*Statement from my oldest brother (1950)


I am writing this in regard to my sister’s petition for disability qualification.

I am Linda’s brother, her senior in age by 14 months.  Our  Mother had severe mental and emotional problems, and while never actually diagnosed the symptoms would suggest that she suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder.  While we all (my five siblings and our Father) were victims of her manic highs, extreme rages and bizarre “punishments,” it all paled compared to the special hell she reserved for my sister Linda.

We lived for many years on a remote Alaskan homestead, our Father would leave for work each day and even when he was present he seemed impotent in the face of Mother’s insanity.  Mother used the physical isolation to her advantage, and would further isolate Linda by keeping her inside all day doing chores, being berated for imagined wrongs, and being whipped and beaten sometimes to such an extent that Mother would keep her out of school for weeks at a time, should Linda’s bruises be seen in the gyum locker room, perhaps raising eyebrows and questions.

As siblings, we learned early that Linda was treated differently (to say the least) and knew it was best to stay out of Mother’s orbit as much as possible, as no one was immune from her wrath.

This has obviously created issues for us as siblings through the years both as victims and observers, but we got off very lightly compared with Linda — the torture she experienced is almost beyond description — and we at least had each other.  Her isolation was almost total.  Even when she wasphysically present we were often forbidden to speak to her.

Linda has managed to get through life primarily by use of her intelligence and sheer willpower.  She raised three healthy children and never abused them, an amazing feat considering her own past.  She is very artistic, creative and compassionate, and has learned to compensate for and rise above her abuse as much as possible.  She focused much of her energies into raising her children, and she is now alone again.  She supported herself and them mostly with menial labor that she is no longer physically capable of doing.  The majority of life’s coping skills that come naturally or are easily learned by most of us have been laboriously pieced together by Linda, learned by rote and even feigned, and with the damage done by her cancer and the drugs used to treat it many of that learned behavior is no long accessible to her.

I commend Linda for all she has managed to achieve and overcome in her life.  She has done all she can for herslef and has reached a point where she requires assistance.

Thank you for your attention.


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