I have a twin brother. I am older than him, by two minutes. Unfortunately, he has autism. He is the second dearest person to me after my mother. He plays many roles in my life. I feel he is my son. Nobody understands him better than me. I feel we are connected.
When we were young, the doctors advised my parents to keep us apart until five to ten years of age. The problem with the twins is that if one got sick, the other automatically got sick, too. Due to this, one of my aunts took me to her home. I spent the first ten years of my life there. I lived in a village and enjoyed those days. After returning to my real home, I started to adjust to city life.
One day, I was sitting with my family having evening tea and my mother told me about an incident that I would never forget. She told me when I was about a year old, my father was taking me home from my aunt’s house. We were on a scooter. He was fully drunk. It was night time in the winter season, when the roads were full of fog. I was so young that he kept me in his jacket to save me from the cold. Suddenly, he met with an accident. As he was drunk, he was flipped from his scooter.
People gathered around to help him. Suddenly, they found that a noise of a baby cry coming from my father’s jacket. That was me. I was crying. People around us helped my father to reach home safely. When my mother finished the talk I was like, “What the hell? How could you do that?” I was so angry with my father. How could he be so careless? What if something had happened to me, to him, to us?
I started feeling the pain as a poor little child crying in front of me. It hurt that drinking had been more important to him than his own child. But I did not say a word. In Indian culture, you cannot ask WHY because it indicates you are being disrespectful toward your parents. In other words, your parents are always right. Debating is not allowed here.
When I looked at him, he ignored me and pretended he was not listening. I am 18 years old now. And today, whenever he says to me, “Take care, drive safe, be careful,” that one-year-old inside me starts crying and I automatically start feeling the pain. The one-year old inside me wants him to stop pretending, because I know how much he “cares.” And maybe he is a better person now, but how can I believe him? How can I believe he won’t hurt me again, especially since he still drinks?
The relationship is like a thread; if it breaks, it cannot be attached easily. If it stays strong, the connection is always there.
It hurts me, but there is a positive side. The wounded lioness is more powerful and dangerous than the one who has experienced no pain. I think that incident makes me powerful, more compassionate, and more sensitive to other people’s feelings. Although the trust is not so strong between us, I have gratitude for my father. My desire is, if it could result in something good in the future, I would say to my father, “Thank you…for being who you are.”