Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Day 30 #SOL21 Contemplating Brothers


Within the last week, I've had a chance to connect with both my big brother and my baby brother. Kody, the youngest of our sibling group, delivers travel trailers all across the country, and he sporadically swings through the metroplex. We offer him a listening ear, a warm bed, and a hot shower before he heads out early for his next haul. Kody's motor runs very fast. Due to PTSD  from our childhood abuse and his time as an U.S. Airmen deployed to Afghanistan, he oozes with anxiety—vigilantly looking for an enemy around every corner. However, he's also witty and big-hearted. Taken in small doses, I enjoy his brief company. 

My older brother, Keith, happens to be my only sibling who still lives in my hometown of Lefors, Texas—population 472. This week he sent a handwritten letter he'd crafted to announce he was running for the local city council again. He requested I type up the letter and email it to the local newspaper on his behalf. Computers are vexing contraptions in his world. Keith is an alcoholic. Almost seven years ago he had a drunk driving accident that damn near took his life. He's now raising his three boys in a community where time stands still. He is civic minded and would stop to help any stranger fix a flat tire. Sometimes I think Keith is a good man. Other times I have my doubts. 

What I know for sure is that we are trauma bonded. My life is better and worse because they are in it. And I am grateful. 


  1. Your brothers both sound special in their own ways (I laughed out loud at the handwritten letter for you to type), and it sounds like you have an important bond! It's neat that they are so different and that you are close in your own ways, despite their challenges!

  2. Trauma bonds can go either way in terms of strengthening or weakening. There's love that shows up between the lines and letters in this post, Tenille, even when you're questioning the goodness or admitting to the amount of time you can tolerate. You all went through so much together, and the quote/picture is reflective of that.

  3. "And I am grateful." Damn. That kind of cognitive dissonance is so hard for me to wrestle with...the notion that two opposing things can be true at once. Thank you for bravely sharing your stories. We are better for it.

  4. I believe we can live in both/ and. People are textured. We are not all good or all bad; things are not these full extremes. There is nuance and layers to our meaning. I think this post embodies all of this, Tenille. There is love, there is doubt. There is joy, there is pain. It's all okay.
    I adore you for leaning into vulnerability in your recent posts. From the exploration of your grandmother's legacy to the difficult evening you spent last weekend to this - thank you for revealing parts of yourself that you didn't have to reveal. That sharing is cathartic, no?
    Big hugs,