Slow Suicide by Alcohol, Incest, triggers.

My “little brother” died five days ago. He was just 44 years old.

His bedroom companions were several empty bottles of cheap imported vodka. In limbo for the autopsy report and coroners inquest, the cremation postponed and no answers to the hundreds of questions that crowd my mind.

His name was Andy. And I loved him, he was my adopted little bro and I have been a close friend to him for over 30 years. We had “wintered and summered” good times and bad together, companions in life, friends, adopted family. I tried so many times to rescue him, to save him. Nothing I tried worked. The alcohol was his only constant companion over the last ten years, the one thing he could rely on at all times to numb him from the feelings he couldn't express. Or at least wouldn't express, most of the time.

He was a little boy when I met him. He and his sisters would knock on neighbours doors and ask for jobs to do to earn pocket money. I was only 21 myself and had just started my first business. Admiring of their enterprise I would find them jobs to do. They used my Chanel number 5 as air freshener when they cleaned my flat.

A very ordinary working class family. Dad a demolition man at a local company, mum a cleaner, four kids. I slowly got to know this family, these neighbours. Now Andy is dead I have the feeling I wont know them in the future. I know too much already.

I only stuck around for Andy. Someone had to act as outrigger, a potential lifeline. As recently as six months ago I was offering to help him move away. He never could do it. Like an addict addicted to the one thing that would finish him. Mind you, it was his choice of wife that finally finished him off. But with role models such as he had she was ideal.

I am going to write Andys story. The story he has told me over the last three decades. Because Andy did talk, he could confide, and it was me he talked to.

Andy was nine years old when trauma hit him. His father and oldest sister suddenly disappeared and his mother couldn't stop either crying or denying. Left with his twin sisters and distraught but stoic mother, young Andy's mind was rent in two and his heart broken. This is how incest affects families. The eldest daughter had disclosed her fathers extreme, chronic abuse of her finally. She was about 13 when she finally spoke out. The immediate effect was that she was removed to foster care (never to return for over a decade or when she had her first child — whichever was soonest) and Mike, the dad, was removed to police custody. They moved and I didn't see any of them for quite a few years until Andy found me again, through my business, and now “grown up” and having his own place to live, we became friends. But he was very scarred. The family move had meant anonymity, a new start away from the stigma of incest. A single mother of 3. Or at least until Dad got out of prison.

Andy needed someone in his life who knew the truth. Someone who wasn't in denial or ignorance. Someone who could listen, someone who understood what he was dealing with. But who wouldn't judge him or his siblings. Someone he hoped would help him with the poison that slowly threads its way through incestuous families. Even if the incest stops, the lies and revisionist theories that abound in such families are incredible. If you think you know a thing or two about dysfunctional families, extend that by about 100% per family member and you get the idea of how far reaching the effects of this is. For a start you have to try and remember who knows the truth and who doesnt and in each new generation who is aware or not of the dirty little family secret. And the eroticism of course, lets not forget about that. Keep it in the family. Our little secret.

His story will have to be told in several parts as it is too soon in processing his death to do much more than acknowledge his long, painful struggle today. My only comfort is to know that he is no longer in pain. And now, my struggle to help him survive is finally over.

The main thing is — the other kids DO know when dad is having sex with one of them. If dad is heterosexual and targets the first born girl, then the little brother observes this behaviour when mum is out, from birth. When two more sisters come along he sees that too. Left out of the action but expected to keep quiet, the guilt builds up. Too small and too young to protect his sisters when they cry and are unhappy about the level of abuse, he closes down.

RIP my beloved friend. I am sorry I couldn't save you in the end. But I will tell your story.

In the hope that people become more aware of the far reaching effects of incest on siblings. And friends.

His family had cleared his flat out within two days of his death. And selling his stuff on Facebook. Two days.

WTF is that all about? Voracious people. Eat each other up.