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There had been no power for over 6 months now, and we were too comfortable to get up and light the lanterns. There were 3 of us at home, my sister, cousin and myself. Everyone else was out. The first winter snows were due soon but tonight the sky was clear. Tonight the country rested. No guns firing off in the distance, no scramble to the bomb shelter for another night of poker and roast potatoes, no emerging to count loss and blessings.  I sat there, feeling it. I felt dark grey clouds swirling violently outside, almost apocalyptic. I said “tonight life as we know it is going to change.” A few minutes later there was a knock on the door. 1 hour later I was holding my brother’s hand. I held it until it went cold.

When life is so raw a channel opens from the circumference of activity to your center. You perch yourself in that center and you get a glimpse of life without the veils and lies. You learn all about hypocrisy and insincerity. But not everyone experiences this. I thought each member of my family gained the same perspective. I was wrong. I had already witnessed first hand political and national lies and propaganda that put the world both in denial and divided, but I was more disillusioned when I saw each member of my family shut themselves off in silent consensus. Any talk of my brother was not tolerated. We could only speak of the pain and sorrow my mother was subjected to. it was her pain and only hers.

When you feel you are not allowed to be authentic, when you are denied your feelings, but your feelings are the truth, you are being asked to live a lie. So, I did what I thought was best. I left, I went away. I tore myself from my family to find freedom and independence, to live my truth. Free will above all. I broke my Mum’s heart. In her last words to me she expressed her wish that I had died instead. I abandoned her, and my family abandoned me. I was out in the world alone, all strings cut, and a ball of guilt and rejection inside of me that would slowly seep out over the years. Little droplets rising to the surface from a leaky oil drum on the floor of the ocean.

I spent the following years asking, learning, surviving, hiding, lying, searching. I went so far down the rabbit hole that today I believe it is nothing but a miracle that I am sitting here telling my story, with nothing buy joy in my heart.

Matt Corby – Brother


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