actually said:

me: Do you remember that time when...?

him: No.

What I wish I could say:

That he doesn't have the power to hold onto all of those memories

Those awful, awful memories

While I do.


Maybe it is more powerful to be able to forget

Maybe I am the weak one for the memories on loop

The wide-awake nightmares where

I can hear myself scream NO

While the blows fall

And the words draw blood

Maybe it takes as much fortitude

To forget

As it does 

To remember.

To relive and learn how to be safe 

In my 



I cannot blame him for his quick and concise judgments of me then

Or now

It is how we were raised

In this house we

Criticize Emily


Dump our unexpressed emotions onto her

And devour their forced release

At whipping time

I did it, too

When the blows stopped

When 18 arrived

I stopped eating

I took all of my emotions that were too big

Finally, I knew they were too big

I learned it, Daddy! I see it now!

I took

All of my fears about the future

The unplanned future

This problem child can't have much of a future

And punished them




In this house we

Hurt Emily


Break her body and

Drink her tears



This isn't working anymore

And dying on the floor

Finally reaching that

Pit of despair

Losing my hair

And my mind

Is next

It's worth saving.

It's worth saving.

I'm worth saving.

What if I'm not 

Just a pile of rot

What if I wasn't a manipulative mastermind at the

Age of three

Using tears and fears

To control my parents' behavior

What if I wasn't a spoiled brat at the

Age of twelve

Wanting answers to questions like why

Are you talking about others like that

Why are you talking to me like that

When your job is to preach about Jesus why

Can't you be more like 



Why were the people in the psych ward softer




Than the people in the pews

And the pulpit?

Why did I think they weren't people? 

When clearly this IS where I belong?

Why are we all being treated as less than for trying to heal what is both more and less broken than society will allow?

In this house we

Heal Emily


honor emotions and her

Ability to hold them and her 

Ability to feel them with us, too


I'm here. 

I'm still here.