O.K., I know everyone has a story. By no means are my brothers or myself trying to dwell on the obvious, but in order for my readers to understand our story, I will need to delve into how we got here.
Well, the truth is…I really don’t know. I was only 9 when the twins were born, but based on all the rumblings from the adults around us, I have pieced a few things together. Joyce, our supposed mother, had 5 children and was diagnosed with some sort of mental illness that precluded her from having to take any responsibility for the abuse and abandonment of her offspring. (DISCLAIMER: Now and throughout this blog, I do not by any means discount my mother’s or any other person’s mental illness. I will come across as bitter, blase, and sarcastic when appropriate as a way to dispel a bit of this anger I have collected over my 43 years and hopefully my critics won’t be too harsh).
What I do remember was my mom bringing home two gorgeous babies. I think they weighed around 3 lbs something each! Being the only girl, I remember having 2 baby dolls all to my self.
My precious baby brothers
My time with my brothers flew by and yet dragged on some days. Since there were 5 of us children living with an unstable couple. It was tough to be good to each other considering our parents weren’t good to us. If Joyce wasn’t tormenting one of us children, she was cutting herself and if that wasn’t enough, her husband of the time self-medicated. He apparently was having a hard time digesting Joyce’s version of why the twins had too much skin pigment. Her explanation included a story about her dark skinned great- grandma or something along those lines. Now this was the 70’s and if her husband wasn’t buying it, his family definitely wasn’t. One of the serious conversations ended in a pool of blood with Joyce’s front teeth being punched through her lip!
As one would imagine, things continued to heat up in our family’s household. At some point Joyce’s husband left taking what he claimed to be his biological son with him. My older brother Brian went to live with a family member and the twins and I tried settling in with our mother in a 2 bedroom apartment in the burbs. This lasted 6 months before child protective services took us into custody. No need to go into all of that, let’s just say it wasn’t a big deal for me as long as my brothers and I were together. For the most part we were. T–s dad allowed me to visit him and the twins were with me at my maternal aunt’s house. Cool right?…Nope.
Joyce eventually moved in with her new boyfriend in Kentucky and refused to do what the courts asked her to do to get us back. We were destined to be separated. The saddest part was how I was going to explain to my brothers that I watched her walk out of the court room without looking back.
The inevitable conversation about the twin’s skin pigment came up again ruining what seemed like the perfect arrangement for my brothers and I. According to my maternal aunt, the social worker said the twins would be better with their kind. What?! Now please know their kind lived on the south side of Chicago…Engleside to be specific. Did I mention we lived in the the suburbs? I was then shipped off to live with my biological dad that I hadn’t seen him since I was 4 without a follow up by DCFS! I was 12, the twins were 3, B—was 15 and T— was 5. Our lives changed forever!
Not a great pic, but the only one we have of all of us together.
The twins are 3 in this pic and this was the last time I saw them as children.
Here we are meeting for the first time a few months ago. They are now 34.