Dear Friends, Drodzy Przyjaciele, Cari Amici,
A few people have asked me about the depth of connection that I have with my brother Gioffredo, my intense love for him and also the intensity of my Grieving during these weeks of his sudden illness and impending death. Those of you who have read my books also know that I had a very powerful and deep connection with my brother Angelo, who also died suddenly of cancer, just a year and a half ago. I wrote about my experience of being Angelo’s caregiver during his last weeks. Both these brothers of mine were diagnosed only after the cancer was so far spread that there were no real treatment options. Angelo and Gioffredo both chose to die at home with family and Hospice help. Angelo died 6 or 7 weeks after his diagnosis.
Gioffredo was diagnosed 5 weeks ago and it has progressed so fast and so aggressively that he is now unconscious, his organs are failing and it is a matter of days now.
Now, back to the Question about our intense closeness.
First of all, if you were ask a fish why they swim in water, they would probably say “What is Water?”. and that is how I feel when people ask me or comment on the bond I share with my siblings…it is All I have Ever Known…I used to not understand how people are NOT intensely bonded to their siblings! But the questions I have received have helped me to look at it, and to put some words to this Reality that I have lived and breathed in for over 50 years.
My answer is partly shared in some of my other posts and I will try to share more today. As children who were abused, tortured and driven to the edge of life together, day after day, we forged a profound and unbreakable bond as part of our survival mechanism. We were part of each others reason to Survive. Often we took abuse for each other, in order to spare the other. It was the only way to exercise any power in a completely Powerless Situation. I offered myself to my father at times to try and spare one of my siblings. Others did the same for me at times. The Bond that forges in pretty much indescribable. But if you have a similar experience, you will know exactly what I am talking about.
I believe God gives the human person this capacity for such intense bonding as a means of helping us to survive unthinkable pain and terror.
People who have suffered together in the Camps, in Hostage situations, in Wars and Trenches understand this. People who have helped each other survive Tragedies, Crimes, and Natural Disasters understand it.
And this apparently intensifies if this is happening in Childhood, when the human person is still forming and adapting to life…and when it takes place repeatedly in emotionally and physically life threatening situations.
As Dr. A. said to me, the bond with my siblings is “A Club No One Can Join.” No one outside this Club will ever really know or understand a Huge part of our Shared Historical Experience. It is not that we don’t let anyone in, it is part of the pain of the Experience, that unless you were there, you cannot know it…not like we know it.
Being a Member of A Club No One Can Join is part of the Wounding, as well as being part of our Survival. At first, this bonding is what truly helps us to Survive. But years later, long separated from the Shared Historical Experience, it is very difficult to then shift those relationships to more normal, adult relationships. That Shared Historical Experience is always right under the Surface of our Eyes when we see one another. Even Our voices can often be a Trigger for each other, causing innumerable Shared Experiences to Re-Surface.
We share similar Triggers and Flashbacks. We can accidentally Cause Triggers and Flashbacks in each other.
It is Difficult and Painful as Adults to Create and Sustain a relationship that is not Primarily about that Shared Historical Experience.
So, that Bond…Beautiful and Meaningful and Life-Saving as it has been, has a Dreadfully Isolating Aspect to it, too.
I believe that most people will understand what I am talking about because I think everyone knows it to some degree or another. It seems that this reality of belong to A Club No One Can Join is something that can apply to everyone. Maybe it is not as intense as I experience with my siblings, but it is there to some degree in all families, I think. And it is not always a Negative, or Painful Shared Historical Experience that creates a deep bond with others.
I think of Traveling Europe with my friend Antonio and the profound bond we forged during those weeks and months..the amazing, beautiful, and thrilling experiences we shared forged a bond between us that comes to the surface whenever we see each other or discuss that trip and laugh and remember!
Marriages, Families, Lovers, Friendships, Survivors, Comrades, Strangers Thrown Together in Emergencies…all these Relationships forge Bonds that become something that Others cannot fully know or understand.
But this is not a Bad Thing. I think it is part of the Boundaries of Life and Relationships.
What this Reality of seeing and knowing about Clubs That No One Can Join urges me to do now is this:
1) To be Understanding and Respectful when others Share something that I cannot possibly understand or enter into.
2) To be Respectful when I bump into a Club that I Cannot Join, and not take it personally.
3) To be Understanding and Not Disappointed when others do not understand something that I wish they could, but what would be impossible for them since they do not Share that Historical Experience.
So, my friends, I hope that this post helps to answer the Question about my Relationship with Gioffredo and my other siblings.
We all Belong to the Club of Humanity. We all Share the Truth and the Experience that there are some things we can Never Share with Those who were Not There.
There is a Deep Unity in Our Shared Experience of Separateness.
I love you all.
With my Gift from the Heart, Z moim Dar z Serca, Con il mio Dono dal Cuore,
Gabriel Orion Marie
* For those of you who may not know, I have published a series of three books that tell the story of my recovery and healing from profoundly intense physical, sexual and spiritual abuse. These books have dozens of paintings that I did during my process and those paintings are a core form of communication I used in my Healing. These books are available on Amazon. I hope you will read them and pass them on to others!
This White House (Book One), Going Sane (Book Two) and A Spectacular Dawn (Book Three)