As far back as I can remember my brother made intricate designs with spools of string in his room. He would attach various toys to these designs and suspended them there. It was like a crude spiderweb with random toys caught within the strands. I remember everyone commenting on how much he liked to do this, how creative he was. They thought it was “cute” , thought it was “interesting”.  I knew the real reason for his labor. It was an alert. It was something he designed to try to protect himself from our step father. Some beatings would come in the middle of the night, for no apparent reason. These attacks were as random as the bathtub incident. My brother would spend hours during the day constructing these elaborate warning devices only to have my stepfather cut right through them with a pair of scissors. I wonder how it never entered his conscience. I wonder how he cut through the web of GI Joe’s and army men without so much as a single moment of pause or hesitation. He obliterated our sense of safety every opportunity he had, striped it away with casual abandon. Details….all these little details that I can finally put thought and reason and voice to. Now, whenever I see a spider web I think first how beautiful it is and then I am brought back to my brother and the fear he must have felt in those moments when he realized his trap ,his alarm did not work.

His story is found here…




3 thoughts on “Spiders

  1. Awww wow this sounds so vivid and real for you both. I checked out his website… Amazing art!!! I’m floored!!! I think it’s so beautiful!
    As a big sister, this article provokes a lot of emotion in me. My protective side comes out. Mama lion wants to rip the abusers throat out, and the child in me wants to grab him and hide in the laundry hamper until the bad man goes away. There could never be any words I can say… I just wish I could wrap you both up and make it all go away. Tear

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